North Dakota took a 3-1 lead after the fourth inning, but a six-run inning by the Bengals put them back in the driver’s seat en route to the series win after the two sides split Friday’s doubleheader.
“Idaho State is a good team and they’re going to hit the ball well,” head coach Eric Oakley said. “It would have been nice to get a couple more key hits in situations for us; we were definitely going to need more than three runs to beat a team like that. But I think it was a good sign that we competed and that they didn’t get anything easy.”
The game was the final for six UND seniors, Caralyn Chewning, Elizabeth Cudney, Courtney Gonzales, D Jantzer, Amanda Johnson and Toni Schutte, and the senior class made sure to pull their weight in their final outing.
Chewning started in the circle for UND, pitching 5.1 innings before moving back to shortstop. Cudney recorded two hits in three at-bats including an RBI double. Schutte, Gonzales and Jantzer all recorded a hit in the game and Schutte added an RBI.
“They’re just a great group; they played with heart and played all the way through, it was a rough year and they never gave up,” Oakley said of the seniors.
North Dakota got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning off of Cudney’s double to center field which scored Gonzales from second. Idaho State responded back with a lone run in the top of the third, but North Dakota retired the Bengals with leaving a go-ahead run on third.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Idaho State got two outs on the first two batters, but Cudney singled to get on base. She was then driven home by a triple hit by Megan Keegan down the right-field line. Still with two outs, Schutte singled to left field to bring Keegan home and to give UND the 3-1 lead.
UND kept the Bengals scoreless in the fifth and was entered the sixth inning with the lead. Unfortunately, a string of pinch hits in the bottom of the order and strong hitting plated six Idaho State runs to give ISU its first lead of the day.
After Idaho State’s Jessica Tolmie came in to pitch for Bailey Foster in the fourth inning, Tolmie shutdown UND the rest of the game, giving up only one hit to secure the win for the Bengals. Idaho State posted a lone run in the top of the seventh before ending the game 8-3.