The Collegian

Home opener pushed back again, Jacks prepare for Bison

ABBY+FULLENKAMP%0ASophomore+Paige+Gerdes+%2816%29+focuses+on+the+ball+during+batting+practice+April+10+in+the+SJAC.+The+Jacks+are+23-11+overall+and+4-2+in+their+conference.+
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Home opener pushed back again, Jacks prepare for Bison

ABBY FULLENKAMP
Sophomore Paige Gerdes (16) focuses on the ball during batting practice April 10 in the SJAC. The Jacks are 23-11 overall and 4-2 in their conference.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Sophomore Paige Gerdes (16) focuses on the ball during batting practice April 10 in the SJAC. The Jacks are 23-11 overall and 4-2 in their conference.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Sophomore Paige Gerdes (16) focuses on the ball during batting practice April 10 in the SJAC. The Jacks are 23-11 overall and 4-2 in their conference.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Sophomore Paige Gerdes (16) focuses on the ball during batting practice April 10 in the SJAC. The Jacks are 23-11 overall and 4-2 in their conference.

Andrew Holtan

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After having its home opener postponed April 3, the South Dakota State softball team claimed two victories in a three-game series against the South Dakota Coyotes.

The games were supposed to be played in Brookings, but were moved due to weather. The teams played a double header April 5 in Omaha, Nebraska, SDSU won the first game 5-4 before falling to USD 7-0 in the second game.

SDSU and USD played the third game of the series closer to home in Sioux Falls at Bowden Field on the Augustana’s campus. The Jacks defeated the Coyotes 7-0.

“We were a little flat in Omaha,” said head coach Krista Wood. “We didn’t come with a whole lot of energy. We were able to get the win in game one, but we came out flat again and couldn’t get anything going offensively in game two.”

Senior Madison Hope pitched a complete game in the third game and gave up no runs and three hits with two strikeouts.

Senior catcher Brittney Morse led the Jacks on offense against South Dakota during the series. She had six hits in her 10 plate appearances with 12 runs batted in and one home run.

“(Morse) ended up getting player of the week in the Summit League,” Wood said. “She’s been very consistent with runners on base these last three games and that’s what we expect from her.”

SDSU will now shift its attention to the North Dakota State Bison.

The Jacks and Bison were scheduled to play in Brookings April 12 and 13, but will play in Sioux Falls instead.

“Mother nature is not working well with us right now, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Wood said. “We’re going to try to move our games down to Sioux Falls.”

The Bison have won the past four Summit League Tournaments and are 21-13 overall and 1-1 in the Summit League this season.

NDSU’s pitching staff is led by senior Jacquelyn Sertic, who is 16-7 on the season with an earned run average of 1.19 and 189 strikeouts, which are both the best in the Summit League. Wood said Sertic and junior KK Leddy are some of the best, if not the best pitchers in the Summit League.

“They have two really solid pitchers, who have been all-conference the last two years, but they’re different,” Wood said. “They’ve been carrying their team, so it’ll be about us making adjustments offensively and then taming down their bats and playing good defense.”

It will be a battle of the Summit League’s best offense and defense when the Jacks and Bison meet. SDSU leads the conference with 211 total runs while NDSU has given up a conference best 89 runs.

SDSU (23-11, 4-2) has the top three hitters in the Summit League in seniors Abby Murphy, Brittney Morse and Julia Andersen. The trio have batting averages of .440, .402 and .379, respectively.

This series is important for both teams as it could shift the conference standings. SDSU is second and NDSU is third in the Summit League.

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Home opener pushed back again, Jacks prepare for Bison