UND pushes league leaders to extras in Saturday doubleheader

VERMILLION, S.D. (UND Athletics) -- Serving as the home team in a road stadium for the second straight season, the University of North Dakota softball team dropped a pair of contests to South Dakota on Saturday afternoon in Vermillion.

The Fighting Hawks (19-26, 4-4 Summit League) pushed the league-leading Coyotes (27-18, 10-1 Summit League) to extra innings in Saturday’s opener, but were shutout in the finale to drop their first series in conference play this season.

GAME 1: South Dakota 9, North Dakota 6 (8)
UND rallied from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning, but saw South Dakota strike for three runs in the top of the eighth to rally for a 9-6 victory in the opening game on Saturday afternoon.

Kayleen Schneider continues to make her case as not only the league’s top freshman, but also the league’s top player as the rookie collected four hits and scored a pair of runs in five at-bats. Schneider brought home the fifth run of the game for the Fighting Hawks in the bottom of the seventh, but was not credited for an RBI as the run was unearned. Marina Marzolino, Angel Love, Jailene Carpio, and Lexi Mayhood all reached base multiple times in the opener with at least one hit and one walk. Mayhood also drove in a team-high two runs while Carpio added the third RBI for the Hawks.

Jannay Jones ran into some bad luck in her eight inning outing, surrendering nine runs (three earned) and 10 hits to be saddled with her 10th loss of the season. The rookie issued five walks but struck out four in the complete-game effort as she continues to lead the squad and rank near the top of the league rankings in innings pitched.

After South Dakota took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, UND answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame as Mayhood reached on an error with the bases loaded to score Jocelyn Kirk and knot the game at one. The Hawks still had the bases loaded with no outs in the inning, but could not scratch any more runs across.

Jones delivered a shutdown inning to get the Fighting Hawks right back to the plate and the green and white came through with a three-run outburst. Back-to-back walks to start the stanza followed by a two-out single loaded the bases for Mayhood where she smacked the first pitch she saw right back up the middle to give UND a 2-1 lead. Another error by the Coyotes to the very next batter brought home two more runs to push the advantage to three, 4-1, after a trio of innings.

South Dakota fought right back with a tetrad of runs in the top of the fourth and added a sixth tally in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. It didn’t take long for UND to strike back in the inning as Schneider cut the deficit to one with a single to right field to score Love before advancing to second on an error and a walk to Mayhood to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout put the Hawks down to their final out, Carpio came through with an RBI single to tie the game at six and send the game into extras.

In the eighth, the Coyotes scored a trio of runs and held off a UND threat in the bottom half of the frame to escape with the 9-6 win.

GAME 2: South Dakota 4, North Dakota 0
South Dakota used strong pitching and some clutch hitting to defeat the Fighting Hawks, 4-0, and clinch a series victory in the second game on Saturday afternoon.

UND was limited to just six hits in the contest, as Deja Miller led the way with a pair in a trio of at-bats, while USD was also held to just six knocks but turned it into four runs in the win.

Emily Rosas pitched well over seven innings of work, allowing just six hits, four runs, and three walks while also striking out a trio of hitters to fall to 6-6 on the season. The Coyotes received strong pitching, as Sarah Lisko failed to surrender a run or a walk while fanning three to earn her fifth win in 2019.

South Dakota took an early lead in the top of the first as a two-run triple quickly gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead before the Hawks could even record an out. Rosas settled down after the rocky start, however, getting the next five batters to keep UND down by just a pair entering the fourth.

USD added a run in the fourth and fifth to extend the lead to four, and UND could not mount a comeback in this one as the Coyotes sealed the Saturday sweep with a shutout victory.

North Dakota and South Dakota close out the three-game series on Sunday in Vermillion with an 11 a.m. scheduled first pitch.