Bison Softball Picks Up Big Wins to Sweep Opening Day

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 10:07 PM CST
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (NDSU Athletics) – North Dakota State softball overcame early deficits in a pair of blowout victories Friday at the Santa Barbara Campus Diamond Kickoff to open up the 2022 season.

The Bison (2-0) first defeated Utah State 10-3 before taking down host UC Santa Barbara 17-2 to wrap up the first day of the event.

After a quick start from Utah State (0-1) with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, the Bison answered back strong with the next eight runs, including six in the top of the second, to take a commanding lead.

With two outs and two runners on, Emilee Buringa started a string of four consecutive RBI doubles by the Bison, followed up by Molly Gates, Dez Cardenas, and a two-RBI double from Cameryn Maykut. Two batters later, Carley Goetschius would single home the final run of the inning.

The Bison would add a couple more two-out runs in the third inning. Gates picked up her second RBI of the game with a single to score Nicole Licea. Gates then scored on another RBI double by Cardenas.

Utah State would add a run in the third on a wild pitch, but Paige Vargas closed out the final 4.1 innings scoreless for the win. Vargas finished with nine strikeouts on the afternoon, just one off of her career best.

Maykut led the Bison with three hits, including two doubles to go along with two RBIs. Four other Bison finished with multiple hits in the game, including two doubles each from Cardenas and Licea as well.

The Bison improved to 27-20 all-time in season openers and 11-4 in the Division I era against unranked opponents.

In game two on the day for NDSU, the Bison were trailing early again as UC Santa Barbara (0-2) scored the opening run in the bottom of the first.

After a scoreless second inning, Avery Wysong tripled home Maykut in the third to tie the game at 1-1. NDSU would add a bases loaded walk in the fourth before Wysong cleared the bases with a double off the wall to extend the Bison lead to 6-1 after four.

North Dakota State would then score at least 10 runs in an inning for the first time since scoring 10 against South Dakota in the second inning on May 8, 2015, as the Bison plated 11 runs in the sixth, ultimately triggering a run-rule victory.

Maykut had a bases clearing double to lead the way for the Bison in the inning, as seven different NDSU players had at least one RBI in the inning. Chloe Woldruff pick up two RBIs on a double for her first career hit and then scored the final run of the inning.

Mac Schulz allowed just two runs in the circle on five hits and a walk. She picked up two strikeouts and forced 11 groundouts to pick up the victory.

As a team, the Bison recorded 16 walks in the game, setting a new Division I era record. It’s the most for NDSU since the Bison drew 20 walks against Valley City State on April 20, 1991. The previous DI era record for NDSU was 14 at Georgia Tech on March 25, 2017.

NDSU’s 17 runs were the most for the Bison since 2016 when NDSU won 18-0 against DePaul in the Alabama Easton Crimson Classic on March 6, 2016. 17 runs is the fifth most in the Division I era for NDSU.

North Dakota State will play both teams again on Saturday, with a matchup against Utah State set for 11:30 a.m. CT and the second game of the day scheduled for 4 p.m. CT against UC Santa Barbara.

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