Wolves Claw Cougars Twice
The University of Sioux Falls softball team dropped both games of its Tuesday road doubleheader to a hot-hitting Northern State team at the Moccasin Creek Softball Complex in Aberdeen.
The Cougars fell 10-2 in six innings in game one and then 4-0 in the nightcap.
The losses drop USF to 12-12 while NSU lifted its overall mark to 18-20.
"As a team, it's about building off of every game and getting better," said USF head coach Travis Lape. "We played tough the first game until the bottom of the sixth when we just allowed Northern to run the table. The second game, we got runners in scoring position but couldn't get them home."
"We just lacked execution today," he added.
The Cougars were out-hit by the Wolves in the twinbill, 19-10.
In game one, NSU's Ashley Gabler went 3-for-3 with three RBI to lead Northern State to a 10-2 victory in six innings over USF.
"Northern State came out and really got after it," said Cougar head coach Travis Lape. "They swung the bats really well."
USF ace Bailey Bouman retired the Wolves 1-2-3 in the first two innings on 23 pitches before giving up a lead-off single to Morgan Schultz to open the third frame. The base knock proved costly, as Ashley Gabler took full advantage of a 2-0 hitters' count and deposited a Bouman fastball over the right field fence to put the homestanding Wolves in front 2-0.
Gabler did further damage with her bat in the fourth, drilling a two-out single to right field bringing home Eryn Yancy and making it a 3-0 game in favor of Northern State.
The Cougars scratched across a run in the top of the fifth to cut the Wolves' lead to two runs. Shae Reinke drew a lead-off walk and was moved to third on a sacrifice and a Bouman base hit before scooting home on an error by the NSU second sacker.
However, USF became its own worst enemy, committing three critical errors in the fifth and sixth frames that opened the door for seven NSU runs and put the mercy rule into effect.
USF's five hits were recorded by five different players. Priscilla Quintana was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Bouman (6-7) took the loss for the Cougars. The sophomore allowed 10 runs, of which just four were earned, on 11 hits with no walks and three strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings of work.
Game two was scoreless until the bottom of the third, when the Wolves plated three runs on three hits and one Cougar error to lead 3-0.
Brittany Huback's RBI triple was preceded by Caitlin Moran's one-out base hit. Huback touched home on an infield single by Kelsey Robing, who later scored on an error by the USF second baseman.
The visitors' best opportunity to get back in the game came in the top of the fourth, when the Cougars had the bases loaded with two outs but Elliott Lenz grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Cougars tallied just two hits the rest of the game.
Doubles by Schultz and Moran allowed the Wolves to tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Amanda Walters (5-4) was credited with the loss in the circle, giving up four runs on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Quintana was 2-for-3 at the plate. Katie Larson, Bailey Bouman and Ariel Sanders had one hit apiece.
The Cougars welcome the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (17-13) to Harmodon Park tomorrow for an afternoon doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.