Jacks Bow out, Omaha Advances

Omaha wins first ever Summit League title.

Brayden Byers, Managing Editor

South Dakota State will not repeat as Summit League Softball Champions.

SDSU lost the Summit League softball championship game to Omaha 1-0 Sunday after a host of obstacles and detours throughout the tournament.

The game originally began Saturday afternoon at 4:35 p.m. in Brookings after getting pushed back more than three hours from its original start time. They did decide to play once the precipitation let up a bit, but the drizzle slowly turned into a relatively heavy rain.

The Jackrabbits starting pitcher, Tori Kniesche, walked three batters in the bottom of the first forcing in a run putting the Mavericks up by one early. Then, first year head coach Kristina McSweeney walked out to have a conversation with the umpiring crew as well as some League officials.

After some deliberation, the decision was made that the condition of the field made it unplayable, and the game was suspended until Sunday at 11 a.m., but not even that time would stick.

It was announced early Sunday morning that the game was again delayed due to the rain in the forecast. After a bit of time, it was announced that the game would resume at 1 p.m.

Following the resumption, it was largely a pitcher’s duel. Kniesche, although taking only her sixth loss of the campaign, pitched all six innings allowing two hits and striking out seven throwing 115 pitches.

Her counterpart, Kamryn Meyer (17-7), was voted Summit League Tournament MVP. In her exceptional performance she threw a complete game one hit shutout striking out 11 batters throwing 128 pitches leading her Mavs to the programs first conference title.

There were only three hits combined in this game. The first came in the bottom of the first when utility player Lynsey Tucker singled back to Kniesche who couldn’t make a play. This helped set up the one run scored in the game a few batters later.

Later in the fifth, junior utility player Olivia Aden singled through on the left side, but got stranded after a strikeout, a fielder’s choice and a ground out.

The only hit that Omaha’s senior hurler, Meyer, allowed came in the top of the seventh. Junior outfielder Lindsey Culver singled into left field to put a runner on for the Jacks coming up on their last chance. This sparked a bit of a run as Emma Osmundson walked right after putting two on.

This run would stall, however, as Meyer would force a fly out to center and a pop out to short to secure the championship.

The Mavericks now advance as the Summit League’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament. They will play in the LSU regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from May 19-21, with their first matchup against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

Below are the selections for the 2023 Summit League All-Tournament Team:

Olivia Aden – Omaha

Kamryn Meyer – Omaha

Maggie O’Brien – Omaha

Lynsey Tucker – Omaha

Rachel Weber – Omaha

Rozelyn Carrillo – SDSU

Brooke Dumont – SDSU

Tori Kniesche – SDSU

Shannon Lasey – SDSU

The Jackrabbit’s season isn’t necessarily done, they still could be selected to participate in the National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) which is a tournament that is sponsored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Stay tuned to the South Dakota State Softball social media outlets as well as Collegian Sports on Twitter and The Collegian on Facebook for updates on the Jacks postseason possibilities.