AMES, Iowa -- The Jackrabbit softball team saw their 2019 season come to an end Saturday at the National Invitational Softball Championship, falling 4-1 to Purdue in an elimination game.
South Dakota State ends the season at 37-19 overall, matching the most wins in its Division I history while qualifying for postseason play for the second-consecutive year.
Nine seniors played for the final time a Jackrabbit uniform: Ali Herdliska, Julia Andersen, Mallory McQuistan, Yanney Ponce, Megan Rushing, Lyndsey Crist, Baily Janssen, Kerigan Torres and Erin Mullen.
Kendra Conard (18-7) started and threw into the third, allowing three runs on three hits with a strikeout. Emma Hardin threw 3.2 frames of relief, scattering four hits and a walk with three strikeouts and one run allowed.
McQuistan led the Jackrabbit offense with a two-hit effort, while Ponce, Andersen and Peyton Daugherty added singles. Herdliska and Janssen drew two walks apiece, as Herdliska furthered her hold on SDSU's single-season and career free pass records.
Scoreless through two and a half innings, Purdue jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third behind a trio of one-out hits and a Jackrabbit error, and pushed it to 4-0 with a two-out single in the sixth.
Down to their final chance, the Jackrabbits loaded the bases with one out and scratched a run across on McQuistan's RBI single, but could not pull off the comeback.
McQuistan, Herdliska and Andersen were named to the NISC Ames Regional All-Tournament Team.