The North Dakota State softball team (25-17, 7-4 Summit) swept Western Illinois (7-28, 3-9 Summit) this past weekend. While the Bison were technically the home team, the series was moved to Omaha, Neb. due to the forecasted weather and temperatures in Fargo.
The Herd won game one of their doubleheader on Friday 7-0. Avery Wysong had a big day at the dish, hitting two home runs in the game.
NDSU got their scoring started in the bottom of the second inning when Wysong hit a two-run home run to center field to give the Bison a 2-0 lead.
The Herd scored three runs in the fifth inning as Reanna Rudd hit an RBI double. Then, Carley Goetschius drove in two runs with a single.
Rudd would add two more RBIs in the sixth after a double down the right-field line.
Paige Vargas got the start for the Herd, pitching six shutout innings while striking out five batters. Mac Schulz came in to pitch a scoreless seventh inning as well.
The Bison won game two of Saturday’s doubleheader 12-1, highlighted by a Goetschius grand slam in the fourth inning.
Western Illinois got the scoring started in the top of the second to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The Herd answered in the third, however, capitalizing on a Western Illinois error to score three runs. Cameryn Maykut reached on an error and a run scored to tie the game. Then, Rudd hit a two-run double to give the Bison a 3-1 lead.
NDSU opened the game up in the fourth inning as they scored nine runs in the frame. Emilee Buringa worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in the first run of the inning. Dez Cardenas then hit a two-run single, followed by an RBI single from Maykut.
Two batters later, Goetschius launched a grand slam to left-center field. Wysong added another insurance run in the inning, following up Goetschius’s grand slam with a home run of her own.
Lainey Lyle got the start for NDSU, pitching a five-inning complete game. She allowed one earned run while striking out six batters. Lyle improved to 4-0 in Summit League play with the win.
The Bison completed the sweep of Western Illinois on Saturday, winning 10-1.
The Bulldogs would strike first, scoring their only run in the top of the first inning.
However, the Bison responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Maykut brought in a run after a sacrifice fly and then a Rudd RBI single gave the Herd a 2-1 lead.
NDSU scored six runs in the third inning. Two runs were scored when Cardenas reached on an error. Goetschius then hit an RBI single to put NDSU ahead 5-1. Wysong picked up an RBI after reaching on an error, while Nicole Licea followed that up with an RBI groundout. Finally, Skylar Padgett capped off the inning with a sac-fly to give the Bison an 8-1 lead.
The Bison finished off their scoring in the fourth inning with a Maykut RBI single and a Rudd RBI ground-rule double.
Vargas started for the Herd, pitching four innings while giving up one run and striking out four batters. Her record improved to 13-8 on the season with the win.
The Bison hit a milestone with their performance this past weekend, reaching 200 league wins in the Summit League. NDSU is 200-61 all-time in league play in the Summit League era.
With the sweep, NDSU’s Summit League record of 7-4 places them fourth in the conference. They are a few percentage points behind South Dakota and Omaha, who are tied for second.
Up next, the Bison have a three-game homestand against the current Summit League leaders, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (29-10, 10-2 Summit) starting on Saturday. First pitch times are scheduled for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. for Saturday’s doubleheader and 11 a.m. for Sunday’s lone game.