Jacks drop series to Western Illinois

A victorious three game sweep a week ago was short lived for the Jackrabbits as they fell victim to Summit League rival, Western Illinois on April 20-21 at Fontenelle Park for a three game sweep of their own.

SDSU dropped to 14-23 on the season overall, and to 4-10 in the Summit League, while the Leathernecks improved to 12-19 overall and to 6-12 in the conference.

The Jacks went on to score first in game one of the double-header on Saturday, with Devon Reick’s infield single scoring Krista Honken after two complete innings.

In the bottom of the third inning, Elyse Eitel stepped up to the plate and blasted her fifth homerun of the season with Sammy Bingham, who reached prior with a walk, on base. The contest was tied at 3-3.

“She [Eitel] really worked hard this offseason,” SDSU head coach Kim Aggabao said. “She came in her sophomore year ready to go … I am excited for her future because I know she is going to be key for us for he rest of her career. She is the one we look to in the middle of our lineup to give us big hits.”

Western Illinois would go on to break the tie with a two-run homerun and add an extra run in the sixth to seal the victory by a final of 6-3.

The Leathernecks came out hot in game two on Saturday as they pounded the cover off the ball achieving two doubles and a two-run homerun, giving them an early 4-0 lead in the first inning.

“I thought we did some good things against Oakland [last week] to be able to build off of and bring that to the series against Western Illinois,” Aggabao said. “It was a little disappointing for us to get off to such a sluggish start against them. We couldn’t get that timely hit.”

Bingham delivered the Jackrabbits first run of the game as she doubled in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out RBI that scored Reick, making the game 4-1 Leathernecks.

Marlee Petersen and Emily Weber both drew walks with the bases loaded to make it a 4-3 Leatherneck lead but failed to deliver the game tying hit or walk as Western Illinois went on to win game two 4-3.

In the final game of the series on Sunday, SDSU struggled as their lone run was scored in the first inning off of a Bingham RBI knock that scored Reick from second.

The Leathernecks would go on to earn the run-rule victory as they poured on one run in the fourth and three runs each in the fourth and fifth. Western Illinois would win by a final of 10-1 in five innings.

According to Aggabao, winter storms may push the series back a day or two. SDSU and their fans hope to honor the seniors at home this weekend in their only series at home all season as they face the Fort Wayne Mastodons April 26-27. 

“We have six seniors on this team we are going to miss tremendously,” Aggabao said. “I think each of them has brought so much to this program and has helped this program grow before I got here … I think we are just going to continue to grow. You know obviously we would love to see more wins in the win column. The way they are playing the game is something to look forward too.”

The Jackrabbits will be back in action against the North Dakota State Bison in Fargo, N.D., April 23-24.