Softball falls twice in Kansas City

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

It was a familiar feeling for the Jackrabbit softball team, as they had a three-game series at Missouri-Kansas City. SDSU had a chance to win all three games but came up short with a pair of one run losses.

Game one, on April 18, saw the Jacks take a 2-0 lead before the Kangaroos even had an at-bat. The Jacks had a 4-1 advantage before UMKC (16-30, 6-12) scored twice in the bottom of the fourth and once again in the sixth and seventh innings to win 5-4.

The second game of the day would see an outstanding pitching performance from freshman Pam Nicholson (4-8), as she pitched a complete game shutout, allowing three hits while striking out six. The Jacks would get on the board in the fourth inning when Dani Broshar hit a two-run homerun, her team-leading fourth of the season, to give the Jacks a 2-0 victory. Broshar has raised her batting average by 57 points over the last 18 games.

The series finale would see the Jacks lose another heartbreaker 3-2. After being in a 3-0 hole, SDSU scored a run in the fourth on Morgan McCabe’s third homer of the season and in the fifth inning on Krystal Higgerson’s third homerun to cut the margin to one. Opportunities were there for the Jacks to capitalize, as they left seven runners on base in game three and left 21 on base for the series.

The last five Jackrabbit losses have been by one run, and they have lost 10 games this season by a single run.

The Jacks need to get on a roll if they hope to finish in the top four of the conference standings and qualify for the Summit League Tournament. SDSU sits in seventh place, two-and-a half games back of fourth place IPFW. Things will not get any easier as six of the final nine conference games are against first-place Western Illinois and second-place North Dakota State.

Next up for the Jacks is a doubleheader in Omaha against Creighton at 5 p.m. on April 22. SDSU lost the first meeting of the season 4-3 when the Bluejays scored twice in the bottom of the seventh.

The Jackrabbits (9-31, 6-9) return home this weekend for a three-game series against conference opponent and first-place Western Illinois (21-16, 12-2) starting with a doubleheader on April 24 at 3 p.m. and a single game on April 25 at noon. The Westerwinds are currently a half game ahead of North Dakota State and two games ahead of Centenary for the top spot in the Summit League standings. SDSU lost two of three games last season at WIU.