Cougars Drop Two to No. 19 Minnesota State
After being swept by Winona State and Upper Iowa last weekend, the Sioux Falls softball team was unable to win either game on Thursday against No. 19 Minnesota State Mankato (31-9, 16-4) falling 1–0 in the opener and 12–4 in the nightcap. The Cougars (13–25, 8–16 NSIC) saw their losing skid move to eight straight largely due to the four home runs the team gave up over both ends of the doubleheader.
The two-game series was moved from Sioux Falls to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., due to unplayable conditions at Sherman Park.
USF junior pitcher Bailey Bouman battled through six scoreless innings in game one until the Mavericks homered in the top of the seventh for a 1-0 victory.
Bouman (6-9) finished with three strikeouts, two walks and six hits allowed.
MSU senior ace Courtney McKelvogue (18-6) picked up the victory. She scattered five hits, walked one and fanned eight Cougars.
It was a classic pitcher’s duel and both Bouman and McKelvogue shut down the opposing offense. The Mavericks led off the game with a walk and later advanced a runner to third base on a wild pitch, but Bouman started an inning-ending double play on a fielder’s choice to get out of trouble.
The game’s only multi-hit inning was the Cougars’ half of the fourth, where they tallied back-to-back singles. It was also USF’s best scoring opportunity, as the Cougars had runners at first and second with two outs but pinch hitter Shannon Daly struck out to end the inning.
MSU put runners in scoring position in four of its first five innings, but Bouman was able to pitch out of trouble on all five occasions.
But the Cougars ran out of luck in the final inning. With the aid of a 25-30 mile wind, Kelly Wood belted her sixth home run of the season to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead and the score stood up after the Cougars went quietly in their half of the seventh.
Erin Scott went 2-for-4 to pace the Cougars. Quintana, Dewey and Reinke each had a hit.
The Cougars struck first in game two, when Scott reached base on a lead-off fielder’s error and moved around the horn with a hit by pitch and ground-out.
Quintana drove her in with a sacrifice fly to give USF the early 1-0 lead. The Mavericks evened things in the third inning and gained the lead in the top of the fourth inning as Tatum Klein singled home Jenna Peterson.
USF went quietly in the bottom of the fourth and the Mavericks tacked on three more in the fifth when Lindsay Erickson homered off of Cougar starter Amanda Walters and Anna Cole followed with a solo shot two batters later to push the Mavs’ margin to 5-1.
The Mavericks added two more insurance runs before the Cougars came to bat in the sixth and rallied to cut the deficit to 7-4. Scott got things started with heads up base running, as she scampered all the way to third on a Maverick throwing error and was brought home with Katie Larson’s ground ball base hit. Dewey would single before Walters helped her own cause with a two-run sacrifice fly.
MSU broke the game open with five runs in the top of the seventh inning, three of which came off the bat of Erickson who homered in her second straight at-bat. Samantha Holien added a solo shot that created the Mavericks' final 12-4 margin of victory.
As a unit, the Cougars were out-hit by MSU recorded 16-3. Larson, Dewey and Quintana each singled in the contest.
Walters (7-15) yielded nine runs on 12 hits in 6.1 innings, walked two and struck out a pair. Bouman and Shae Hoskins each took the circle in relief.
USF will host MSU-Moorhead and Northern State this weekend at Sherman Park. Senior Day is slated for Sunday.