Offense hits stride as NDSU turns for home
Momentum is the name of the game currently for the North Dakota State softball team. With the opening of the newly renovated and named Tharaldson Park coming next week, the Bison come home on a hot streak. With three wins out on the West Coast in two days, the Bison sit on a 17-game win streak.
NDSU opened play at the Seattle Round-Robin with a doubleheader with the hosts Seattle University. The Bison jumped all over the hosts in the third, with Maddie Hansen and Sam Koehn each knocking in two-run singles either side of Vanessa Anderson bringing home a run after being hit by a pitch.
A five-run cushion was more than enough for KK Leddy in the pitcher’s circle. The junior improved to 15-6 on the season after allowing one run on seven hits and a walk. Leddy also struck out four Red Hawks on the afternoon.
Koehn added more runs in the seventh, bringing home two more with a triple before coming in to score herself off the bat of Montana DeCamp to bring the game to the final score of 8-1. The Bison combined for a season-high 14 hits in the contest.
Game two started off with a similar pattern. Hansen and Anderson combined to bring in three runs in the first inning to give pitcher Paige Vargas room to work. DeCamp then opened the second frame with a solo home run before Hansen cleared the fence with a three-run home run, her team-leading eighth of the season.
Seattle got to Vargas in the third inning, putting up five runs. Kara O’Byrne came on to relieve Vargas and got the third out of the inning.
The freshman pitcher got some run support in the sixth and seventh when Lauren Reimers and Cara Beatty hit solo home runs to push the score to 9-6.
The runs were well needed as O’Byrne worked into a two-out jam in the ninth. Consecutive doubles and an intentional walk brought the winning run to the plate for the Red Hawks, but O’Byrne forced a groundout to pick up the save in the Bison’s 9-7 victory.
A change of opposition was not enough to stop the Bison’s offensive surge during the weekend. Against Santa Clara, the bats kept connecting to power NDSU to a 9-1 win in five innings.
NDSU scored in each of the first three frames. Stephanie Soriano got the scoring started in the first, bringing in Katie Shoultz with a double.
In the second, DeCamp hit her second home run of the weekend, this time a two-run shot. Shoultz then crossed the plate for the second time in as many innings off a sacrifice fly from Hansen.
Anderson put up another two runs in the third with her second home run of the weekend to push the score to 6-1.
It was another one run allowed on seven hits outing for Leddy, who struck out seven on 100 pitches on the afternoon.
NDSU put the game to bed with three runs in the fifth. DeCamp knocked in two more runners with a bases-loaded single. That paved the way for Beaver Creek, Minnesota native Avery Wysong to collect her first collegiate RBI with a single to end the game.
NDSU improved to 27-11 on the season, all away from home. The Bison will open play at Tharaldson Park Saturday with a doubleheader against South Dakota State. NDSU are 6-0 in the Summit League heading into the three-game set with the Jacks.