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Larsen Walk-Off Gives Jacks A Sunday Split

Devan Larsen, South Dakota State Jackrabbits softball
South Dakota State University

AMES, IA — Down 12-11 against Indiana State in the bottom of the eighth inning in Sunday’s finale at the Cyclone Invitational, Jackrabbit sophomore Devan Larsen hit her first-career homerun, a three-run blast that lifted the Jacks to a 14-12 win.

The Jacks first win of the season boosts their record to 1-3, after they started the day with a 4-1 loss to Iowa State. Indiana State ends the day with the same 1-3 record.

The host Cyclones used three hits to plate three runs in the first inning of the day’s first game, and then added one more in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead.

SDSU got one back in the top of the fourth when Samantha Terry doubled home Elyse Eitel to cut the lead to 4-1, but the Jacks would get no closer in the game.

Jennifer Sutton took the loss in the circle in her first appearance of the season, she gave up four runs on seven hits with seven walks and a strikeout in the loss. Eitel finished the day 2 for 3 at the plate with the run scored.

The bats came alive for the Jackrabbits the tournament finale shootout with Indiana State, as the teams combined for 26 runs on 27 hits in the game.

The Jacks jumped out to the early lead, posting a pair of runs in both the first and second innings, and then added on more in the fourth to take a commanding 5-0 lead, but the Sycamores fired back with six runs in the fifth to go up 6-5.

Still down 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Jacks appeared to put the game away with a five run frame, but Indiana State countered with five of its own in the of the seventh to go up 11-10.

SDSU tied the game at 11 in the bottom of the seventh, capitalizing on a pair of Sycamore errors to score Jessica Markanich, who opened in the inning with a double up the middle, to force extra innings.

Indiana State retook the lead in the extra frame on an unearned run to go up 12-11, but the Jacks got a single to start the bottom of the eighth to put runners on first and third, as Emily Utech started the inning on second base as part of the international tiebreaker rules.

The next two Jackrabbits went down in order, leaving the game resting on the bat of Larsen, who delivered with a  homerun over the fence in right center field to give the Jackrabbits the 14-12 walk off win.

Larsen finished the game 4 for 5 at the plate, adding a double and a pair of singles to go with her three-run homer, with five RBI and two runs scored. Sammy Bingham went 2 for 5 at the plate with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Eitel went 1 for 2 in the game with an RBI and two runs scored, and also drew three walks.

Ashlyn Bender went the distance for the Jacks in the circle, giving up 12 runs, seven earned, on 14 hits with five walks and two strikeouts to improve to 1-1 on the season.

The Jackrabbits return to action next weekend at the UTA Maverick Invitational, hosted by UT-Arlington, with two games on Friday, starting with the host Mavericks 1 p.m., followed by a game against Central Michigan at 5 p.m.

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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