Sioux Falls Sweeps SMSU

Cougars Rally To Win Game One 3-2

With steady pitching and timely hitting, University of Sioux Falls Softball opened their conference schedule with a doubleheader sweep over Southwest Minnesota State on Tuesday evening. The Cougars (18-7, 2-0 NSIC) took game one, 3-2, behind Kerrigan Hoshaw’s complete game and Betsy Thomas’s game-clinching hit. In game two, Breanna Black worked out of a series of jams and USF used a three-run fourth inning to push past the Mustangs (4-15, 0-2 NSIC) in a 7-3 victory.

Game one: Sioux Falls 3, Southwest Minnesota State 2
Betsy Thomas hit a full-count single to centerfield to drive in the game-tying and game-winning runs as Sioux Falls defeated Southwest Minnesota State, 3-2, in both teams’ NSIC opener. Brooke Stetzler scored the game-winning run and tallied a game-high three hits while Kerrigan Hoshaw earned the complete-game victory behind eight strikeouts.

Hoshaw worked a perfect first inning and USF started their first at-bat with two singles, but couldn’t capitalize with the bases loaded. SMSU scored first in the second inning by string pair of hits together. Emily Hove tied the game with one swing of the bat, hitting her second homerun of the season to tie the game at 1-1.

Southwest Minnesota State pushed across a second run in the top of the third inning, taking a 2-1 lead on a ground-rule double by Makeznie Clouse. The Cougars went down in order in their next two trips to the plate, but Hoshaw was up to the test and didn’t allow a run past the first two innings.

Megan Peterson and Stetzler led off the bottom of the fifth inning with singles to start their rally. After a pair of flyouts, Thomas came through with a full-count single to centerfield, scoring Peterson and Stetzler, who each advanced via stolen base.

With a 3-2 lead, Hoshaw shut down the Mustangs, allowing one hit and a total of two baserunners in the final two innings. USF threatened with a trio of singles from Hove, Peterson and Stetzler, but the Cougars failed to add to their lead.

Hoshaw earned her ninth win of the season and threw all seven innings for her 10th complete game.

Game two: Sioux Falls 7, Southwest Minnesota State 3
Sioux Falls appeared in control after a three-run third inning, but Southwest Minnesota State battled back to tie the game before USF used another three-run inning to complete their sweep of the Mustangs with a 7-3 win. Breanna Black pitched six innings, allowing just one earned run, and Alyson Netty threw a perfect seventh inning to preserve the victory.

The Cougars went down in order in the first two innings and Black worked her way out of jams in the first two innings to keep the game in a scoreless tie. SMSU again registered the first tally of the game with an unearned run in the top of the third inning.

Brittany Hoffman started the Cougars’ retaliation in the bottom of the third, hitting a one-out double down the left field line. Megan Peterson singled to centerfield and Hoffman scored on an errant throw by the SMSU centerfielder to tie the game. Brooke Stetzler beat out a bunt single to give USF a pair of speedy baserunners. Shannon Daly drove in both runners with a single to centerfield and USF held a 3-1 lead after three innings.

Southwest Minnesota State tied the game in their next trip to the plate, scoring on a double steal and a wild pitch and throwing error for their second and third runs.

The Cougars wasted no time taking back the lead, scoring three more runs with three hits. Alyson Netty worked a leadoff walk and was replaced on first by pinch runner Brianna Painter. Emily Hove singled to centerfield to move Painter into scoring position. Haley Covais drove her in for the go-ahead run with a single through the left side. Britni Broussard replaced Covais on the base paths and after a Stetzler walk, she moved to second to join Hove in scoring position. On another full count, Danielle walker singled up the middle to score two runs for a 6-3 lead through four innings.

The Cougars tacked on one more run in the sixth inning after Black shut out SMSU. Peterson reached on an error by the Mustang first baseman. Stetzler singled to third base and Wlker loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Daly recorded her third RBI of the game with a single to right field for a 7-3 USF lead.

Continuing Black’s string of shutout innings, Netty forced three straight groundouts to close the game.

Sioux Falls heads to the road for doubleheaders at Northern State and MSU Moorhead on March 24 and 25, respectively.