SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (APRIL 11, 2014) – The USF softball team used a strong offensive performance to complete the sweep of Minnesota Crookston at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Friday, defeating the Golden Eagles 10-3 and 9-4. Shannon Daly led the way for the Cougars at the plate batting 0.750 (6-of-8) while also recording six RBI.
In addition to the solid performances on the day, the Cougars also had two moments that had been building throughout the season with new USF season records in home runs and strikeouts being set in the first game of the doubleheader.
With the pair of victories, USF improves to 24-8 overall and 12-4 in the conference while Minnesota Crookston falls to 3-22 on the season and 1-11 in league play. The pair of wins also puts USF in a tie for third place in the conference with Augustana and Winona State.
USF 10, UMC 3
The Cougars first run of the day came in the top of the first inning when a wild pitch allowed Shannon Daly to cross the plate with ease and give USF a 1-0 lead.
The scoring picked up in the second inning when Taylor Jonas hit a three-run homer that brought in Kellen Dewey and Shae Hoskins. Jonas finished the day going 2-of-3 at the plate with 4 RBI.
Later in the inning Shannon Daly hit a single up the middle that gave way for Brittany Hoffman to score and put the Cougars up by five runs. Daly ended the first game of the day connecting in three of her four at bats while also bringing in two RBI.
Another wild pitch by the Golden Eagles brought in Shae Hoskins in the top of the third inning and in the next at bat a Taylor Jonas single to right centerfield made room for Kellen Dewey to cross the plate.
Minnesota Crookston tried to respond in the third inning as Kaylin Beaty reached first base on an error which allowed Cateline Fafard to score. However, Beaty pushed the Cougars defense too much as she was out on the play when she tried to take third base.
Leading off the fourth inning for the Cougars, Betsy Thomas hit a homerun to centerfield that put her in the USF record books. The sophomore infielder hit her sixth homerun of the season which is more than any previous Cougar softball player. Thomas’ new mark breaks a record previously held by Pricilla Quintana (2012) and Maggie Gorman (2001).
The Cougars added to their lead in the top of the fourth when Kellen Dewey hit a double that made way for Amanda Walters to score and put the Cougars up by eight runs. Dewey had a solid outing at the plate, going 2-of-4 with one RBI.
Crookston put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Alexis Khoshaba hit a home run that brought the Golden Eagles within six runs of the Cougars.
USF added one more insurance run in the top of the seventh when Shannon Daly singled up the middle and brought in Erin Scott to give USF its final margin of victory with seven runs.
Amanda Walters (15-4) picked up the victory for the Cougars while giving up five hits and only two earned runs. The Sioux Falls native also put herself in the USF record book for most strikeouts in a season with the mark currently set at 155 strikeouts thanks to eleven strikeouts in today’s outing. The record was previously set when Gayl Bear struck out 152 batters during the 2000 season.
The loss was charged to Cateline Fafard (0-7) as she allowed five earned runs in 2.2 innings on the mound.
The Cougars scored their ten runs on sixteen hits with only one error committed.
USF 9, UMC 4
The Cougars got on the board first again when Shannon Daly hit a two-run homer that put USF up by two runs. Daly ended the second game going 3-of-4 at the plate with four RBI.
In the bottom of the first inning, UMC got on the board when Josee Plante hit a single to right field that brought in Allison Foley. In the next at bat, a wild pitch by the Cougars allowed Shelby Hollinger to cross the plate with ease and knot the game up at two runs apiece.
Both teams struggled offensively over the next three innings with no runs scored by either team and a combined four hits. The Cougars broke the offensive drought in the top of the sixth where they scored six runs. Taylor Jonas got things started when her single to right field brought in Bailey Bouman.
In the next at bat, Brittany Hoffman reached first base on a fielder’s choice and when the Golden Eagles third basemen had an errant throw to home, USF was able to have Shae Hoskins and Kellen Dewey score.
Later in the inning the Cougars added more runs when a Kellen Dewey single allowed Brittany Hoffman and Haley Keiser to score.
The final run of the day for USF came later in the sixth when Betsy Thomas had a sacrifice fly that allowed Erin Scott to tag up and put USF up by seven runs.
The Golden Eagles tried to close the gap with a home run by Alexis Khoshaba in the sixth and a Josee Plante single that brought in Shelby Holilnger, but it was too little too late as the Cougars came away with a 9-4 victory.
On the mound, Bailey Bouman (8-3) picked up the win, striking out six Golden Eagle batters while giving up four earned runs. Bouman also was solid at the plate in the Cougars victory, connecting in two of her four at bats.
Paige Schaust (3-8) was credited with the loss as she gave up eight earned runs in seven innings on the mound.
The Cougars scored their nine runs on ten hits while committing no errors.
USF will return to action on Saturday when they face Bemidji State (11-17, 0-12 NSIC) at Sherman Park with first pitch of the doubleheader set for 12 p.m.