The Coyote softball team got their conference season started over the weekend, taking two of three games against the winner of seven of the last nine Summit League Championships, North Dakota State (NDSU).
In the first game of the weekend, NDSU was in the driver’s seat to win the game, but the Coyotes got a 5-4 walk-off win.
South Dakota freshman pitcher Clara Edwards gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the third to allow NDSU to build a 4-2 lead after three. Edwards settled in from the circle and didn’t allow a run for the rest of the game.
The Coyote offense pushed one run across in the first and another in the second before being held off the scoreboard until the seventh and final inning.
After Edwards sent NDSU down in the top of the seventh, the Coyotes loaded up the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning. Senior outfielder Courtney Wilson recorded a two-run single to tie the game and senior infielder Jadyn DeWitte recorded the game winning single off of an error.
The Bison won game two Saturday, 7-1, as NDSU controlled the game from the start, tallying four runs in the first inning.
The Coyotes scored a run in the fifth off a ground ball from senior infielder Lauren Eamiguel. The Coyotes did not score after. Junior pitcher Holly Fletcher came in to pitch four innings of relief for the Coyotes, giving up one run over four innings.
USD took the tiebreaker with an 8-1 win Sunday afternoon at Nygaard Field. The game was originally scheduled for 11 a.m., but due to cold temperatures, the start time was pushed back to 1 p.m.
With Edwards back in the circle for the Coyotes on Sunday, USD took control early and ran away with the 8-1 win and a 2-1 record for the weekend.
After neither team could rally an offense in the first inning, the Coyotes brought in four runs in the bottom of the second.
Trailing 4-0 heading into the sixth inning, the Bison pushed across a run to try and start a late game rally. Edwards worked her way out of the jam, and the rest of the team stepped up offensively, tacking on four more runs to put the Coyotes ahead 8-1.
With the 2-1 start to conference play, USD is tied with three other teams for the top spot in the conference after the first weekend. No team went undefeated, as USD, South Dakota State, Kansas City and St. Thomas each won two of their three games over the opening weekend.
The Coyotes resume their conference schedule at home this weekend, as they take on defending conference champion South Dakota State at Nygaard Field. The doubleheader Saturday starts at noon with a Sunday series finale scheduled for 11 a.m.