USD softball moves into first in Summit League standings with sweep over Omaha

VERMILLION, S.D.—Dustie Durham was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and four RBIs and Alyssa Fernandez crossed home four times as South Dakota completed a three-game sweep of Omaha with a 9-1, six-inning win Sunday at Nygaard Field.

The Coyotes (25-18) have equaled their best start in the Summit at 8-1 and have a half-game lead over North Dakota State for first place in the standings. USD took all three games from Omaha (3-33, 1-8) for the second year in a row and have won seven of eight against the Mavericks dating back to 2017.

Jamie Holscher had two hits including a walk-off double down the left-field line that scored Fernandez from first. She drove in three runs during the series, pushing her league lead to 41. She has entered the top-10 for career RBIs at USD with 97, which is tied for ninth on the list. Holscher upped her average to an even .400 this season and is batting .483 (14-for-29) in Summit play at the halfway point.

Fernandez singled and scored in the first, drove in two runs with a base hit and came around to score in the second, reached on an error and scored on a Durham base hit in the fourth, and walked and scored the winning run in the sixth. She was 4-for-5 during the series with three walks and a hit by pitch. She leads the Summit with 34 runs scored this season.

Alexis Devers (10-9) allowed one hit thru four innings and got the win in the circle for the Coyotes. Her 10th victory ties Durham for second place in the conference. Durham pitched the last two innings, allowing a three-foot single, but facing the minimum six batters.

Durham's two-run homer off Omaha starter Halley Jones (0-9) in the first was her fifth of the season. In three games against the Mavericks, the senior was 7-for-9 with six RBIs. She had two more hits than Omaha posted in nine innings off the right hander. Durham allowed no runs, struck out nine and permitted five hits – all singles – in two appearances during the series.

South Dakota continues play at home with a three-game series against North Dakota next weekend. The teams will play a noon doubleheader Saturday followed by a single game at 11 a.m. Sunday.