SDSU, USD Split Softball Doubleheader

South Dakota State opened its weekend series against South Dakota with a 6-5 comeback victory Friday, but dropped game two of the day, 11-2, as the teams split the doubleheader.

The Jackrabbits are now 33-15 on the season with a 10-7 mark in Summit League play, while South Dakota is 31-23 (12-5 Summit League).

Game One: South Dakota State 6, South Dakota 5
Down to its final out, South Dakota State fought back from a five-run deficit to walk-off with a 6-5 win on Julia Andersen's RBI double. Ali Herdliska and Lyndsey Crist reached on walks early in the inning, but after a fielder's choice left the Jacks with runners on the corners with two gone, the outcome looked bleak against the rival Coyotes.

Yanney Ponce roped a single to left, though, for the first Jackrabbit RBI of the day, and after Janssen loaded the bases with a free pass, Erin Mullen and Paige Gerdes followed with back-to-back pinch RBI singles to make it 5-3.

Andersen's heroics followed in the next at-bat, when, with bases juiced she launched a 3-2 pitch to the right-center gap, clearing the bases before a mob of Jackrabbits met her to celebrate.

Kendra Conard (14-3) threw all seven innings for her ninth complete game of the season, allowing five runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in the win.

South Dakota State logged seven hits in the win, as Ponce was 2-for-3 and Andersen led the way with a trio of runs batted in

USD jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, the added three more in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. A wild pitch in the top of the seventh in helped the Coyotes plate one more to go up 5-0, but a no-quit approach and a final-frame rally from the Jackrabbits helped the home squad open the series with a victory.

Game Two: South Dakota 11, South Dakota State 2
Olivia Douglas (2-3) started but exited in the first after allowing four runs on three hits and a pair of walks. Morgan DeMarais entered in relief and threw the next six-plus frames, allowing seven runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts. Emma Hardin closed out the seventh with a strikeout.

Andersen went 3-for-4 in the game with a two-run home run and Peyton Daugherty was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Janssen added a hit while Crist and Allison Beaudry drew walks.

South Dakota came out swinging in the day's finale, putting the Jacks in a 4-0 hole after a first-inning grand slam.

Down 5-0 after the Coyotes added another in the top of the third, the Jacks looked to gain momentum from Andersen's two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, but saw USD respond in the seventh with a five-spot to go ahead, 11-2.

SDSU put a pair of runners on in the seventh inning, and had runners in all but one frame, but could not pull off the comeback for the second game in a row.

Game Notes
• Julia Andersen has 43 career doubles, extending her career-record for two-baggers.
• Kendra Conard is tied for 10th in the Jackrabbit single-season record books with 14 wins this year.
• A point in the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series is on the line Saturday in the series' rubber match. The Jackrabbits currently lead the Coyotes in the year-long competition by two points.

Up Next
South Dakota State and South Dakota face off in the regular season finale Saturday. First pitch from Jackrabbit Softball Stadium is 11 a.m.
-GoJacks.com-