College Softball: NDSU Rolls Into First Place With Sweep Over Western Illinois

Bison Jacquelyn Sertic and KK Leddy threw back-to-back shutouts

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) — For the third straight Saturday, Jacquelyn Sertic and KK Leddy threw back-to-back shutouts as North Dakota State blanked Western Illinois by identical scores of 3-0 in a Summit League softball doubleheader played Saturday, May 5, before 260 spectators at the Ellig Sports Complex. The Bison moved into first place in the league standings as head coach Darren Mueller claimed career win No. 600.

NDSU (29-17, 9-3 SL) and Western Illinois (17-29, 9-5 SL) are scheduled to close out the three-game series at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 6. The Bison need to win to clinch the top seed in the league tournament that begins Wednesday, May 9, at the Ellig Sports Complex. South Dakota State is currently second with a 10-4 record in the league standings.

Jacquelyn Sertic (21-9) retired the first 12 batters in order and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning. Sertic worked out of trouble in the sixth with one out and two runners on base, but struck out the final two. She struck out 13 and walked a pair to complete her ninth shutout of the season.

Sertic also benefited from good defense including a diving catch by left fielder Madyson Camacho to end the fifth inning. Third baseman Julia Luciano also came up with a bunt attempt and rifled a throw to second baseman Zoe Stavrou to start the fourth.

North Dakota State did all of its scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. Zoe Stavrou and Bre Beatty both produced one-out singles. Vanessa Anderson then deposited a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence for a three-run run home run. It was Anderson’s team-leading sixth home run of the season.

Those were the only three hits Western Illinois starter Emily Ira (9-10) allowed. Ira struck out nine and walked three in taking the loss.

KK Leddy (7-7) turned in another solid performance and kept the hitters off-balance in the second game. Leddy struck out four, allowed only two hits and walked one in notching her fourth shutouts of the season.

NDSU did all of its scoring in the second inning. Luciano lined a RBI single to right center to score Stephanie Soriano. Dani Renner then came off the bench to line a two-run double to left field to score Montana DeCamp and Luciano. The Bison finished with nine hits including two each from Luciano and Stavrou.

Western Illinois pitcher Abby Carlin (2-8) settled down after the rocky second, but picked up the loss. Jasmine Lara and Payton Abbott had the base hits for the Fighting Leathernecks.

North Dakota State head coach Darren Mueller reached milestone win No. 600 with the game two victory. The Fargo native has a 600-332 record including 188-45 against Summit League competition in 17 seasons. The Bison have won eight league tournament and six league regular season titles

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