IOWA CITY, Iowa – South Dakota State softball fell victim to a seventh-inning rally Friday at the Hawkeye Invitational, dropping a 6-2 contest to Northern Illinois.
SDSU (12-15) had three hits, led by Mallory McQuistan, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Abby Deane (6-9) took the loss, pitching 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and six runs allowed before Madison Hope entered to close the seventh.
Down 1-0 after the first, SDSU took advantage of a pair of NIU errors to tie it up in the second. Danielle Steffo drew a leadoff walk before moving to second on McQuistan's bunt single and third when the Huskies had an overthrow at first. Another error put Erin Mullen on first as State loaded the bases, and Baily Janssen worked a free pass to earn an RBI and plate Steffo.
The Jacks manufactured another run in the third to take a 2-1 lead behind McQuistan's RBI single. NIU's third error of the day allowed Lyndsey Crist to reach safely in the leadoff spot, and she moved to second on Ali Herdliska's sacrifice bunt. Later in the inning, with two gone, McQuistan took a pitch into right center as Crist wheeled home, putting SDSU up one.
The Jackrabbits limited the Huskies' offense until the seventh, when down to its last chance, NIU put up a five-run inning to take a 6-2 lead. State looked to answer in the bottom of the inning, but came up short in the weekend's opening game.
South Dakota State continues its stay at the Hawkeye Invitational on Saturday, taking on Creighton and Iowa at Noon and 4 p.m., respectively.