BISMARCK, N.D. – With strong starting pitching from Kerrigan Hoshaw and Sydney Nieveen, the University of Sioux Falls Softball Team (23-22, 13-11 NSIC) split a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader with the University of Mary (18-24, 9-13 NSIC) on Saturday (April 20) afternoon. USF took the first game of the series 3-0 behind a complete game shutout by Hoshaw before falling in extra innings, 4-3, in game two.
With the split, USF falls to the seventh in the NSIC standings with a conference record at 13-11. Upper Iowa sits directly ahead of the Cougars in sixth with a 13-10 NSIC record while Minnesota State, who USF will face this Wednesday (April 24) at Sherman Park in a home doubleheader at 2/4 p.m., is riding a six-game winning streak and is fifth with a 13-10 conference record.
Game one: Sioux Falls 3, U-Mary 0
Hoshaw moved to 9-8 on the season while recording her eighth complete game and her third complete game shutout. Hoshaw allowed just two U-Mary hits in 23 at bats for a team batting average of .087. Hoshaw didn't issue a single walk inn her solid outing while striking out three batters while only needing 66 total pitches and stranding two runners on base.
As a team, the USF offense posted eight hits in 28 at-bats for a batting average of .286 while scoring three runs and leaving seven runners on base. Emily Hove and Lindsey Mossman led the team with each recording two hits and one RBI a piece while Hove also scored a run. Francesca Mickelson and Lexie Swift both went one for three with a run scored. Emmie Uitts and Emily Miller also recorded hits for USF in the game.
USF broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third when Swift hit a one-out double down the left field line and later scored on a Hove single to right center field. Hove advanced to second on the throw from the outfielder and scored on a Mossman single to center field as USF took a 2-0 lead. USF scored one more run in the top of the fourth inning after Mickelson led off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a Hoshaw bunt. Uitts then then drove in Mickelson with a line drive double to extend the USF lead to 3-0.
Game two: U-Mary 4, Sioux Falls 3 (nine innings)
USF lost a heartbreaking second game despite a quality outing by Nieveen, who fell to 5-4 on the season with the loss. Nieveen pitched eight full innings for the Cougars and allowed four runs (three earned) on 12 total hits and struck out four batters while not allowing a walk.
As a team, USF produced 10 hits in 36 at bats for a batting average of .278. Miller and Mossman both posted three hits in four at bats in the contest with each scoring a run. Mickelson went one of five while driving in two runs in and scoring once. Swift had one hit and an RBI while drawing a pair of walks. Uitts and Nieveen also recorded hits for USF.
USF jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after scoring three runs in the top of the first inning after Mossman was hit by a pitch and Miller doubled to center to advance Mossman to third. Mickelson supplied a two-run single to right center field which scored both Mossman and Miller. Swift then singled to left center to scored Mickelson.
U-Mary responded in the bottom of the first inning by tallying a run after speedster Rabekkah Keller singled to shortstop and then proceeded to steal second and third base. Keller has not been caught stealing yet this season as she has 22 steals in 22 attempts. She scored on a Rachel Laetsch single to right field as USF's lead was reduced to 3-1. Mary scored another run in the bottom of the sixth after a two-out hit by pitch and single to third base brought up Kylie Alto, who laced a RBI single to left field.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Keller reached on an error, stole second on the next pitch and advanced to third on a groundout to the shortstop. With two outs, Kasidy Chileen doubled to left center to tie the game at 3-3. Kaitlyn Alvarado knocked a single to center field but Mickelson gunned down Chileen as she attempted to score from second to end the inning. U-Mary ended the game on a walk-off single from Keller to score Mariah Sanchez, who reached on an error and advanced to second on a single by Haley Berube in the bottom of the ninth inning.