For the final time of the regular season, the North Dakota State softball team hit the road. The Bison didn’t give up a run Saturday to take both games of a doubleheader against South Dakota.
In the first game of the day, the Bison and Coyotes combined for just six hits in eight innings.
USD’s Alexis Devers didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning. Bison left fielder Mayson Camacho singled to left field. The stay on the bases was brief, as Camacho was caught stealing second.
Zoe Stavrou collected the second hit of the day in the sixth with a hit to center. Once again, the base running was short-lived, as Bre Beatty hit into a double play.
Stephanie Soriano singled in the seventh, but couldn’t score to break the deadlock.
Bison pitcher Jacquelyn Sertic kept the Coyotes’ bats quiet. Sertic struck out 12, reaching double-digits for the 30th time in her Bison career. She also allowed just three hits in the first seven innings.
The action kicked off in the eighth. Camacho and Katie Shoultz led the inning off with walks to get runners on. Both stole a base to reach scoring position before Stavrou hit a sacrifice fly to score Camacho.
Sertic walked the leadoff batter and hit the second with a pitch. The runners advanced to second and third on a ground ball. Needing one more out, Sertic intentionally walked Jessica Rogers. With the bases loaded, Sertic produced a pop-up from Jamie Holscher to end the game.
NDSU’s pitching dominance continued in the second game. KK Leddy followed up Sertic’s game with a three-hit shutout of her own.
While Leddy controlled the game from the pitcher’s circle, the Bison bats took a while to get going.
Camacho and Shoultz led off the fifth, reaching on a single down the left field line and a bunt. Stavrou sent both home with a double down the left field line.
In the sixth, the Bison extended their lead. Jamie Barta led the inning off with a single. Shoultz collected her second hit of the game to advance Barta to third. Camacho plated Barta in the next at-bat.
For the second time of the game, Shoultz and Camacho came home off a Stavrou double as the Bison brought the lead to 5-0.
That was enough room to work for Leddy. The junior pitcher closed the game out with her fourth strikeout of the game.
NDSU advanced to 24-14 on the year (4-2 Summit League) with Sertic and Leddy improving to 18-7 and 5-6, respectively.
Game three of the series was played Sunday after press time.
After 39 games on the road, NDSU were scheduled for a midweek doubleheader at Minnesota, but the series was postponed. The Bison are next up at home with a doubleheader Saturday against Fort Wayne with a third game Sunday.
The home opener ties the latest one of the last decade, as April 28 was the first home date in 2009. That year, the Bison claimed the Summit League crown and swept through the Regional Round of the NCAA Tournament.