HAMPTON, Va.-- The University of North Dakota softball team secured its second-longest winning streak in the program's history Saturday, walloping Maryland-Eastern Shore, 13-0, before a thrilling 2-1 extra-innings win over Rutgers in the nightcap.
"We played two very solid games today," UND head coach Jordan Stevens said. "We pitched very well, played good defense and scored more than the opponent. We hit some balls hard that didn't fall but out swings were much better. Happy to get two today."
North Dakota 13, Maryland-Eastern Shore 0
The Fighting Hawks made quick work of the Eastern Shore Hawks, winning a run-rule-shortened five-inning game, 13-0.
Angel Love continued her hot start to the season, whacking a three-run homer in the first to get UND out to an early jump. North Dakota got three more in the third. A two-run Marina Marzolino was the big blow in that frame as UND built a 6-0 lead through three.
North Dakota blew the doors open in the fourth, plating seven, sending 11 to the plate. Taylor Nadler opened the stanza with a double and came around on Love's one-out double. Alicia Young followed with a triple and the rout was on. Deja Miller drew a bases-loaded walk leading up to Lyndsay Hathaway's two-run single as the Fighting Hawks piled up seven runs in that inning.
Meanwhile, Hannah Bergh cruised along in the circle, allowing just a pair of hits and striking out two without alklowing a walk or squandering a run. Nikki Pica finished it off with another 1-2-3 fifth, her second straight hitless outing, to give North Dakota its sixth straight win.
Love finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI. Marzolino was 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI.
North Dakota 2, Rutgers 1
It was a pitcher's duel and North Dakota got an eighth-inning rally to slip past Big Ten's Rutgers, 2-1.
Kaylin Van Domelen tossed a complete-game four-hitter with nine strikeouts against just two walks and just the one unearned run in the eighth inning. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning with one out and proceeded to not allow another hit until the seventh inning, setting down 14 consecutive batters at one point.
Meanwhile, UND had runners on in every inning except two but couldn't scratch across a run until the eighth. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of that extra inning, UND got a Lexi Mayhood single to set things in motion. After a sacrfice bunt to put two runners in scoring position, VanDomelen was intentionally walked to load the bases.
UND out-hit the Scarlet Knights, 7-4, as each of the top five spots in Fighting Hawks' batting order had at least one hit, led by two from Love.
North Dakota wraps play at the Pirate Invitational Sunday with a rematch with Rutgers followed by a game against host Hampton.
Notes: UND is out to its best start in its Division I era (10-8) ... The last time North Dakota got to 10 wins quicker was in 2002 (10-1) ... That team also holds the UND record for longest winning streak (13) ... UND's current streak is the second-longest in program history ... Saturday's win over Rutgers was UND's third victory over a Big Ten team all-time and fifth over a Power 5 Conference school (third under Coach Stevens).