FARGO, N.D. – No. 5 Omaha defeated No. 4 South Dakota 8-5 and No. 6 IPFW upended No. 3 Western Illinois 9-3 as the Summit League Softball Championship got underway Wednesday at Ellig Sports Complex.
Today, the Mavericks (19-29) face top-seeded North Dakota State (30-17) at noon and the Mastodons (19-33) take on second-seeded South Dakota State (32-14) at 2:30 p.m. The losers play an elimination game at 5 p.m.
The Bison and Mavericks split a weather-shortened series on April 5 in Omaha, Neb. The Jackrabbits swept a three-game set from the Mastodons on April 21-22 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
• Omaha 8, South Dakota 5
The Mavericks scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning – Savannah Fisher had a two-run single and Emma Dargy added an RBI hit – to beat the Coyotes.
Dargy went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and two RBIs.
Jessica Nelson also finished 3-for-4 and Aubrey Hacke was 3-for-5 with a two-bagger. Faith Romero added a two-run single during UNO’s three-run first inning.
Sydney Hampton (11-12) threw three hitless innings of relief to pick up the win, striking out a batter and walking one. Hacke, the starter, gave up five runs – four earned – on nine hits over the first four frames.
USD pulled even at 3-all in the third and again rallied in the fifth with two runs to knot things up at 5-5.
The Coyotes’ Jessica Rogers doubled, singled and drove in three runs. Alyssa Fernandez was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Christy Warnock homered and singled, and Lauren Eamiguel tripled.
Sarah Lisko, the second of three USD pitchers, gave up five runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts and a walk in 5 1/3 innings as she took the loss. Starter Alexis Devers lasted just two-thirds of an inning.
There was a 52-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the second inning.
South Dakota finished the second with a 17-38 record.
OMAHA 8, SOUTH DAKOTA 5
UNO 300 113 0 – 8 17 1
USD 102 020 0 – 5 9 1
• IPFW 9, Western Illinois 3
Bailey Benefiel pitched a six-hitter and the Mastodons used a pair of four-run innings to take down the Leathernecks.
Benefield allowed three runs while striking out four batters and walking two.
Maria Palmegiani finished 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and a pair of RBIs.
Courtney Holm tied the game at 2-all with an RBI single in the top of the fifth. Stephanie Hanic followed with a three-run double to make it 5-2.
WIU got one run back in the fifth, but IPFW pulled away with four more runs in the seventh.
Morganne Denny added a pair of hits.
The Leathernecks’ Sydney Hollings hit a home run. Jasmine Lara was 2-for-3.
Emily Ira gave up five runs – one earned – on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 4 2/3 innings in the loss.
Only four of IPFW’s nine runs were earned.
Western Illinois, which topped the standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season, concluded the year with a 17-31 mark.
IPFW 9, WESTERN ILLINOIS 3
IPFW 010 040 4 – 9 11 1
WIU 011 010 0 – 3 6 2