In a midweek dogfight, the Northern State Wolves and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs drew a split from the Moccasin Creek Softball Complex.
Northern State claimed game one 3-1, however Minnesota Duluth responded with a 4-2 win in game two. With the draw, the Wolves are now 25-18-1 overall and 10-9-1 in conference play, while the Bulldogs sit 30-14 overall and 14-5 in the NSIC.
Both teams remained scoreless through the first two innings of play, until Natalie Wright singled to right field with one out in the top of the third. Wright advanced to second on a groundout and stole third to place herself in scoring position for the Bulldogs.
With two outs, Lauren Oberle beat out an infield hit to score the first run of the game. Down by one, the Northern State offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Rachel Albright doubled to right field to start the inning. Lauren Kunz traded places with Albright to tie the game 1-1.
Next up, Katelynn Dilts kept the rally going with an RBI single up the middle to score Kunz and give the Wolves the one run advantage.
Jenna Helgeson opened the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff single to right center. Albright launched her second double of the day to right center to score the go-ahead run.
In the 3-1 victory, the Wolves went 7-for-25 from the plate for a team average of .280, while holding the Bulldogs to an average of .160.
Albright and Dilts led NSU with two hits each in three plate appearances. Dilts, Albright and Kunz recorded the three RBIs.
From the mound, Jamie Fisher earned the victory, improving to 10-7 overall on the year. Fisher held UMD to four hits in 25 at bats.
Minnesota Duluth was first to cross a run once again in game two, scoring off a walk and three base hits. Northern State responded in the bottom of the fourth, as Helgeson led off the inning with a double to right center.
Kennady Thompson reached on an error and Katie Dawson walked to load the bases for Albright. The senior connected for a single up the middle to score Helgeson, followed by a single to left field off the bat of Kunz to put the Wolves up 2-1.
The Wolves’ lead did not last long, though, as the Bulldogs answered in the top of the fifth with back-to-back doubles and a pair of singles to make it a 3-2 game. Minnesota Duluth tacked on their final run in the top of the seventh to seal the 4-2 victory over the Wolves.
As a unit, Northern State tallied five hits, coming from Shayla Steinley, Helgeson, Albright, Fisher and Kunz. Albright and Kunz recorded the two runs batted in. Missy Elkins suffered the loss from the mound, falling to 11-10 overall in the 2017 season. Elkins allowed 12 hits in 6.0 innings pitched with a season-high seven strikeouts.
The Wolves will hit the road April 22 and 23 to face Minnesota State at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Concordia St. Paul at 12 and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
NSU Sports Information
Photo courtesy NSU Sports Information.