Jacks go down swinging
FARGO, N.D. – South Dakota State opened Friday’s elimination game at The Summit League Softball Championships with back-to-back-to-back homeruns from Sammy Bingham, Kelly Kleppin and Devan Larsen, but Western Illinois came back with nine unanswered runs en route to a 10-4 win
The loss eliminates the Jackrabbits from the tournament and ends their season with an 11-36 record, while the Fighting Leathernecks survive to face either top-seed North Dakota State or No. 3 seed South Dakota in an another elimination game on Saturday with a 19-27-1 overall record.
Down 3-0, the Fighting Leathernecks got one back in the bottom of the first, capitalizing on an SDSU throwing error to score an unearned run to cut the lead to 3-1 in favor of the Jacks, and then broke it open with eight runs on six hits and three Jackrabbit errors in the third.
Western added a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-3 lead, but Elyse Eitel got that one back with a solo blast of her own to leadoff the sixth inning, which cut the Leathernecks lead to 10-4, but the Jacks would get no closer.
Ashlyn Bender took the loss in the circle; she gave up six runs, three earned, with a walk and a strikeout in two and a third innings pitched.