Late rally lifts SDSU in weekend finale

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – South Dakota State softball stormed back from an eight-run deficit in the final two innings to claim a 19-12 victory over Green Bay Sunday in its final game of the UNI Dome Tournament.

SDSU (2-3) scored 15 unanswered, including an 11-run sixth inning in the comeback win, shaking off a slow start to close the weekend on high note.

Julia Andersen, Abbey Murphy, Brittney Morse, Mallory McQuistan and Baily Janssen all had two hits for the Jackrabbits, as Andersen (two doubles) and McQuistan (three-run home run) led the team with four RBIs each.

Murphy, who had a triple and a walk, was close behind at three runs driven in, while Morse had a home run and Ali Herdliska (who also doubled), McQuistan and Erin Mullen led the way with three runs scored each.

Madison Hope (2-0) picked up the win, tossing the final three frames in shutout fashion. She struck out three and allowed only one hit and one run.

Taylor Compton started and threw into the second before Kendra Conard replaced her, though Compton re-entered in the fourth and closed that inning. For the game, Compton finished with two total innings pitched, allowing nine runs (six earned) with three strikeouts. Conard was tagged for just one earned run (three total) and struck out two.

Scoreless through one, SDSU found itself in a 6-0 home when Green Bay took advantage of a four-hit, two-error top of the second.

The Jackrabbits answered in the bottom of the frame to stay within striking distance, cutting the deficit in half (6-3) thanks in part to a two-out double from Andersen.

Both teams scored a run in the third, keeping the Jackrabbit deficit at three (7-4). SDSU’s run came on a Murphy triple, scoring Herdliska, who walked earlier in the inning.

The Phoenix pulled away over the next two innings, however, with three runs in the fourth and another two in the top of the fifth to put the game in run-rule territory.

Needing offense to keep the game going, Herdliska started the Jacks off with a double in the fifth, taking third on a wild pitch before Morse sent a 2-1 pitch over the right center wall for a two-run shot.

Down 12-6 at that point, State kept the momentum rolling and loaded the bases on consecutive one-out singles from McQuistan and Mullen and a walk from Janssen. Paige Gerdes picked up an RBI in the next at-bat with a pinch-hit walk, and Andersen drove in her third run of the day on a fielder’s choice to make it 12-8.

Hope sent Green Bay down in order in the top of the sixth, and SDSU’s bats picked up where they left off in its final offensive inning.

Herdliska reached on an error and took second to begin the inning, wheeling around to third when Morse doubled into right center. A walk from Murphy loaded the bases, and McQuistan was hit by a pitch to send Herdliska home.

Mullen then lifted a ball to right that was misplayed by a Phoenix outfielder, allowing Dana Chavez (who pinch ran for Morse) and Murphy to scored and make it, 12-11.

With runners on second and third and no outs, State took the lead when Janssen poked a two-RBI single out to center before coming around to score herself after a Yanney Ponce sacrifice bunt and a ground-rule double from Andersen at the top of the order.

Ahead 14-12 at that point, Lyndsey Crist (walk) and Morse (error) reloaded the bases for SDSU alongside Andersen, and Murphy’s single up the middle pushed two more across. 

The scoring closed when McQuistan stepped up with two runners on, sending a 1-1 pitch past the center field fence to give State a 19-12 advantage, where it stayed as Hope ended any threat of a Phoenix answer with a quick seventh.

Game Notes: South Dakota State broke the 15-run mark for the first time since April 30, 2016 when the team defeated Fort Wayne, 16-2... Julia Andersen and Mallory McQuistan both set career-highs in runs batted in... The Jackrabbits are now 8-19 all-time at the UNI Dome Tournament.

Up Next

South Dakota State returns to action next weekend, Feb. 16-18, with a trek to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Osprey Invitational.


 Northern Iowa 5, SDSU 2

The Jackrabbits took an early lead and put runners on in every inning but fell to the host Panthers. 

Hope allowed two runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings before Compton (0-2) entered and threw the final 3 2/3 frames, getting tagged for three runs in the loss.

Herdliska launched her first home run of the season, while Murphy and Janssen led the team with two hits each.

UNI’s Sammey Bunch homered and doubled, while Tianna Drahn added two hits and two RBIs. Tied at 2, the Panthers scored a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Jaclyn Spencer pitched a complete game to pick up the win.


 Drake 10, SDSU 2 (6 inn.)

The Bulldogs opened up a 7-0 lead after two innings and finished the game with 17 hits.

Sarah Maddox drove in four runs and Macy Johnson went 4-for-5. Nicole Thomas pitched a complete game and struck out eight batters.

Murphy, Andersen, Herdliska and Mullen had hits for the Jacks.

Compton (0-3) took the loss in the circle.

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