Jacks swipe two from Coyotes

Marcus Traxler


If the Jacks felt like their bats betrayed them in the 10 prior losses before Friday’s doubleheader, they need not blame them anymore.

The SDSU softball team picked up hits to defeat the Coyotes in game one of the doubleheader, 8-4 and then finished off the southern in-state rival with a 1-0 win in front of 173 fans at Jackrabbits Softball Stadium March 30.

SDSU had seven hits in the first game of the afternoon, including home runs from Morgan McCabe and Krista Honken. The Jackrabbits got a solid performance from Kori Seidlitz, who relinquished four runs on two home runs to the Coyotes. However, those were the only USD hits of the game and the Jackrabbits’ junior pitcher delivered eight strikeouts to negate her six walks.

“We’re excited to be at home and playing on our home field. We really took advantage of being out here in the sunshine and having our home crowd here to cheer us on. We knew we were playing a rival and that they were going to give us two good games and we stepped it up,” SDSU head coach Kim Aggabao said of the win, her first at home as the Jacks’ skipper.

The second game’s only run arrived home when shortstop Kelly Kleppin doubled in Honken and Pam Nicholson’s six-hit shutout held up with some solid defense to give the Jacks an afternoon sweep in their home debut. The defense was best exemplified in the seventh inning when Morgan Hancock hit a single to right and tried to stretch it into two bases. Her efforts were to no avail when Honken’s throw to Kleppin was on target for the tag and a rally-stifling out.

“I felt that every pitch I was throwing was going to be a strike and I got a lot of help from my defense. It was just a good day to be pitching out there,” Nicholson said.

In Saturday’s finale, SDSU’s late rally fell short and USD avoided the series sweep with a 3-2 win over the home-standing Jackrabbits.

Runs scored in the second, fourth and fifth innings built a 3-0 USD lead. They stayed out in front with a strong performance from Missy Blackburn for the first five innings. Samantha Terry came through with a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth inning to make the score 3-1. In the seventh inning, with Blackburn out of the game, the Jackrabbits had runners on first and third with one out when McCabe smacked a fly ball to right field, scoring Devon Reick and cutting the Coyote advantage to just one run. There, the rally fizzled when Alex Landon ended the game with a ground ball to the shortstop and USD got out of Brookings with one win to its name. Nicholson was tagged with the loss, moving her record to 3-8.

“We’ve been playing well as of late and our girls have been building off of our positives. It’s good to get these games in,” Aggabao said.

There is little hiding in the facts for the Jackrabbits right now. At 6-17 and 2-7 in the Summit League, SDSU is behind in the conference tournament chase but every one still counts for the Jackrabbits.

“This series was huge. We knew that we needed to come out and get some wins. These are going to be the wins we’re going to carry forward and that’s going to give us confidence,” Nicholson said.

The conference tournament is still the ultimate goal for the SDSU softball team.

“We have the talent on our team and we have ability and it’s a matter of whether or not we can execute on that particular day to pick up wins,” Honken said