South Dakota State softball team splits on opening day

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The South Dakota State softball team earned a split on opening day of the 2019 season.

The Jackrabbits began the UNI Dome Tournament with a 6-0 victory over Saint Louis on Friday, before suffering a 7-3 setback against Southeast Missouri.

SDSU (1-1) takes on the Billikens again today at 8 a.m. followed by a 10:15 a.m. matchup with Drake – the latter game will air live on ESPN3. The Jackrabbits conclude the event facing the host Panthers on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

 SDSU 6, Saint Louis 0

Taylor Compton struck out six in a complete-game performance, taking a no-hit bid late into the sixth inning. She allowed just two hits and two walks, and faced three over the minimum for her second career shutout.

Yanney Ponce was 3-of-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Julia Andersen (double) and Ali Herdliska (walk) each had two hits and an RBI, while Allison Beaudry recorded a two-run double. Megan Rushing doubled, as well.

Six other Jackrabbits tallied hits in the game, including Mallory McQuistan, who also threw a runner out from behind the plate to end the second frame.

South Dakota State put a Jackrabbit on base in each inning, and defensively had five three-up, three-down frames.

Herdliska started the fourth with a single to left and moved to third as Rushing roped an 0-2 pitch into right for a ground-rule double.

After two quick outs put SDSU’s scoring chances in jeopardy, Beaudry sent the first pitch she saw into left center for a ground-rule double, pushing two Jackrabbits across home plate on her first career hit.

Ahead 2-0, State kept the offense moving with an infield single from Baily Janssen, and with runners on the corners a double-steal attempt saw Beaudry come home after a Saint Louis throwing error. A Ponce single in the next at-bat plated the Jackrabbits’ fourth run of the inning, and Andersen capped the scoring with her 30th career two-bagger, driving Ponce across for the fifth score of the day.

South Dakota State added one more in the sixth behind another two-out rally. Ponce tallied her third hit of the game on single up the middle and came around to score after an Andersen single and back-to-back walks by Allison Yoder and Herdliska.

Saint Louis ended the Jackrabbits’ no-hitter with a pair of singles in the sixth, but SDSU shut down the Billiken offense the rest of the way to close out the win.

• Southeast Missouri 7, SDSU 3

Brookings native Emma Hardin (0-1) started and threw 1 2/3 innings before Kendra Conard entered in the second. Hardin was tagged for five runs on six hits, while Conard threw 1 2/3 innings and gave up a pair of runs on three hits.

Morgan DeMarais threw the final 3 2/3 frames in shutout fashion, working around three hits and a walk while recording her first career strikeout.

Herdliska led the Jackrabbit offense with a 2-for-4 effort, hitting a two-run homer and driving in a third run with a single.

Rushing went 2-for-4, as well, for her 12th-career multi-hit game.

The Jackrabbits started fast, jumping out to a 2-0 lead off the bat of Herdliska in the first inning. Peyton Daugherty drew a one-out walk to send Herdliska to the plate, and the senior blasted a 1-0 pitch over the center field fence for her first home run of the year.

That lead was short-lived, however, as SEMO bounced back with a five-spot in the top of the second to go up 5-2. Claudia Gallo had an RBI double, while Parker Bandy and Rachael Donald added two-run singles.

Bandy roped a run-scoring triple in the third and Sarah Messex contributed an RBI hit in the fourth to put the RedHawks ahead 7-2.

SDSU got one back in the sixth after a one-out Andersen double set up Herdliska for a RBI opportunity, but that was as close as the Jackrabbits came the rest of the way.

Messex finished 3-for-4 and Bandy recorded three RBIs.

Haley Thogmartin gave up two runs on four hits and four walks with a strikeout in four innings to earn the win in the circle.

Notes: South Dakota State is 26-24 all-time in season openers and 7-9 at the Division I level. ... Herdliska hit her 33rd career home run and is now three away from breaking the Jackrabbit record of 35 held by Devan Larsen (2013-16). ... Compton won her 10th career game as a Jackrabbit.


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