The Northern State University softball team split versus St. Cloud State, falling to the Huskies 3-0 in game one and then defeating them 5-4 in an eight-inning second game. With the split, the Wolves are now 19-12-1 overall and 4-3-1 in the NSIC, while the Huskies are now 21-13 overall and 5-3 in league play.
St. Cloud State was quick to jump on the Wolves in the top of the first inning, earning two runs off three singles and an error.
The Huskies did not let up in the following inning, tacking on an additional run with a solo homerun to left center.
Northern State looked to answer in the bottom of the third as Jess Vernon and Lauren Kunz each singled to put two runners on. The Wolves reached the top of their lineup with one out, however were unable to strike the ball through the infield to notch a run.
Both teams remained scoreless through the final innings and St. Cloud State would earn their 21st win of the year.
The Wolves combined for six hits, coming off the bats of Jenna Helgeson, Katie Dawson, Kennady Thompson, Rachel Albright, Vernon, and Kunz.
From the mound, Jamie Fisher allowed just two earned runs in seven complete innings pitched. The sophomore recorded two strikeouts and forced 12 groundouts in the outing.
Northern State once again found themselves in a three-run deficit as the Huskies combined for three hits in the top of the second. St. Cloud State made it 4-0 in the third off two consecutive singles and an error.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Wolves responded with two runs of their own. Katlynn Dilts, Kunz and Helgeson connected for three-straight doubles to cut the SCSU lead in half.
The Wolves continued to be a threat in the bottom of the sixth, as Thompson and Courtney Sjerven singled to put two runners on. Vernon laid a line drive single to the right center gap to score pinch runner, Anne Jonas, from second.
Trailing by a run, NSU was down to their final at bats. Helgeson led the inning off with a double to right center, and quickly advanced to third on a Shayla Steinley sacrifice bunt. Dawson ripped a single through the Huskies infield to score the tying run and send the game to extra innings.
After the Huskies went three up, three down in the top of the eighth, Northern State would get an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the inning. Carly Brousek singled through the left side to lead off the inning. The junior advanced to second on a groundout to the pitcher and moved to third in the following at bat off a wild pitch.
Helgeson and Steinley were intentionally walked to load the bases for Dawson, who put the ball in play in the direction of the SCSU shortstop, giving Brousek the opportunity to score from third.
The walk-off hit gave the Wolves their 19th win of the season. As a unit, NSU tallied 12 hits in 33 at bats. Helgeson led the team going a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. Eight other batters recorded hits in contest.
Missy Elkins improved to 9-7 with the win from the mound. Elkins held the Huskies to three earned runs in seven complete innings pitched.
The Wolves will continue play from the road April 8 and 9, facing SMSU at 1p.m. and 3p.m. on Saturday and taking on USF at 12p.m. and 2p.m. on Sunday.
NSU Sports Information