Courtesy: Emma Erickson,
Dani Romero blasted her first homer of the season with a fifth-inning bomb in the opener.
UND clinches Big Sky Tourney berth, ties wins mark
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 05/04/2018
Print RSS

GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- The University of North Dakota softball sewed up a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth for the second straight season and tied the program's single-season wins record in the process with a doubleheader split against Idaho State Friday afternoon at Apollo Park. Kaylin VanDomelen threw a two-hitter in a 4-1 victory in the opener, clinching the tourney spot but Idaho State rallied for a 3-1 win in the nightcap.

"I don't think we played our best, but we escaped with one," UND head coach Jordan Stevens said. "I think we're disappointed with the way our team played, we took a lot of bad swings today. That's a team that knocked us out of the tournament last season and they were fighting for their lives.

"Kaylin was in control after that first batter, she struck out the next three. She had great command after that first hitter and what a great time for a performance like that."

North Dakota 4, Idaho State 1

VanDomelen took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and her offense backed her with a four-spot in the fifth. The senior hit the first batter of the game, but re ared back to strikeout the side in the first, all swinging en route to six Ks in the first three innings.

ISU's Ashlyn Ames was matching VanDomelen in the early going, taking a no-hitter of her own into the fifth. That's when UND turned the tables as Marina Marzolino blistered a rocket down the left field line for a double, the game's first hit. One pitch later, Dani Romero hammered a ball over the leftfield wall for her first homer of the season and a 2-0 North Dakota lead.

VanDomelen then doubled down the right field line for three straight extra-base hits to open the frame. After Natalie Gerber walked and stole second, both runners scampered home on a miscue by the Bengal catcher on an infield grounder for a commanding 4-0 advantage.

ISU would add a run and its first hit in the sixth inning but VanDomelen got a strikeout and a groundout to douse the threat and got three straight outs following an infield hit in the seventh to garner her 40th career win. She struck out nine in the win without a walk and allowed just the one unearned run.

UND totaled four hits in that first game, all coming in the big fifth inning. Lexi Mayhood added a single to Marzolino, VanDomelen and Romero's extra-base hits.

Idaho State 3, North Dakota 1

The Fighting Hawks couldn't tally the big inning in game two and fell, 3-1. They got one in the first, though, as Mayhood walked then worked her way around to third on two groundouts and scored on a wild pitch. That would be all the damage North Dakota could do, however as Idaho State (13-33, 8-12) posted single runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings for the win.

UND (24-26, 9-8 Big Sky) mounted a rally in the bottom of the final inning. Deja Miller came on to coax a pinch-hit walk with one down and Mayhood followed with a solid dingle to center. Both runners would be stranded, however, and ISU salvaged a split.

Hannah Bergh took the loss in the circle for North Dakota, allowing eight hits with three earned runs. UND had seven hits in the second game, but stranded at least one runner aboard in six of seven innings. Mayhood led the way with a pair of hits while Taylor Nadler, Marzolino, VanDomelen, Alicia Young and Gerber all added hits for the Fighting Hawks.

The teams conclude the series and the regular season Saturday at Apollo Park with a 1:00 p.m. start. UND will honor its five seniors in a pregame ceremony.

Notes: North Dakota's 24 wins tie the program's single-season win mark set back in 2000 ... UND's nine conference wins ties last year's record for Big Sky victories in a single season ... The Big Sky Tournament field is set, although seeding is still unknown. Sacramento State, Weber State, North Dakota, Montana, Northern Colorado and Portland State have all qualified for the six-team tournament set to begin play next weekend in Ogden, Utah ... UND can still finish anywhere from three to six in the seedings for the tournament heading into the final day (Southern Utah and Portland State play Saturday/Sunday). 

Uploaded Ad

Extras for the North Dakota fan

Partnership Opportunities
Mobile Apps