Softball team battles weather and injuries, holds 18-12 record

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

The SDSU softball team has compiled a 18-12 record despite struggles with weather and injuries with the conference season slated to begin this upcoming weekend.

SDSU began its trip to Missouri with three wins over Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Missouri, March 27 and 28. The Jacks won their first game 8-0 as Jackie Sorenson pitched a four-hit shutout. The offensive attack was led by three doubles from Gabby Smith and Mandi Geis’ first home run of the season. SDSU then came back with a 15-12 win in eight innings and took a close 3-2 victory.

The extra-inning game saw SDSU take an 11-6 lead after a six-run sixth inning only to see Missouri Western strike with five runs in the seventh to send the game to an eight frame. SDSU then scored four runs in the eighth and held on for the win. The Jacks had 17 hits and were helped by home runs by Smith, Lindsay Distel, and Bobbie Jo Mitchell.

The Jacks then split a pair of games at the Northwest Classic in Maryville, Mo., on March 30. The team fell 5-0 to Northwest Missouri in the opener before beating Truman State, 9-8. Ali Adair and Emily Haywood each hit home runs to propel SDSU to victory over Truman as Meggan Staton earned her seventh win of the year.

The softball team split a non-conference doubleheader against Augustana in Sioux Falls on April 1. Augustana made two runs in the third inning stand up as they beat the Jacks 2-1. The next game, SDSU broke a 23-game losing streak to the Vikings that dated back to 1998. Senior Jill Hlavacek drove in three runs on a first-inning bases-loaded double en route to a 5-3 victory.

The Jacks began its home schedule by splitting a doubleheader against Southwest State, April 2, 8-0 and 7-0.

SDSU then finished the week winning two games at the UNO Invitational in Omaha, April 5. The team began with a 9-4 triumph over Minnesota-Duluth. SDSU then lost a close 3-2 game to Truman State. They closed with a 1-0 win over Missouri Southern. Freshman Laura O’Hera, who recently joined the team, picked up the win in her first collegiate start.

“She’s been a huge lift for our team,” coach Shane Bouman said.

The softball team could use the extra help as junior catcher Holly Altermatt is likely out for the season due to a broken finger and Hlavacek has been playing with a broken hand.

“Everyone will be ready to go this weekend when conference kicks off,” Bouman said.