South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Jackrabbits softball opens season 3-2 after California tournament; Texas trip is up next

Josh Gateley
Tori Kiesche pitches the ball to an Oklahoma Sonner batter in their matchup from the 2023 softball season.

The South Dakota State softball team opened up their season in California over the weekend going 3-2 in the Fresno State Kickoff Classic.

The Jackrabbits traded wins with both Fresno State and Santa Clara before finishing the weekend over .500 in a 9-1 blowout against CSU Bakersfield.

“It’s been a long time since we have been on a field,” said softball head coach Kristina McSweeney. “Didn’t finish the season [2023 season] the way we wanted to but are ready for some redemption.”

Game 1: Fresno State

The Jacks handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season as they dropped Fresno State 20-8 in six innings. Overall, SDSU tallied 15 hits with a handful of athletes recording more than one.

Mia Jarecki, Brooke Dumont, Jocelyn Carrillo and Rozelyn Carrillo all finished with a pair of RBIs while Lindsey Culver and Emma Osmundson brought in three each.

“The leadership you’re going to see from Tori Kniesche, Rozelyn Carrillo, Lindsey Culver, Cheyanne Masterson and all the rest of them,” said McSweeney. “It’s a different style of softball. They just want to win.”

3x All-Summit League First Team pitcher Tori Kniesche took the mound for the Jacks and kept Fresno State contained for the first couple of innings before letting up a double which brought in three runs. Fortunately for SDSU, the first four innings at the plate brought in three runs each, inching close to an early run rule.

Fresno State showed life in the bottom of the fifth with two runs in to bring the score to 12-7. Next came a total of eight runs in the top of the sixth alone for the Jacks.

In her debut, Akayla Barnard hit a triple which brought in two runs to put South Dakota State at 20 points scored, tying their Division 1 record of most runs scored with their 2022 matchup against USD.

Game 2: Santa Clara

Though scoring 20 points in their season debut, the Jacks brought in only a single point in game two against the Santa Clara Broncos.

However, the sole run of the game proved to be essential as the Jacks earned their second win of the season 1-0.

Kniesche took the mound once again in game two and recorded 13 strikeouts.

Catcher Dumont recorded 12 putouts while shortstop Rozelyn Carrillo was responsible for three of her own.

After a quiet two-and-a-half innings, the only run of the game was put in motion when Barnard was walked with two outs recorded on the board.

Osmundson took to the plate and drove the ball to the fence which recorded her a double and an RBI.

Game 3: Fresno State

After two wins in a row, SDSU’s luck went dry as the Host Fresno State got the better of them, taking their last matchup 3-2.

Going into extra innings at 2-all, Fresno State’s Juliana Wilson brought in the final run of the game on an RBI single, handing the Jacks their first loss of the season.

At the end of three innings, Fresno State jumped out into an early lead, going up 2-0. The two-run lead lasted till the top of the seventh when Mia Jarecki sent Emma Christensen home on a two-out triple.

Jarecki scored the last run for the Jacks, bringing the score to 2-2 before Wilson’s RBI to end the game.

Game 4: Santa Clara

An eight-hit performance from Santa Clara brought the Jacks to .500 as they defeated South Dakota State 5-7 in the fourth game of the tournament.

SDSU and Santa Clara traded runs after three innings but a two-run home run from Salmon gave them their victory.

Though a loss, the Jacks had the bats going, sending two pitches over the fence by way of home runs from Osmundson and Jarecki. The Jacks also tallied three doubles in their fourth outing of the season.

The Broncos brought in the first HR of the game by way of Salmon before the Jacks answered back with two of their own.

The lead once again fell into Santa Clara’s hands after an RBI from Hazyl Gray going into the last inning. Culver sent Barnard home on a single to tie the game. Santa Clara made short work of the Jacks after, sending a pitch over the fence and taking the game 7-5.

Game 5: CSU Bakersfield

South Dakota State finished their final game of the tournament going 9-1 against Bakersfield in just five innings.

Two extra runs in the fifth ended the game early in favor of the Jacks after seven runs were scored in the second, third and fourth innings.  

11 hits were tallied in the final game, all coming off of singles as the bats were rolling for the Jackrabbits.

Rozelyn Carrillo took two hits and amounted to three of the nine runs scored for the Jacks while Culver’s two hits resulted in two runs of her own.

Dumont finished the game with eight putouts, the most on the team while Abby Gentry had the second most for the Jacks with two.

Up Next

The Jackrabbits hit the road for their second of five tournaments as they make their way to Denton, Texas, home of the North Texas Mean Green for the Tracey Beard College Classic. For SDSU, the opening pitch is at 1:30 p.m. on Friday against Texas A&M Commerce.

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About the Contributor
Marshall Minihan, Sports Editor
Sports Editor Marshall Minihan is a junior at South Dakota State University and is from Canton, South Dakota. He majors in journalism and minors in communication studies and recreation administration.

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