Jacks softball swept the Jags in a home away from home

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

Recent snowstorms have wreaked havoc with the Jackrabbit softball team’s schedule. Instead of canceling games, however, the Jacks chose to travel to Ralston, Neb., as the IUPUI Jaguars faced them this past weekend.

The Jacks swept the weekend series, winning 3-1, 7-0 and 12-3. It boosted the Jacks record to 11-17 overall and 4-2 in Summit League play, while the Jaguars fall to 1-12 overall and 0-6 in league play.

“It was a very good outing for the entire team,” said head coach Joanna Lane. “We had one bad inning defensively. We had multiple errors in one inning that led to one run. If you are going to give up only one run in a multiple-error inning, that is pretty good too. We were able to limit big innings and errors and finally able to do the things we wanted to on that [defensive] side of the ball.”

Jackrabbit junior Jenna Marston brought out her best in front of a hometown crowd. Marston tied a career and season high with nine strikeouts in the first win, following it up with a complete game shutout in game two.

Sam Heinzman opened the first game with a walk and stole second right away before scoring on an Ashley Durazo sacrifice fly, putting the Jacks up 1-0 early. Neither team could get much offense going until the fifth inning. Heinzman broke up a Meaghan Raynes no-hitter effort and double scored Steph Peters and Stacey Evans, who walked earlier, to put SDSU on top 3-0.

The Jaguars loaded the bases in the fifth, using a pair of hits and a Jackrabbit error to score in the sixth, but Marston limited the Jaguars’ offensive efforts, closing out the game for her ninth win of the season.

The second game started with a Heinzman walk and another stolen base. Brittany Postma followed with an infield single, and Jessica Vineyard got hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Durazo, who delivered a two-run single, giving the Jacks an early 2-0 lead.

Evans singled to open the second inning, scoring on a Heinzman double to give the Jacks a 3-0 lead.

Kiley Schwedhelm put the Jacks up 4-0 with a solo shot. Peters started a two-out rally in the sixth by drawing a walk. Vineyard drove her home with a double. Vineyard advanced on the throw home and scored on a Durazo single. Durazo then stole second and eventually scored on a Dani Broshar single for the final 7-0 margin.

Marston followed up her career-tying nine strikeouts with seven in the nightcap, scattering five hits.

“Jenna did wonderful. She has worked extremely hard all season, and it has been tough for her throwing a lot of innings,” said Lane. “We really talked about, ‘Look you are at the halfway point. You can wipe everything clean and start over and do everything with conference goals,’ and that is what she did.”

Finding themselves in an early 2-0 hole in the series finale, the Jacks bounced to life in the bottom of the second when Stroh scored Brittany Postma and Broshar with a triple. SDSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the third when Broshar singled home Durazo and Heinzman, putting the Jacks on top 4-2.

Schwedhelm singled to open the fourth inning and scored on a Heinzman single. Heinzman stole second. Brooke Postma then reached on an error, allowing Stroh to score. Later, Postma stole a base, and Durazo came up and doubled home Heinzman and Postma for an 8-2 Jackrabbit lead. Durazo was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Needing three runs to end the game in the fifth, Schwedhelm doubled to score Brittany Postma. Schwedhelm scored on an Evans’ double in the next at bat. Peters, pinch-hitting for Brooke Postma, delivered a bases-loaded, two-out single to end the game.

The Jacks return to the diamond April 2 against the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers and during a weekend series in Omaha against Centenary, which was scheduled to be in Brookings.

“Snow is something you deal with; the kids know it. It just means we have to get back on a bus and go back to Omaha this weekend,” Lane said.