FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- KK Leddy threw her first career no-hitter as North Dakota State turned back South Dakota State by the score of 5-0 in game one, then Paige Vargas followed with a 1-0 shutout of her own as the Bison earned a pair of Summit League wins on a cold and windy Sunday, April 14, before 306 spectators at Tharaldson Park.
NDSU (30-11, 8-0 SL) extended their winning streak to 20 games and reached 30 wins for the 12th time over the past 13 seasons. The Bison close out the three-game series with South Dakota State (25-12, 4-4 SL) at 12 noon Monday, April 15.
Leddy, a senior right-hander from Middleburg, Fla., has flirted with a no-hitter several times this season. She carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Purdue on March 16, but the Boilermakers broke up the bid with a two-out single.
North Dakota State's defense was on point behind Leddy. Left fielder Madyson Camacho snared a line drive to start the third and shortstop Montana DeCamp came through to end the third frame. Center fielder Katie Shoultz chased down a cannon shot to the track in left center to start the fifth inning.
Leddy (16-6) threw 108 pitches including 67 for strikes. She struck out five and walked three to record the 31st no-hitter in school history and the first since May 11, 2018, when Jax Sertic did the same against SDSU in the Summit League tournament.
South Dakota State pitcher Kendra Conard matched Leddy stride for stride over the first 5-plus innings. NDSU didn't get its first hit until a Cara Beatty single with one out in the fifth inning. Conard (9-2) allowed four hits and struck out one before giving way to Emma Hardin in the sixth.
The Bison did their scoring in the bottom of the sixth. DeCamp was hit by pitch and advanced to second on a Shoutlz infield single. Camacho reached on an error to load the bases. DeCamp then scored on a fielder's choice. Maddie Hansen and Cara Beatty both delivered two-run singles to extend the lead to 5-0. Beatty finished with two hits.
South Dakota State had runners on base in each inning in the second game including a runner in scoring position in three, but Vargas and North Dakota State worked around the company to strand 10 runners.
NDSU scored the game's only run in the bottom of the third. Vanessa Anderson doubled to left center, advanced to second on a Sam Koehn sacrifice bunt and scored on an error. Anderson finished with a pair of doubles.
The Jackrabbits threatened in the top of the seventh. Kerigan Torres reached on an error and advanced to second on Peyton Daugherty's single up the middle. The turning point came next as Bison left fielder Camacho grabbed a shoe-top line drive and alertly threw to second baseman Nicole Licea to complete the double play. Ali Herdliska walked, but Vargas got the final out on a pop out in the infield. Herdliska led SDSU with two hits.
Vargas (11-4) scattered six hits, struck out and walked three to record her third shutout of the season. Morgan DeMaris (6-3) took the loss. DeMaris allowed four hits, struck out one and issued no walks.