Softball solidifies first place in the Summit with USD sweep

Bison pitchers shut down Coyote offense

The North Dakota State softball team seized control of the Summit League this weekend, sweeping South Dakota and pulling a full three games ahead of the ‘Yotes.

Bison pitching was the key to all three victories. It’s pretty tough to lose when the other team doesn’t score.

Throughout the three games the Bison outscored the Coyotes 19-0.

The first game of the series was one of the best and perhaps the most important game the Bison have had this season. Alexis Devers and KK Leddy were locked into a sweet pitching duel that went all the way into the eighth inning.

In the eighth, the Bison were finally able to break through, starting with a couple singles and eventually a sac-fly by Maddie Hanson to score Montana DeCamp for the first run of the game. Sophomore Cara Beatty’s RBI single added some insurance. Not that Leddy needed it, as she put down the Coyotes in order to secure her 17th win of the year.

If not for a first inning single, Leddy would have thrown a no-hitter. In short: she was locked in a week after pitching a no-hitter against South Dakota State. The adrenaline-pumping win may have given the Bison some assurance that they were in fact the best team in the Summit.

Not to be outdone by her upperclassman teammate, Paige Vargas was able to pitch a one-hitter of her own in the night cap. This time, however, the runs came a little easier for the Bison offense.

The scoring started in the third inning with an RBI single by Stephanie Soriano followed by Hansen’s ninth home run of the year to put the Bison up 3-0. The Herd then exploded in the fourth, adding six more runs to make it 9-0.

The Bison added one more in the fifth for good measure, eventually winning 10-0.

Leddy was on the mound again the following day in the third and final game of series. She must not have had her Wheaties this time around though, considering she allowed a whopping five hits in her ninth shutout of the year.

The Bison got the scoring started early, going up 1-0 in the top of the first with Katie Shoultz hustling home on a bunt from Beatty. The Herd added one more in the third on DeCamp’s sixth homer of the year and two more in the fifth on a two-out, two-RBI single from Zoe Stavrou.

The game seemed in hand by the seventh, but a pair of errors by the ‘Yotes and a Madyson Camacho double led to three more runs for the Bison, turning the game into a rout.

The Bison are now sitting at 32-12 with an 11-1 conference record and are in prime position to win the Summit yet again.

Advantage Bison at this point as well because the rest of the season will be played in Fargo, including the Summit League Tournament, starting with Omaha this upcoming weekend.

At this point in the year, the Bison’s biggest opponent is themselves. The Bison did not just beat South Dakota, they utterly dominated them, on the road no less.

The sweep sent a message to the rest of the league, showing who the class of the Summit League really is. With only eight games to go before tournament play begins, the Bison should be brimming with confidence.

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