Sioux Falls and Wayne State split an NSIC softball doubleheader played Wednesday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex in Wayne as the visiting Cougars won the opener 9-6 followed by a 10-7 Wayne State win in the second contest. USF is now 24-11 and 9-3 in the NSIC while WSC is 11-22 and 5-9 in league games.
Sioux Falls scored single runs in the first and second inning to take an early 2-0 lead.
Wayne State responded in the bottom of the second inning, scoring five runs on two hits. Baylee Rial drew a bases load walk to bring in the first Wildcat run of the game. Junior first baseman Emily Chandler followed Rial with a grand slam over the centerfield fence to give WSC a 5-2 lead.
The fourth inning saw the Cougars chip away at Wayne State’s lead. USF scored two runs off an RBI double and single to cut the score to 5-4 in favor of the ‘Cats.
Sioux Falls used a solo home run to knot the game 5-5 in the fifth.
USF took their first lead since the second inning in the sixth, using solo home runs from Emily Hove and Breanna Black to push the score to 7-5.
Jordyn Breitbarth helped the Wildcats trim the deficit to 7-6 in the bottom of the sixth, belting a home run to centerfield, her seventh of the season.
The Cougars added two insurance runs in the seventh. Sioux Falls hit their fourth home run of the game, this one by the Kerrigan Hoshaw.
WSC could not respond in the bottom half of the inning as the Wildcats fell to the Cougars 9-6.
Junior Riley Vanderveen was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in two innings of relief. Starter freshman Maddie Mosier worked the first five innings.
Chandler led the Wildcats offensively, going 1 for 2 with a grand slam and drew a walk. Senior catcher Katelyn Wobken went 2 for 4 while Rachel Shumaker, Annie Grammar and Jordyn Breitbarth each had one hit.
The second game saw WSC overcome an early deficit to rally for a 10-7 win and earn a split.
Sioux Falls jump out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning.
Wayne State responded by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Katelyn Wobken had the big hit of the inning, blasting a three-run home run over the centerfield fence.
The Wildcats pushed across two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. WSC used a 2-RBI double by freshman Ashley Hernandez to score Alyx Hagen (walk) and Rachel Shumaker (single) in the fourth.
WSC capitalized on two Cougar fielding errors in the fifth to extend their lead to 7-4. Emily Chandler plated Breithbarth and Rial when Sioux Falls could not field a ball hit to second.
Wayne State tacked on another three runs in the fifth, capitalizing on yet another Cougar error. Katelyn Wobken singled to third base and was able to score Hernandez when the second basemen could not come up with the ball at first. Baylee Rial followed with a two-run double to centerfield that scored Breitbarth and Wobken.
Sioux Falls showed life in the sixth, trimming the WSC lead to 10-7. Sydney Nieveen hit a three-run home run to centerfield, her second home run of the day.
Maddie Moser closed out the seventh forcing the Cougars into a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save.
Riley Vanderveen earned the win, tossing 6.0 innings to improve to 6-10 on the year. Moser earned her first save of the season by pitching a clean seventh inning.
The Wildcats are scheduled to be at home this weekend hosting Northern State Saturday at 1 p.m. and MSU Moorhead Sunday at 12 p.m. but watch www.wscwildcats.com for possible changes in the schedule with this weekend’s predicted bad weather.