Western Edges SDSU Softball In Home Finale
Two Teams Will Meet Again In Summit League Tournament Wednesday In Fargo
South Dakota State softball wrapped up its regular season with a hard-fought loss at home Sunday to Western Illinois, falling 3-2.
The Jackrabbits are 19-34 (6-12 Summit League) and will advance to The Summit League Tournament.
Ashlyn Bender started and tossed four scoreless, scattering five hits with a strikeout before Madison Hope (2-9) entered to start the fifth. Hope allowed three runs on six hits. Neither pitcher walked a Leatherneck.
Brittney Morse and Mallory McQuistan went 2 for 3 to lead the Jacks, as Morse had a double and McQuistan drove in one of two Jackrabbit runs. Abbey Murphy brought home the other run with a double of her own as one of six total Jacks to record a hit.
Scoreless through three, SDSU broke through in the bottom of the fourth to go up 1-0. With one gone, Morse smoked a double into the left center gap and Alexis Ray entered to pinch ran. In the next at-bat, McQuistan took a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and Ray raced home for the first run of the day.
After having rallies squashed through the first five frames, WIU broke through with the tying run in the sixth and took a 3-1 lead in the seventh behind three consecutive two-out hits.
Down to its final chance, South Dakota State pulled within one with a two-out rally of its own when Yanney Ponce singled and Murphy stroked a double off the right field wall, but a strikeout ended the comeback threat in the season finale.
South Dakota State earned the No. 6 for the 2017 Summit League Softball Tournament in Fargo, North Dakota, and will face No. 3 seed Western Illinois in a rematch of the final series Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., from Ellig Sports Complex. The winner advances to face No. 2 seed North Dakota State Thursday.