Cougars Lose Lead Late, Fall 7-2 At Wayne State
WAYNE, NE — In a battle between two of the top five teams in the NSIC, Sioux Falls held a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning of their matchup against Wayne State. But the Wildcats plated three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to secure a 7-2 victory at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex in Wayne, Neb.
Driving snow and swirling winds appeared during the fourth inning, which canceled Wednesday’s back end of USF’s (26-9, 14-5 NSIC) scheduled doubleheader at the perennial league power.
The Cougars got on the scoreboard first when Shannon Daly smacked a one-out double down the right field line before Betsy Thomas belted her seventh home run of the season to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Senior righty Amanda Walters worked around a one-out two-bagger and a single in the first by inducing a pop-up to short before catching the next Wildcat batter looking for strike three.
The score remained the same until the home half of the third when Jordan King singled, moved to the keystone on a sacrifice bunt and claimed third on a fielding error by the Cougar second baseman. She tagged up on a sac fly by Kelcie Bormann, halving the Cougars’ advantage.
The Cougars’ bats fell silent in the middle frames, as Wildcat ace Sara Scheffert held USF hitless for four straight innings. Wayne State got back-to-back hits to open the fifth and would score three runs in the inning to double up the Cougars, 4-2.
The Wildcats added to that lead in the sixth, plating three runs on three hits and an error for the final tally.
Taylor Jonas singled to lead off the seventh and it appeared that USF might have something brewing with runners at the corners with two outs, but Thomas popped out to end the game.
For USF, Thomas went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. Daly and Jonas accounted for the other two base hits.
Walters (16-5) was saddled with the loss and went the distance in the circle, allowing seven runs on eleven hits, striking out six and walking four with one wild pitch.
Scheffert (14-7) gave up two runs on three hits, fanned five and issued three base-on-balls.
USF is scheduled to host Winona State (30-6, 13-3 NSIC) on Friday and Upper Iowa (13-22, 6-9) on Saturday at Sherman Park. Both twinbills will start at noon and Saturday will serve as Senior Day for the veteran Cougar trio of Amanda Walters, Kellen Dewey and Bailey Bouman.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls