Softball wraps up weekend with two wins

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CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Jackrabbit softball team wrapped up its spring break trip with two more wins Saturday, taking down Providence, 4-1, and Central Connecticut State, 5-1.

South Dakota State improved to 19-5 on the season and capped the week-long stay in the Sunshine State with a 9-1 mark.

 South Dakota State 4, Providence 1

Morgan DeMarais (5-1) threw four complete innings, allowing one run while scattering four hits and one walk. She struck out one before Taylor Compton entered in relief. Compton pitched the final three innings to earn the save in shutout fashion with three strikeouts.

Mallory McQuistan was 2-for-3 on the day with a pair of doubles, racking up three RBIs to lead the offense.

Baily Janssen (RBI) and Megan Rushing each had a pair of singles in the win, and Ali Herdliska was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Jackrabbits built a 2-0 lead in the first, using a McQuistan double to strike first. Herdliska (walk) and Rushing (single) reached with two outs, setting the stage for the Jackrabbit catcher to drive both runs in.

Providence got one back in the third and threatened for more by loading the bases in the fifth, but the Jackrabbit defense worked out of the jam to hold the advantage.

SDSU tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth, creating some breathing room behind another McQuistan double and a single from Janssen.

The Friars put a runner on in the bottom of the seventh, but Compton and the Jackrabbits racked up three quick outs to seal the win.

 South Dakota State 5, Central Connecticut State 1

Kendra Conard improved to 6-0 in the weekend finale, throwing five innings of one-run ball with a strikeout. Compton picked up save No. 4 on the year in relief, throwing the final two frames in shutout fashion with two strikeouts.

Yanney Ponce was 2-for-3 on the day with a triple and an RBI, as five other Jackrabbits recorded a hit. Julia Andersen, Erin Mullen, Allison Yoder and Janssen drove in runs for SDSU.

Central Connecticut took a 1-0 lead in the first, but saw its offense go stagnant from there as the Jackrabbits locked down defensively. SDSU turned two double plays in the game and allowed only one runner to reach scoring position the final six innings.

The Jacks took control with a three-run fourth inning, using a pair of walks, two hits and a Blue Devil error in the rally. Herdliska (walk), Rushing (error) and Crist (walk) loaded the bases with one out for Yoder, whose fly ball to center was deep enough to plate Herdliska.

The Jacks tacked on another run when Janssen sent a single to the left-center gap, and after Crist stole third in a two-out situation, Ponce brought another run in with a single of her own.

That score held until the seventh, when the Jacks added two more runs to go up 5-1. Allison Beaudry started the frame with a pinch-hit single, wheeling around to third when Daugherty notched an bunt single before an overthrow at the bag pushed her to second.

Beaudry beat a throw to the plate on an Andersen ground ball in the next at-bat, and two batters later Mullen worked a bases-loaded walk for the fifth run of the afternoon.

Up Next

South Dakota State heads for Kansas City next weekend for four games. Originally scheduled to play in Omaha, Neb., the weekend showcase was shifted to Kansas City’s campus due to wintry weather in the region. SDSU will take on Creighton and Kansas City on Saturday at noon and 5 p.m., respectively. Sunday’s schedule features the Jackrabbits against the Bluejays at 11 a.m. before the weekend finale against the ‘Roos at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Saturday’s action at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase featured a pair of Jackrabbit softball victories, as South Dakota State defeated Colgate, 8-0, and Army, 5-1.

 South Dakota State 8, Colgate 0 (Five innings)

Kendra Conard (5-0) tossed four complete innings in the win, allowing just two hits without walking a batter. She struck out one and faced just one over the minimum. Jadelyn Johnson tossed the fifth and had a strikeout.

Julia Andersen and Allison Beaudry each had a single and a home run. Megan Rushing added a three-run blast of her own alongside a walk and Peyton Daugherty had a double.

Scoreless through one, the Jacks blew the game open with a seven-run second inning. Beaudry opened the scoring with a solo home run and Kelsey Lenox followed with a single. Two outs later, Daugherty doubled to push Lenox to third, and both scored on Andersen’s single. After Ali Herdliska drew her 97th career walk, Rushing sent a 3-1 pitch over the wall for a three-run home run.

Ahead 6-0 at that point, Lindsey Crist kept the offense rolling with a single before racing around the basepaths on Beaudry’s second hit of the inning.

That score held until the fourth, when Andersen hit her third home run of the week to put the Jacks in run-rule territory, where it stayed the rest of the way.

• South Dakota State 5, Army 1

Emma Hardin (2-1) started and tossed 5.1 innings in the win, scattering seven hits and a walk with one run allowed. She struck out four before Taylor Compton entered in relief, earning the save over 1.2 innings pitched. Compton did not allow a baserunner.

Kerigan Torres was 3-for-3 on the afternoon with a triple and an RBI, while Andersen drove in a pair with another triple.

Ponce had a pair of hits as she and Herdliska drove in the other two Jackrabbit runs.

SDSU manufactured a 2-0 lead in the second, pulling together a two-out rally with four consecutive singles from Beaudry, Baily Janssen, Yanney Ponce and Kerigan Torres.

The Jackrabbits tacked on another run in the third, going up 3-0 on the Black Knights. Daugherty opened the frame with a single, and after moving to third as Andersen reached on an error, trotted home as Rushing sent a ball into center.

Army got one back in the fourth, but South Dakota State added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh to go up four (5-1). Ponce and Torres started the burst with a back-to-back singles, and with two gone in the frame Andersen roped a two-RBI triple to the left-center gap.

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