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Coyote softball drops rubber match against Jackrabbits

The Coyotes had their second dose of Summit League softball this weekend against the reigning Summit League Champion South Dakota State (SDSU). This was the first time these two teams have met at Nygaard Field since 2017. 

Game one was Saturday where the Coyotes got off to an early 5-0 lead against the Jackrabbits.

Jackrabbits’ sophomore pitcher Tori Kniesche walked in the first run after she loaded the bases. Three more Coyote runs were scored thanks to a single from freshman infielder Tatum Villotta. 

The last run of the inning was a single by senior outfielder Courtney Wilson that sent Villotta to home plate. 

The Jackrabbits got on the board in the fourth inning off of a home run by sophomore infielder Cheyanne Masterson.

SDSU added two more points to the score making it 5-3 in the fifth inning. The two runs crossed home plate by way of a double from junior catcher Allison Yoder. 

The two teams met at a stalemate as the game ended 5-3. Coyote freshman pitcher Clara Edwards was awarded the win. She pitched seven innings and struck out four batters. 

The second game of the series followed the ending of the first on Saturday. This game, however, was a win for the Jackrabbits. 

The first inning saw three runs for the Jackrabbits, starting with a two-run home run by sophomore outfielder Jocelyn Carrillo. They finished the inning on a sacrifice fly by Masterson that sent sophomore infielder Cylie Halvorson home. 

SDSU scored in every inning of play besides the second as they scored 20 runs to the Coyotes’ zero. This game ended in five innings due to the Run Rule. 

The Jackrabbits only allowed two hits the entire game. Jackrabbits’ sophomore pitcher Grace Glanzer pitched four innings striking out seven-of-the-13 batters she faced. 

The Coyotes’ pitching staff went through three different pitches trying to stop SDSU’s offense. Freshman Kynlee Marquez started in the circle for USD, pitching two innings allowing nine earned runs. Marquez also allowed seven hits. 

Sophomore Macy Schroedermeier followed Marquez, as she pitched 1.2 innings, allowing seven hits and having the only strikeout against SDSU. 

The final pitcher for USD was senior Grace Garcia. She only pitched 1.1 innings allowing two hits and three earned runs. 

The rubber match between the teams was Sunday, March 4. 

Edwards was back in the circle for the Coyotes and Glanzer was the starter for the Jackrabbits.

SDSU scored the first point in the second inning on a fielder’s choice. The Jackrabbits continued scoring in the second on a walk sending freshman infielder Mia Jarecki to home plate and giving SDSU a 2-0 lead after two innings. 

The Jackrabbits did not stop scoring in the second as Carrillo put another ball over the fence giving the Jackrabbits a 3-0 advantage. 

The Coyotes tried to force a late comeback having a run scored in the bottom of the sixth inning. Junior catcher Jordyn Pender grounded out to second which allowed Wilson to cross home plate. 

SDSU was not done scoring as sophomore Lindsey Culver was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded.  

The Coyotes’ offense was not enough in the bottom of the seventh innings and they were unable to put anymore points on the board, losing to the Jackrabbits 4-1. 

With this win for the Jackrabbits, they win the series 2-1 and they add another point in the SD Corn Showdown between USD and SDSU. The Coyotes still lead the series 9-7 with only seven points left to be claimed. 

USD’s record moves to 18-16 overall and 3-3 in conference play. The 3-3 record has the Coyotes sitting in third place in a four way tie with Omaha, Western Illinois and St. Thomas. 

South Dakota’s next game will be in St. Paul, Minnesota against Summit League newcomer St. Thomas. There will be a double header on Saturday, April 9 and the rubber match on April 10.