Tigers, Terriers out-pitch Jacks

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

Jackrabbits softball looked to get back on the winning track against Boston University and Missouri after struggling the weekend before. A trip to the “Show Me” state found them on the losing end of 8-3 and 3-1 decisions against Missouri and 4-0 and 10-7 defeats to Boston University on Feb. 29 and March 1.

“I don’t know if it struggling on the road as is becoming comfortable with the style of play that we’re looking to have,” said first-year coach Joanna Lane. “Missouri is a very good team, and Boston University is not a slouch. We knew coming in this would be a very difficult set of four games. It is a different style of play [playing indoors] that you have to get used to.”

The Jacks found themselves down 2-0 to Missouri early on Feb. 29. A Sam Heinzman RBI double brought home Ashley Durazo, making it 2-1. Missouri bounced back with three runs in the second and fourth innings to take an 8-1 lead. Dani Broshar drove in Heinzman in the sixth to make it 8-2. Stacey Evans doubled home Broshar to make it 8-3 to end all scoring. Kiley Schwedhelm made her first pitching appearance of the season for the Jacks, and went the distance, striking out three and walking five.

Jenna Marston opened the second game of the first night with three and two-thirds no-hit innings, but the Terriers (Boston University) came through with two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth, securing a 4-0 win for Boston. Marston pitched all six innings for the Jacks, allowing four hits, while striking out five and walking four. She gave up four runs in the loss.

The Jacks looked to turn their fortunes around against Missouri in the third game of the weekend but could not muster much offense. The young Jacks drove in just one run, losing 3-1. Jessica Vineyard opened the inning with a triple to deep center field, and scored on a Brooke Postma single just over the second baseman’s glove into right-center field. Marston struggled through six innings of work, giving up nine hits, three runs, no walks and six strikeouts.

“It is hit and miss. We have a couple kids hitting very well this year, and a couple more coming around,” said Lane of the Jacks hitting woes this spring. “We have people getting it done; it is just more of a consistency thing. The key for us is eliminating the strikeouts and that is the problem right now. We know the adjustments we have to make and are making them right now.”

In the final game of the weekend against BU, the Jacks trailed early until Heinzman scored on a Vineyard bunt to tie the game at 1-1. Broshar drilled a one-out homer to left, putting the Jacks on top 2-1. BU pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the third to take a 3-2 lead. Heinzman opened the third with a solo home run to center to tie the game at 3-3. Durazo walked and scored later on an illegal pitch to put the Jacks back on top 4-3. BU plated four runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth taking a 10-4 lead. Down in the bottom of the seventh, the Jacks loaded the bases with two outs, and watched Schwedhelm unload them with a double into left field, bringing the Jacks within three runs at 10-7 to end the game.

Jackrabbit softball returns to the diamond on March 7-9 at the Shocker Invitational in Wichita, Kan.

SDSU will face Iowa State along with Witcha State and Summit foe UMKC at the invite.