VERMILLION, SD (KWSN) — North Dakota State clinched its third consecutive Summit League title following a 12-3 win against South Dakota Saturday at Nygaard Field.
The Bison (30-15, 13-3 Summit) will be the top seed of the Summit League Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Fargo, N.D. The Coyotes (28-20, 9-8) are seeded third and play the opening game of the tournament against sixth-seeded South Dakota State at 3 p.m. The double-elimination tournament grants the winner the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
NDSU third baseman Amanda Grable was 3-for-4 Saturday with two RBIs and three runs scored. She hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning that gave the Bison a 2-0 lead. She singled and scored in each of the last two innings.
USD designated player Shelby Keil earned her third start of the season, had a base hit in the fourth inning, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly with two outs in the sixth that made it 8-1. Lindsey Boyd’s fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right, made it 12-3 in the seventh.
Krista Menke (23-6) allowed seven hits and struck out eight in her complete-game effort for the Bison. Menke struck out 19 in 17 1/3 innings during the three-game series.
South Dakota pitchers issued 13 free passes Saturday and 24 in the series. The Coyote defense made four errors, which led to five unearned runs. The Bison scored 11 unearned runs in the three games.
Katie Dinning finished with a .385 batting average during the regular season, which will place her in the top five of the Summit League heading into the tournament. Matley Jones led the team with a .388 average in Summit League play, which ranks in the top 10.
Courtesy: University of South Dakota