(MITCHELL, S.D.) - The Dakota State University softball team extended their winning streak to five games as they swept in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan in a non-conference doubleheader in Mitchell, S.D. The Trojans defeated the Tigers 3-0 and 6-4 and spoiled the Tigers' season home opener at Caldwell Park. With the sweep the Trojans handed the Tigers their sixth straight loss.
Game one witnessed a pitcher's duel between the Trojans' Kendra Roth and the Tigers' Brandi Nekrassoff. The difference in the game came in the sixth inning when the Trojans scored three runs, the only runs of the game. Roth held the Tigers to just three hits in the game and struck out four batters.
The Trojans' offense was fueled with 10 hits led by Ashley Souphimdara, Sylvia Leon, and Ashley Stevenson with two hits each. Jayna Ackerman, Leigh Gramke, Amanda Stevenson, and Leslie Neiman each had a single for the Trojans.
For the Tigers, Jackie Pugliese, Lauren Lynds and Nekrassoff each had a single.
In the second game of the twin-bill, the Trojans opened with a 3-0 lead and extended it to a 6-1 lead in the fifth inning. The Tigers mounted a furious rally with two runs in the sixth inning and one run in the seventh inning as the Trojans held on for the win.
Souphimdara led the Trojans' offense attack, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two stolen bases and a walk. Ashley Stevenson went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the top fifth inning. Gramke had two doubles. Seven Trojans recorded a walk in the game.
Roth (5-3) took the circle for the Trojans, and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Dakota Novotny came in relief and recorded her first save of the year, putting an end to any hopes of a Tigers' comeback. She went 1 2/3 innings and gave up one run on two hits. Novotny struck out three batters.
Erika Cruz homered for the Tigers (4-8) in the third inning. Pugliese and Lynds each had two hits. Ekekela Watson, Tiffany Bonifacio, and Nekrassoff hit safely once.
Lynds took the loss on the mound for the Tigers, she pitched a complete game, allowing six runs on nine hits and struck out five batters.
The Trojans (8-6) will be back in action this weekend as they open their DAC Conference schedule at home. Dakota State will host Black Hills State in a doubleheader at Thue Complex on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm on both days.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director