CLEARWATER, Fla. – South Dakota State softball split a pair of games Friday at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase.
The Jackrabbits opened the day with a 7-2 victory over Saint Francis before falling in a heartbreaker, 5-4, to Penn State.
The Penn State loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for SDSU, the longest for a Jackrabbit team since 1996. State is now 15-5 overall with a 5-1 mark on its spring break trip.
• South Dakota State 7, Saint Francis 2
Kendra Conard (4-0) tossed her second complete game of the week, scattering four hits and four walks with two runs allowed. She struck out two as well.
Julia Andersen led the way offensively with pair of RBIs and three runs scored, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run home run and a walk. Ali Herdliska was 3-for-4 with a home run of her own.
Mallory McQuistan, Lyndsey Crist, Yanney Ponce and Caelyn Christiancy each had a hit and an RBI for the Jackrabbits.
Down 1-0 after the top of the first, Andersen turned a first-inning walk into a run by stealing second and wheeling around to score on McQuistan’s single up the middle.
The Jackrabbits broke the tie in the third with another Andersen run, as the senior poked a single to center, moved up on Herdliska’s first hit of the morning contest and dashed home as Crist tallied an RBI single.
Saint Francis answered with a run in the top of the fourth, but Andersen’s home run put State ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the inning.
Crist began the fifth inning with another Jackrabbit free pass, and after stealing second moved up to third base when the Red Flash committed an error. Ponce reached on fielder’s choice during that play, and Christiancy cleared the bases with her third double of the year.
State tacked on one more in the sixth with Herdliska’s solo shot to make it 7-2, then sat SFU down in order in the seventh to win its 10th straight game.
• Penn State 5, South Dakota State 4
Morgan DeMarais (5-1) threw all 6.2 innings and struck out four. She did not walk a batter.
Daugherty and Andersen each had three hits, as Daugherty doubled and Andersen homered for the second game in a row. Herdliska had a double and an RBI as well while drawing two walks.
The Jackrabbits struck first, building a 1-0 lead in the opening frame as Daugherty (double), Andersen (single) and Herdliska (RBI double) led off for the Jacks. The advantage was short-lived, however, as Penn State responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first.
That score held until the third, when again the top of SDSU’s lineup provided some pop. Daugherty opened the inning with a single before Andersen blasted a two-run home run to right center.
The Jacks added another in the sixth with a two-out rally. After loading the bases with Daugherty (hit-by-pitch), Andersen (single) and Herdliska (walk), the Jackrabbits made it 4-2 when Paige Gerdes entered as a pinch hitter. After falling behind in the count, 0-2, Gerdes battled back to draw an RBI walk.
Penn State would not wilt, however, and rallied in the bottom of the seventh for three runs, walking off with the 5-4 victory to snap SDSU’s winning streak.
South Dakota State continues its stay at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase on Saturday.
The Jackrabbits will play Colgate at 8:30 a.m. before a 1:30 p.m. contest against Army.