Softball struggles in season opening Classic

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The SDSU softball team began their 2009 season by taking one of four games at the UNI-Dome Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa, this past weekend.

The Jacks started off the season right, defeating North Dakota 8-3 behind a complete game from Pat Nicholson, who allowed three runs on four hits. Shortstop Ashley Durazo drove in Brooke and Brittany Postma in the first inning on a home run to give SDSU an early 3-0. Third baseman Krystal Higgerson also drove in three runs and went 3-for-4 from the plate with a homer in the fourth inning to give the Jacks a 5-2 lead.

The second game of the day was a 4-3 loss to host team Northern Iowa. SDSU scored twice in the fifth inning and took a 3-2 lead, but the Panthers came back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning for the final margin.

The final two games of the tournament on Feb. 8 would not be as close. An 8-0 loss to Dayton and an 11-2 defeat at the hands of Nebraska put a sour end to the tournament. The Jacks only hit .243 in the final two games. Coming into this season, SDSU had won four of their previous five games at the UNI-Dome tournament over the last two seasons.

For the weekend, Postma led all Jackrabbits with a .583 average and slugging percentage, going 7-for-12 with two runs scored. Durazo and Higgerson each had four RBIs with Durazo slugging .615.

The Jacks (1-3) will return to the field this weekend for five games at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Tournament in Las Vegas. SDSU will play against Virginia and Portland State on Feb. 13 and against Southern Mississippi and Louisville on Feb. 14. The marquee game of the tournament is the final game on Feb. 15 against the No. 4-ranked UCLA Bruins. The Bruins went 51-9 last season and went 1-2 at the College World Series.