Coyotes fall in doubleheader at UC-Santa Barbara

The South Dakota softball team wrapped up its California trip with a pair of losses to UC-Santa Barbara on Monday. The Coyotes fell by identical 4-1 scores in the doubleheader to fall to 12-23 on the season.

In the first game, sophomore Kate Snow (Battle Creek, NE) paced the Coyote offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Senior Mel Johnson (Sioux Falls) and junior Alexa Rudeen (Sioux City, IA) each added hits for the Coyotes, while sophomore Kassie Loe (Lennox) scored a run.

Johnson had a solid outing on the mound but took the loss. She allowed four runs (three earned), striking out three while walking six.

UCSB (15-18) scored twice in the third to take a 2-0 lead, and added single runs in the fifth and sixth.

The Coyotes looked to rally in the seventh. With one out and Loe on first after reaching on a fielder�s choice, freshman Christine Broders (Yankton) singled, moving Loe to second. Snow doubled to left center to score Loe, bringing the Coyotes within 4-1. Broders was thrown out trying to score on the play. A strikeout ended the threat for the Coyotes.

Johnson and Rudeen paced the Coyote offense in Game 2, each going 2-for-4. Freshman Lindsey Boyd (Westminster, CO) added a hit. UCSB had a slight 7-5 edge in hits, but the Coyotes were unable to come up with a big hit, leaving 10 runners on base.

South Dakota struck first. Boyd reached on an error, and moved to second on a bunt by junior Stephanie Hall (Torrance, CA), who was safe on the play. One out later, Johnson singled to left center to score Boyd, giving the Coyotes an early 1-0 lead. The Coyotes had the bases loaded in the inning but were unable to get another run across.

The Gauchos scored three runs in the third, keyed by a two-run triple by Kathryn Pilpil, to take a 3-1 lead. They added an unearned run in the sixth to build the lead to 4-1.

Sophomore Erica Denney (Sioux City, IA) also had a solid outing on the mound but took the loss. She allowed four runs (three earned), striking out two while walking one.

The Coyotes will look to rebound on Saturday when they play at Big Ten foe Minnesota. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. in Minneapolis, MN.

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