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Softball home opener postponed, will play in Sioux Falls

FILE+PHOTO%0AJunior+Baily+Janssen+swings+during+the+game+September+25%2C+2016.+The+SDSU+softball+team+is+21-10+on+the+season+and+will+play+South+Dakota+April+7+and+8+in+Sioux+Falls.
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Softball home opener postponed, will play in Sioux Falls

FILE PHOTO
Junior Baily Janssen swings during the game September 25, 2016. The SDSU softball team is 21-10 on the season and will play South Dakota April 7 and 8 in Sioux Falls.

FILE PHOTO Junior Baily Janssen swings during the game September 25, 2016. The SDSU softball team is 21-10 on the season and will play South Dakota April 7 and 8 in Sioux Falls.

FILE PHOTO Junior Baily Janssen swings during the game September 25, 2016. The SDSU softball team is 21-10 on the season and will play South Dakota April 7 and 8 in Sioux Falls.

FILE PHOTO Junior Baily Janssen swings during the game September 25, 2016. The SDSU softball team is 21-10 on the season and will play South Dakota April 7 and 8 in Sioux Falls.

Andrew Holtan

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After winning two games in its first Summit League series March 30, the South Dakota State softball team was set to play its home opener against North Dakota April 3. However, it was postponed due to weather. The game will be played on May 1 instead.

The Jacks were also supposed to play the South Dakota Coyotes April 7 and 8 in Brookings, but will instead play at Bowden Field in Sioux Falls.

Head coach Krista Wood said the Jacks have played on the road all year and don’t mind having to do it some more.

“Honestly, we tell our kids to control what they can control, this is something we can’t control,” Wood said. “We just have to move on and play these games when we’re allowed to, and wherever we’re allowed to.”

SDSU improved to 21-10 on the season after defeating the Omaha Mavericks in two out of three games. The Jacks outscored the Mavericks 20-8.

“It was a good weekend. Our team fought hard, even in the game we came up short. To come out and get the win in our first series in Summit League play was important,” Wood said.

Senior outfielder Julia Andersen hit two home runs and a triple during the series, and senior utility player Brittney Morse had nine runs batted in and one home run.

Senior pitcher Madison Hope had a career-high nine strikeouts in the first game and followed it up with seven in the second game.

“She’s doing a great job getting ahead in the count and mixing her pitches on and off the plate,” Wood said. “She’s also done a good job at commanding her pitches and putting them where she wants them.”

South Dakota is 13-24 overall and 3-3 in the Summit League. They swept Omaha in their first series in the Summit League and then were swept by Western Illinois. Wood said the Jacks will have their work cut out for them against the Coyotes because they are very good offensively.

“They have some kids that can swing the bat and we’re going to have to outscore them,” she said.

South Dakota has the most hits, home runs and highest batting average as a team in the Summit League. SDSU is second in all of those categories. USD junior catcher Jessica Rogers leads the Summit League in home runs with 11.

The Jacks have the top-three hitters in the Summit League in senior Abby Murphy, Brittney Morse and Julia Andersen. They are hitting .438, .383 and .377, respectively.

SDSU has won nine of its last 11 games, but Wood said there are still some things the Jacks could improve on.

“We do have things rolling, but we need to stay focused during the first five innings, so that we’re not trying to battle back in the end and fall short,” Wood said. “More than anything, we need to continue to get better and not be satisfied with where we’re at and what we’re doing now, because we do want to be the best.”

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Softball home opener postponed, will play in Sioux Falls