Coyotes earn split with Minnesota-Duluth

Coyotes earn split with Minnesota-Duluth It wasn't as windy as the previous doubleheader at the USD Softball Complex, but nonetheless, the wind was blowing out and again playing havoc fielding fly balls April 9 in the South Dakota softball team's (17-22, 3-3 NCC) split with NCC newcomer, Minnesota Duluth (13-17, 1-3 NCC). USD took the first game, 7-5, but fell in the second, 5-1.

In the opener, USD, who had a 7-2 lead entering the sixth inning, held off the Bulldogs rally of one run in the sixth and two in the seventh inning to win its second-straight opening game of a doubleheader.

Things did not start out the Coyotes' way as the second batter of the game, hit a solo homerun to put UMD up, 1-0. Winning pitcher Angela Palma then retired the next two batters in order.

In the bottom of the first, Palma got her fifth homerun of the season, a two-run shot to score Krystal Kirwan to give USD the lead for good.

The Coyotes, who got 11 hits in the game, got a run in the second and fourth innings to extend their lead, while holding UMD scoreless.

Then, in the top of the fifth, UMD added a run fueled by a lead-off double from Nikki Jensen.

USD answered with three in the bottom half of the inning on three hits and an error. Kirwan started the scoring, by crossing home on a single from Palma. Mesha Reynolds, pinch running for Palma, scored on a squeeze play at the plate and Sarah Wrage eventually scored on the same play after some errant throws by the Bulldogs.

Palma (6-8) pitched the entire game, allowing nine hits and four earned runs. She struckout six and walked three.

Jessica Horne (3-4) took the loss, surrendering 11 hits and six earned runs. Horne struckout two and walked two in six innings of work.

For USD in the first game, Kirwan, Palma, Wrage and Abby Poulter each had multiple hits.

The second game began as a pitcher's duel, with USD's Alisha Yowell and UMD's Jill Struck going the first three innings without allowing a run.

Then, in the top of the fourth with no outs, Gina Zech hit a three-run homerun to give the Bulldogs all the runs they would need.

Yowell left the game and Amber Terry came in and retired the side.

In the bottom of the fourth, USD got its lone run, when Kirwan scored off a single to left by Wrage.

The Bulldogs, who had 11 hits in the game to four for USD, added a run in each the sixth and seventh inning to preserve the win.

On the mound for USD, Yowell (8-8), who took the loss, went three innings and allowed three earned runs, while striking out two. Terry pitched four innings and scattered six hits while allowing two runs. She struckout one batter.

Struck got the win, allowing four hits and one earned run. She struckout four and walked two.

Wrage was the lone Coyote with multiple hits, as she had a pair of singles.

USD will play its final regular-season home game on Tuesday, April 12, when they host Minnesota State, Mankato at the USD Softball Complex, starting at 4 p.m.

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