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CSB: Northern State Tops Upper Iowa In Unusual Sioux Falls Home Game

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  – After a delay of a day due to rain and a travel of three hours to Sioux Falls for a set of home games, the Northern State softball team picked up right where they left off after sweeping Upper Iowa University on Monday afternoon.


The Wolves took game one 11-8 behind 15 Wolves hits in 32 at bats and took game 2 by a 3-0 score and another Kelli Bornander gem.


The Wolves improved to 23-21, continuing to boost their school record for wins in a season, while sitting 12-8 in the NSIC. The Peacocks fell to 16-31 and 8-12 in the loop.


Game 1 featured 3-4 efforts from the top two spots in the order as Caitlin Moran also scored three runs while Brittany Huback picked up five RBI’s including a blast to left field in the fifth inning.


The Wolves put a run across the plate first as Caitlin Moran singled into centerfield, stole second base and scored on a Kelsey Robling double that hit the centerfield fence.


Upper Iowa came back in the top of the second putting three runs across the plate on five hits.


Facing the 3-1 deficit, the Wolves responded with three runs on four hits to take the 4-3 lead, highlighted by a Brooke Norris triple into left center scoring Rachel South and Ashley Gabler.


The Wolves exploded for five more runs in the bottom of the third, sending nine batters to the plate on six hits. Morgan Schultz and Huback each picked up two RBI in the inning while Moran picked up the fifth. 

The top of the fifth flexed some drama for the Wolves as the Peacocks picked up five runs, all unearned, on four hits and an error to close the gap at 9-8.


Huback put an end to any Peacock thoughts at a comeback as she drilled a line drive two-run home run over the left field fence to give the final score of 11-8 as Kami Smesmo pitched flawlessly the final two innings for the victory.


Smesmo’s complete game effort awarded her the win as she gave up 8 runs, only 3 of which were earned, on 11 hits.


Game 2 featured a pitchers dual, in which Bornander proved to be more dominant in picking up her third shutout in four starts. Bornander limited the Peacocks to just two hits while striking out four enroute to her sixth straight win.


Northern State picked up two runs on two hits in the first inning as Moran reached base on a bloop single into left field. The NSIC leader in stolen bases stole her second base of the day and scored on a wild pitch. The second run crossed the plate as Whitney Luhring reached on a fielder’s choice as Huback avoided the tag from the catcher to score the run.


The Wolves tacked on another run in the second inning using small ball. Gabler walked and was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt from Norris. Gabler advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Morgan Schultz sacrifice fly into left field.


That was all the offense either team would muster up in the 3-0 win.


The Peacocks came inches to a run in the top of the sixth as Bailey Haberman hit a fly ball into deep center that Gabler ran back on, stuck her glove up at the last second while running into the fence to make the catch. As she ran into the fence, her glove dangled over the fence to steal the home run and help secure the shutout.


Over her last six starts, Bornander has a 1.67 ERA pitching 42 innings and striking out 24. 

Offensively, Huback picked up two more hits and a run scored to collect two of the Wolves three hits while Moran went 1-2 with a run scored and RBI.


The Wolves will host Minnesota-Duluth on Wednesday April 18 in a 1 p.m. double header at Moccasin Creek Field to close out the home portion of their schedule.  

Courtesy: Ryan Hilgemann

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