The North Dakota State softball team makes it look easy, especially in the first few innings of recent games.
The Bison (24-12, 6-0 Summit League) outscored Summit League opponent Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne (10-29, 1-8 Summit League) 16-0 in a doubleheader Saturday at the Ellig Sports Complex in Fargo. And in the final game of the series beat IPFW 13-8.
In both games this weekend, the Bison scored all 16 runs in the first three innings of the contests. “Score early and often” is a motto the team has truly taken to heart. And in Sunday’s contest the Bison scored six runs in the first two innings.
The Bison are destroying its opponents right out of the gate, outscoring them 81-16 in the first two innings of games this season.
NDSU is second in the Summit League for runs scored, and No. 57 nationally in scoring. In the last six games, the Bison have scored eight or more runs in each of them.
The parade of runs this weekend started in the second inning of the first game when Alyssa Reina hit a grand slam to give the Bison the 7-0 lead, and IPFW couldn’t get any sort of rally going.
In the second game Julia Luciano and Maritza Lopez-Portillo both singled in the first inning to give the Bison yet another early lead at 4-0. NDSU piled on four more runs in the next two innings to take control of the game for good.
In Sunday’s game the Bison scored runs off two singles, a triple, a double and Jackie Stifter was hit by a pitch that scored Cheyenne Garcia in the first two innings.
But all the credit can’t go to the hitters. The NDSU pitchers shut down the IPFW offense entirely.
Jacquelyn Sertic and Kaitlyn Leddy threw back-to-back one hitters Saturday against the Mastodons. This season as sophomore Sertic has a low earned run average of 1.97 and after two wins this past weekend her record gets bumped to 17-5 on the year. And Leddy, a freshman, has been modestly successful on the mound this season for the Bison, with a record of 6-7.
The Bison aren’t just stepping all over home plate; they are stepping over opponents, especially in the last 14 games. NDSU has won all but two of those games, including their last six. The last loss the team had was against Iowa State University on March 26.
NDSU will play in-state rival the University of North Dakota Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Ellig Sports Complex before heading to Brookings, S.D. for a three game weekend series.