Coyotes Take Finale & Series From Jackrabbits
USD Shuts Down SDSU 8-0
VERMILLION, S.D.—Megan Green pitched a two-hit shutout and Shelby Keil and Christy Warnock both hit two-run homers to lead South Dakota to a series-clinching, 8-0 win against South Dakota State Sunday at Nygaard Field.
The Coyotes (12-20, 3-3 Summit) took two out of three from the Jacks (14-23, 1-5) to earn a point in the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn. South Dakota leads the year-long series 9-7 with five matchups remaining.
Green (4-6) tossed her first collegiate shutout and was sensational in the series, earning two wins and pitching 11 scoreless innings while allowing just eight hits. She totaled 65 pitches is six innings Sunday, and allowed two singles against a lineup that produced 27 hits in two games Saturday.
“I really focused in practice and hitting my spots was key,” said Green. “I had my team behind me so I had no worries that they would make the plays.”
“She threw strikes, got ahead in the count and was effective at changing speeds,” added USD head coach Robert Wagner. “Hats off to her. That was her best game of the year. She has really pitched well and I’m glad she got the ball today and stepped up and did that job.”
One of defensive gems Green alluded to was a diving catch by Warnock in left center that saved a run and took away an extra-base hit by SDSU catcher Mallory McQuistan in the fourth to preserve a 4-0 lead.
Warnock was a triple away from the cycle Sunday. She singled and scored in the first inning, and after making the diving catch, she added a two-run double in the home half of the fourth to extend the Yotes’ lead to 6-0. Warnock ended the game in the sixth with a walk-off, two-run homer to left, which was her second blast of the season.
“It was nice to win the series,” said Wagner. “It was good weather, a good crowd, a good atmosphere, and I felt the team responded well.”
USD scored twice in each of the first two innings to set the tone. Keil smacked her third home run of the season in the first. Morgan Vasa delivered an RBI single down the left field line to chase Jack starter Ashlyn Bender in the second, and Jamie Holscher welcomed reliever Madison Hope with a base hit up the middle for a four-run advantage.
“Shelby’s home run was a big shot in the arm,” said Wagner. “It’s a big boost, especially after yesterday with an emotional win and then kind of a downer loss. And so jumping ahead in the first inning was a good jumpstart for us.”
South Dakota has won 16 of 19 from its rival dating back to 2012. Freshman Camille Fowler was 5-for-9 during the series and is batting .550 thru two Summit weekends with eight runs and six RBIs. Warnock was 4-for-9 during the weekend and drove in six of the Coyotes’ 18 runs. Green has allowed one earned run in 14 innings pitched in Summit League play (0.50 ERA).
The Coyotes compete in a doubleheader against sixth-ranked Minnesota Tuesday in Minneapolis before returning to campus to host Omaha for a three-game series starting Saturday.