College Softball

Jackrabbits shut out Coyotes to advance in Summit League Tournament

By Andrew Holtan

The Brookings Register

Posted 5/9/24

South Dakota State opened the Summit League Softball Tournament with a shutout victory over South Dakota on Thursday.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
College Softball

Jackrabbits shut out Coyotes to advance in Summit League Tournament


BROOKINGS – South Dakota State opened the Summit League Softball Tournament with a shutout victory over South Dakota on Thursday.

SDSU (31-20) is the top-seed in the tournament and the Jackrabbits beat the No. 4 seeded Coyotes 7-0 on a beautiful day at the Jackrabbit Softball Complex. SDSU was highly motivated heading into its first tournament game this year as the Jacks lost last year’s tournament opener to the Coyotes.

Jackrabbit head coach Kristina McSweeney said her team wanted to prove a point in their first game of the conference tournament and get some momentum going for the rest of the weekend.

“I thought with our performance today we set a tone. That was our big thing today. Setting a tone and not overlooking this opponent. We needed to do good today in order to be able to get that momentum going into tomorrow,” McSweeney said.

Senior pitcher Tori Kniesche pitched a complete game and it was her 11th shutout of the season. She gave up two hits and had six strikeouts and no walks.

Kniesche gave up two runs in each of her final two starts of the regular season and McSweeney said Kniesche wanted to get back on track in the tournament opener.

“She settled right in. It was a character game for her. Obviously there was a lot of emotion going into this after not finishing the year the way she wanted to, but it just goes to show what a true Jackrabbit she is,” McSweeney said.

Neither team scored in the first two innings and the Jackrabbits broke the game open in the bottom of the third with six runs. Madi Conklin walked to start the inning. Cheyanne Masterson then reached on an error and Mia Jarecki walked to load the bases with no outs. Emma Osmundson then came to the plate and ripped a single up the middle and that scored two runs.

Lindsey Culver followed the Osmundson single with a double off of the center field wall and the Jacks led 4-0. Rozelyn Carrillo would then fly out to right field and that advanced Culver to third. Brooke Dumont then put the suicide squeeze on as Culver scored on a sacrifice bunt. Jocelyn Carrillo followed that with a solo home run that went over the center field wall and the Jacks took a 6-0 lead heading into the fourth.

McSweeney said the big third inning was a result of her batters making adjustments at the plate.

“[Our hitters] just made adjustments and were coachable. They took very good instruction from me. We made some adjustments in the box and moved them up a little bit and then they were able to hit it in play a little bit. It’s all about making adjustments at this time of the year,” McSweeney said.

SDSU added another run in the fifth. Rozelyn Carrillo hit a double into the right center gap with one out and Dumont followed with a single through the right side of the infield and that made it 7-0 heading into the sixth.

Kniesche retired 15 of the final 16 batters of the game and improved to 16-6 on the season. She picked up her 900th career strikeout in the victory.

The Jacks had six hits as a team. Osmundson and Culver were each 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Dumont was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and Jocelyn Carrillo was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Rozelyn Carrillo was 1-for-2.

McKenna Young picked up the loss for the Coyotes and dropped to 5-8 on the season. She gave up seven runs, four earned, on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

SDSU will take on Omaha on Friday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to Saturday’s championship game. The Mavericks took two of three against the Jacks this past weekend.

McSweeney said if the Jacks play like they did on Thursday they will be able to keep the momentum going.

“We have to stay confident and do what we do well, and we have to control what we do really well. Which is staying in the zone and not trying to swing out of the zone and we don’t try to overpower hitters. We have to attack the strike zone and that’s when we’re successful,” McSweeney said.