Coyote softball drops season finale at IPFW; Boyd sets stolen bases record in loss

Sophomore Lindsey Boyd set a new single-season school record for stolen bases, but the University of South Dakota softball team fell to Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, 10-0 Saturday in Fort Wayne, IN. The Coyotes finished the season 16-39 and 12-12 in the Summit League, while IPFW finished the regular season at 42-12 and 17-7 in conference play.

Despite the loss, the Coyotes finished their first year in the Summit League at .500 (12-12) and depending on the outcome of the UMKC-Western Illinois series (which concludes Sunday), could finish in as high as the fifth spot. South Dakota, which was picked to finish ninth in the league in a preseason coaches poll, will finish no lower than sixth no matter what the outcome of the UMKC-WIU series.

Boyd (Westminster, CO) stole a base after walking in the first inning to record her 31st stolen base of the year, breaking a record that stood 19 years. Stef Picquet set the previous record of 30 in 1993. Boyd's 31-of-32 mark (.969 percentage) on steals is also the best percentage (minimum 15 attempts) in school history. She is now second all-time in career steals with 58, just 11 behind the career record of 69 held by Picquet.

In Saturday's game, senior Alexa Rudeen (Sioux City, IA) and sophomore Christine Broders (Yankton) had doubles for the Coyotes. Freshman Morgan Hancock (Wahoo, NE) added a single, while Boyd had a walk and a stolen base.

IPFW scored five runs in each of the first two innings, with the key hits being a grand slam by Courtney Cronin in the first and a two-run single by Audrey Mintari in the second.

The Coyotes had a chance in the first, when Boyd walked and stole second. She moved to third on a groundout by Rudeen, but a groundout to third ended the inning.

In the fourth, Rudeen doubled to right center with one out, and one out later, moved to third when Hancock singled to left. However, a flyout to second ended the threat.

Broders doubled to right center with one out in the fifth but a pair of groundouts left her stranded.

Junior Missy Blackburn (Sioux Falls) took the loss, going 1.1 innings. She allowed six hits and eight earned runs, walking two while striking out one. Sophomore Paige Policky (Lincoln, NE) finished the game, allowing two runs in 2.2 innings of work.

Saturday's contest marked the final game for three Coyote seniors: Rudeen, Stephanie Hall (Torrance, CA) and Bre Zmolek (Brookings). Rudeen finished third all-time in career fielding percentage at .991, and also finished alone in sixth place with 41 career doubles. She also finished tied for sixth with career home runs (14) and tied for 10th in career RBI at 85. Despite playing at USD for just two years, Hall finished just outside the top 10 with five career triples and was six sacrifices (22) away from the top 10. Zmolek finished with eight career home runs, just four away from 10th.

 "Congrats to our three seniors who have laid the foundation for our team's future," South Dakota head coach Amy Klyse said. "They have taught so much to our young kids. We are proud to call them USD softball alumni."

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