NDSU Softball Makes it Two Straight vs. Ranked Opponents, Beats South Alabama
North Dakota State University scored four times in the top of the sixth inning to defeat No. 21-ranked University of South Alabama 7-3 on Friday, April 24, in the first of three games before 267 spectators at Jaguar Field.
NDSU (37-8) and South Alabama (32-9) are scheduled to play a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25. The Bison improved to 3-2 against nationally-ranked teams this season and have won eight of the last 19 meetings.
With the game tied 3-3, Amanda Grable led off the sixth inning with a single. Pinch-runner Joei Samper advanced to second on Alyssa Reina’s bunt single and scored on Alex Sobrero’s RBI single to right field.
Jackie Stifter was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Reina was forced at home, Jenna Isbel reached on a fielder’s choice to chase Sobrero home. Cheyenne Garcia delivered a two-out single up the middle to knock in Maritza Lopez-Portillo and Stifter.
Krista Menke (27-3) shut down South Alabama over the final two innings to record the win. The Jaguars had two on with two outs in the seventh, but Menke induced a pop out to end the game. She struck out nine, walked three and hit two batters.
Menke had to work out of a pair of one-out bases-loaded jams in the third and the fourth innings. She struck out a pair to end the third, and then used a fly out and pop out to end the fourth.
North Dakota State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Garcia led off with a single, stole second and scored on Reina’s double down the left field line. Reina stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Garcia and Reina each had two hits for the Bison.
South Alabama answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to knot the score at 2-2. The Jaguars took advantage of an error, Steph Pilkington’s run-scoring single and Chloe Rathburn sacrifice fly.
The Bison regained the lead at 3-2 in the top of the third inning on Logan Moreland’s two-out solo home run to right center. It was Moreland’s fourth home run of the season.
USA answered with a long ball of its own in bottom of the fifth inning on Amanda Minahan’s two-out home run to left center.
Farish Beard (8-3) and Kalen McGill pitched for South Alabama with Beard picking up the loss. Beard struck out eight and walked one over the first five-plus innings, while McGill struck out two and had no walks.
Emily Messer and Pilkington each had two hits for USA.