The SDSU softball team used experience, timely hitting and an impressive weekend by Jenna Marston to go 3-1 at the Ramada UNI-Dome Classic on Feb. 9 and 10. While the University of Northern Iowa beat the Jacks 7-2 on Feb. 10, the Jackrabbits beat every other team they faced as they defeated the Panthers 4-3 on Feb. 9. The 2-0 start was the best for SDSU since 1994, and the 3-0 record was the best start for a Jackrabbits softball team since 1986.
Marston, a junior from Elkhorn, Neb., broke several records on the mound. Along with moving to ninth all-time in appearances (75) and starts (52), she is now sixth all-time in wins for a pitcher (24). She pitched to every opponent on the weekend and accumulated a 3.54 earned runs average against 28 innings. Of the 17 runs, only 11 were earned; seven different Jackrabbits had errors over the four game stretch.
The Jacks started the classic by facing border rival the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. The Jackrabbits started the Head Coach Joanna Lane tenure off on the right foot as they defeated UND 8-7. With the bases loaded and one out, Sam Heinzman, a junior from Omaha, Neb., gave the Jacks the go-ahead run with a double to center field. Brooke Postma and Brittany Postma, SDSU outfielder twins, gave the Jacks two hits each in the non-league game.
In the nightcap of the first day, the Jacks beat UNI in dramatic fashion as SDSU defeated the host school 4-3 in eight innings. Finding themselves down 2-0, the Postma twins beat out two infield hits to start the third inning. Senior Kiley Schwedhelm singled out the Postmas to tie the game at two a piece.
In extra innings, NCAA regulations allow teams to start the inning with a runner on second base, and Lane decided to place freshman Ashley Durazo halfway to home. Brittany Postma’s bunt single gave the Jacks a 3-2 lead; she would later score on an Schwedhelm single. The Panthers would score one run, but the game ended on a game-ending double play.
SDSU ended the second day 1-1; they beat the University of Dayton (Ohio) 6-0. Against Dayton, Brittany Postma went 3-for-3 and had two RBIs, scoring three runs. A host of Jackrabbits had two hits, and Marston earned her seventh career shutout while having six strike-outs. Too many innings played may have hurt the Jacks, as SDSU gave up seven runs after three innings.
SDSU and NIU each ended the classic with a 3-1 record, while UND ended 2-2. Dayton ended the two-day competition winless.
Up next for SDSU is Western Carolina on Feb. 22 at Ft. Myers, Fla.