The North Dakota State softball team ventured to Florida and came back with a 4-6 record.
At the Westin Invitational hosted by Stetson University, the Herd faced Manhattan College twice, Stetson, Columbia and Colgate.
Pitchers KK Leddy and Jacquelyn Sertic silenced Manhattan College, holding the Jaspers to only three runs across both matchups.
In the first win, sophomore Zoe Stavrou hit the game-winning double, plating the deciding run in the 3-2 victory. In the second game, Bre Beatty slugged two doubles and drove in two runs in the Bison’s 5-1 triumph.
Against Stetson, Stavrou slugged a fourth-inning home run to open the scoring in the Herd’s 3-1 win. Sertic picked up her sixth win of the season, going the distance and allowing seven hits. The team split the final two games, falling to Columbia 7-6, and defeating Colgate 3-1.
NDSU finished with a 4-1 record at the Westin Invitational.
Between the two events, the Herd traveled to Gainesville, Florida, to take on the nation’s No. 2 team, the University of Florida.
The Gators, powered by a ten-run fourth inning, bested the Bison after the mercy rule was instituted following the top of the fifth inning.
NDSU managed just three hits against the Gators’ hurlers, two of which came off the bat of the hot-hitting Stavrou.
NDSU ran up against tough sledding at the USF Spring Classic. The Bison were outmatched, losing all five games.
In the first of their two Friday matchups, No. 4 Auburn University narrowly edged NDSU, 2-1. The Bison and Tigers traded solo home runs in the fifth inning to open the scoring. Auburn walked off in the home half of the seventh inning with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
The hosting University of South Florida defeated the Bison 7-0 in the second half of Friday’s doubleheader.
On Saturday, NDSU fell in both of their games to Missouri and Ohio State, losing 16-6 and 6-5 respectively.
Facing Rutgers on Sunday, the Bison lost 6-5. The Herd led Rutgers for most of the contest, but the Scarlet Knights tagged Sertic for three runs in the sixth inning to steal the lead.
Zoe Stavrou, the infielder from Long Beach, California, has emerged as one of the top hitters for NDSU. She is presently batting .294 with 11 extra base hits and six home runs, to go along with a .565 slugging percentage.
Stavrou has started all 30 of the Herd’s games and leads the team in batting average among everyday starters.
The Bison are currently 10-20, having played in six different events in California, Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana and, most recently, in Florida.
Their taxing away-from-home schedule is not yet complete, however. Next for the Bison is a three-game series against Georgia Tech in Atlanta this upcoming weekend to conclude their rigorous southeastern road trip.
After the series, the Bison will open up Summit League play in Fort Wayne, Indiana, against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne. Their first homestand will take place the second weekend of April against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Having won three consecutive regular season and tournament titles, the Bison enter conference play as the preseason favorites.