SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Dakota State University softball team continued their action on the road Tuesday as they traveled to the Sherman Park. The Trojans faced their in-state rival University of Sioux Falls in a non-conference doubleheader. The Cougars swept DSU 9-4 and 9-7.
Dakota State suffered their sixth straight defeat and dropped their overall record to 9-8. University of Sioux Falls, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, lifted their record to 5-7.
Game One - University of Sioux Falls 9, Dakota State 5
DSU's Jesica Alcala opened the game with a single. After Kendra Knudson's ground out to advance Alcala to second base, Ashley Stevenson hit a single through the second base hole to advance Alcala to third base. Amanda Stevenson hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Alcala to give DSU a 1-0 lead.
University of Sioux Falls exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first inning. With a bases loaded and one out situation, Naomi Tesar recorded an RBI walk to score Bailey Bouman to tie the game at 1-1. Noelle Roden hit a 3-RBI double to deep left-center as the Cougars extend their lead to 4-1.
The Trojans answered back in the top of the second inning with three runs to tie the game at 4-4. Leslie Neiman opened the inning with a single. Alisa Balesteri hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Neiman to second base. Jessica Shaw added a single and advanced Neiman to third base. Alcala recorded an RBI single to score Neiman to cut the Cougars' lead to 4-2. Knudson added an RBI walk to score Shaw to trim DSU's deficit to 4-3. DSU tied the game at 4-4 by Ashley Stevenson's sacrifice fly to score Natasha Fritz.
Caitlin Block hit an RBI double to score Jamie Sorensen to give USF a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
The Cougars added four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to expand their lead to 9-4.
Neiman and Balesteri hit back-to-back singles to open the seventh inning. Shaw hit an RBI single to score Neiman to trim USF's lead to 9-5. The Trojans were unable to complete the rally in the final inning.
Neiman was 3-for-4 with three singles and two runs scored for DSU. Balesteri added a single and a double. Shaw and Alcala each had two singles. Knudson, Ashley Stevenson, Amanda Stevenson, Jayna Ackerman and Fritz each recorded a single.
For USF, Roden went 2-for-4 with a double and recorded four RBIs. Block and Bouman each had three singles.
Dakota State outhit the Cougars 14-11. The Trojans left 12 runners on base compared to USF 11.
Shaw (5-4) suffered the loss for DSU. She tossed four innings and allowed eight runs (two unearned) on nine hits. Brittany Tebbe pitched two innings in relief and gave up one run on two hits.
Bouman recorded the victory for the Cougars. She tossed a complete game and allowed five runs on 14 hits.
Game Two - University of Sioux Falls 9, Dakota State 7
Dakota State scored its first run of the game in the opening inning. With one out, Knudson reached on base by a walk. Ashley Stevenson reached on base by USF's defensive error and advanced Knudson to second base. Knudson and Ashley Stevenson swiped one base. Amanda Stevenson hit a 2-RBI single to score Knudson and Ashley Stevenson to give DSU a 2-0 lead.
Emily Kulp hit a double to open the top of the second inning for DSU. Alcala added a single to advance Kulp to third base. Alcala stole for second base. Ashley Stevenson hit a 2-RBI double to score Kulp and Alcala as the Trojans extended their lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the third inning, Jamie Sorenson hit a double. Elliott Lenz hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Sorenson for Cougars' first run of the game. Bouman hit a 2-RBI double to trim DSU's lead to 4-3.
Sorenson hit her second double of the game in the bottom of the third inning. USF tied the game at 4-4 when Lenz hit an RBI single to score Sorenson.
Kulp opened with a walk in the top of the fourth inning. Sarah Jones, pinch runner for Kulp, stole for second base. Fritz reached on base by USF's defensive error and advanced Jones to third base. Alcala hit a 2-RBI triple to score Jones and Fritz as the Trojans regain their lead at 6-4. DSU added a run from Alcala caused by the Cougars' defensive error to give DSU 7-4 lead.
USF mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Cougars scored five times with two outs to overtake the lead from the Trojans 9-7.
Dakota State was unable to score in the final inning after Amanda Stevenson recorded a triple to open the inning.
Amanda Stevenson went 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and two RBIs for the Trojans. Alcala added a triple, a single, two runs scored and an RBI. Kulp and Ashley Stevenson each had a double.
Bouman was 3-for-4 behind the plate with three RBIs for USF. Sorensen recorded two doubles, a single, two run scored and two RBIs. Brylla added two singles.
The Trojans had seven steals in the game compared to the Cougars' none.
USF had 12 hits in the game. The Trojans recorded eight hits. The Cougars committed five errors while DSU had four.
Balesteri started the game for DSU. She tossed 5 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs (four unearned) on 11 hits. She struck out three batters. Shaw (5-5) took the loss as she gave up two walks and an unearned run. Tebbe closed the game in 1/3 inning and struck out one batter.
Sorensen tossed a complete game to improve her record to 3-4 for the Cougars. She allowed seven run (three unearned) on eight hits.
Dakota State will look to bounce back in the winning column on Wednesday afternoon. The Trojans play their first home doubleheader at the Thue Softball Complex versus Presentation College. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was forced to move to Wednesday due to rainy weather forecast. First game is slated to start at 3 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director