Cougars Sweep Past Bemidji State
SIOUX CITY, IA — The University of Sioux Falls softball team returned to the win column on Sunday by sweeping an NSIC doubleheader with Bemidji State winning the first game 2-1 in nine innings and the second 6-5 Sunday afternoon at the Morningside Little League Complex in Sioux City, Iowa. The twinbill was moved to Sioux City because last week’s storms created unplayable conditions at Sherman Park, the Cougars’ home turf.
The Cougars improved to 11-17 overall (6-8 NSIC) while Bemidji State slipped to 7-26 (1-15, NSIC).
USF 2, BEMIDJI STATE 1 (9 INNINGS)
In the opening game, the Cougars scored one run on Kellen Dewey’s big two-out first inning single and senior Katie Larson’s fielder’s choice in the ninth sealed a 2-1 extra innings win when Shelby Thompson beat the tag at home plate.
Bailey Bouman and Samantha Kane led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles. Bouman was tagged out at second on a fielder’s choice, but Kane came around to score the Cougars’ first run on a two-out single up the middle by second baseman Kellen Dewey.
The 1-0 margin held up until the fifth inning, when BSU’s Molly Arola touched Cougar starter Bouman for a lead-off single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A passed ball gave Arola a free pass to third base and she would be doubled home on pinch hitter Lyndsey Peterson.
After both teams failed to score in the sixth and seventh innings, the Cougars had a great opportunity in the bottom of the eighth. A bad error by BSU’S third sacker allowed Naomi Tesar to reach second base and Erin Scott followed two batters with a base knock that put Cougars on the corners with one out. But the threat was diffused when Bouman grounded out to the pitcher and Kane lined out to second to end the inning.
Bouman sent the Beavers down in order in the top of the ninth and her teammates did the rest of the work. Thompson and Priscilla Quintana opened the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles and moved up with Dewey’s well-placed sacrifice bunt. With Thompson at third base, Larson was up next and she hit a ground ball to third base. The BSU fielder fired a bullet home, but Thompson beat the tag and USF walked off the field with a 2-1, nine-inning victory.
Bouman (5-5) worked all nine innings for USF, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts in the complete game win.
Her counterpart, BSU starter Allie Duellman (2-10) surrendered two runs on 11 hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Dewey finished 2-for-4 with one run batted in, while Quintana and Kane each went 2-for-5. Bouman has hit well when she was in the circle and that trend continued, as the Pipestone native went 2-for-3 and drew two base on balls.
The Cougars tallied 11 hits and left 14 runners stranded.
USF 6, BEMIDJI STATE 5
USF led 5-0 after five innings, only to see its lead erased when the Beavers rallied to tie the game with five runs in the top of the sixth. But USF left fielder Erin Scott delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning and USF pitcher Amanda Walters held the Beavers in check in the seventh to preserve the 6-5 victory and give the Cougars their first-ever sweep of an NSIC opponent.
In the first, Kane singled with one out and motored to third thanks to heads-up play on a throwing error by the left fielder. She crossed home plate via Thompson’s sacrifice fly before Quintana and Dewey followed with consecutive two-baggers that gave USF the 2-0 edge.
The Cougars extended their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth, scoring single runs courtesy of a second baseman’s error, RBI hit of the bat of backstop Betsy Thomas and a wild pitch. Dewey, Larson, Thomas and Reinke each notched singles from BSU pitcher Kelsey Saralampi.
The Beavers finally broke through in the sixth, when they rallied for five runs to tie the game. All the runs were of the earned variety and Nicole Dupay’s one-out, three-run homer did the majority of the damage. USF starter Amanda Walters showed great resilience after the moon shot, as she fanned the next two batters to end the inning.
Walters helped her own cause with a lead-off single in the Cougars’ half of the sixth. Thomas bunted her into scoring position and Reinke’s ground-out moved her to third. Scott drove her home with a two-out single that gave USF the 6-5 lead.
Walters (5-11) held the Beavers at bay in the seventh to preserve the 6-5 win. She allowed five runs on nine hits, striking out six and issued just one walk.
Dewey led the Cougars at the plate with a 2-for-3, RBI outing, while Thompson and Scott each registered an RBI. The game was one of the Cougars’ most balanced efforts of the season, with nine players accounted for USF’s 10 total hits.
USF will continue league play Monday in Sioux City with a double-header against Minnesota-Crookston. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls