USD softball stays undefeated at home with sweep over Omaha

VERMILLION, S.D.—One swing of the bat changed the entire complexion of South Dakota softball's doubleheader sweep of Omaha Saturday at Nygaard Field. The Coyotes won by scores of 5-4 and 4-0.

The Mavericks entered with just three wins on the season, but led the Coyotes 4-3 heading into the last half of the seventh inning of game one. South Dakota shortstop Lauren Eamiguel worked a full count against Omaha pitcher Sydney Hampton before belting a no-doubt shot to left field that instantly tied the game at 4-4.

It was the fourth home run of the season for Eamiguel, who had the best batting average in conference play entering the weekend. Four batters later, Dustie Durham scored Alyssa Fernandez from second base with a base hit up the middle for the game winner.

Durham had four hits on the day, which ironically, is the total number of hits Omaha mustered against the right-hander in game two. After the dramatics of game one, Durham pitched her fifth shutout of the season and earned her 10th win in the circle. She struck out a season-high seven.

Alexis Devers, who started game one, pitched 15 consecutive shutout innings dating back to last weekend before running into trouble against Omaha. The Mavericks (3-32, 1-7 Summit) scored two in the second and fourth innings and it could have been more without some fantastic defensive plays by South Dakota. Fernandez made a diving snag of a line drive to end the second inning, catcher Jessica Rogers threw out a runner trying to take second to end the fourth, and third baseman Lauren Wobken turned two with a line drive double play to end the fifth.

Those plays helped set the stage for the Coyote bats in the seventh. After Eamiguel tied it, Fernandez singled, moved to second on a ground ball by Jamie Holscher, and scored on Durham's delivery up the middle.

The second game seemed routine from that point. South Dakota (24-18, 7-1) led 2-0 thru three innings and doubled its lead when sophomore Dylan Underwood went opposite field in the sixth for her first collegiate home run, a two-run shot off Ryanne Millington. It was one of nine hits given up by Millington, who went the distance for Omaha.

Holscher and Durham both had two hits in the nightcap. Holscher was 3-for-7 during the twin bill and drove in her Summit-leading 39th RBI of the season. Eamiguel was 3-for-6 and is 11-for-20 (.550) in eight Summit games. Fernandez was 2-for-2 on the day with a double, two walks and was hit once.

Game three is Sunday at 11 a.m.