ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Bemidji State University softball team swept Northern State University Tuesday at Moccasin Creek Field. The two wins on the final day of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play leap-frogged BSU over NSU and into the eighth and final spot for the NSIC Softball Tournament.
The Beavers (6-21, 4-14 NSIC) defeated the Wolves (5-35, 3-15 NSIC) 2-1 in the first contest and 1-0 in nine innings in the second game.
BSU got on the board early thanks in part to two NSU errors in the first inning. Jamie Docken (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) doubled with two outs and advanced to third on an error. Mara Johnson (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.) than reached on another error, plating Docken for the early advantage.
After four innings of scoreless softball, Bemidji State recorded an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Amy Klaers (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) doubled to left field with two outs, which plated Karissa Hendrickson (Fr., Big Lake, Minn.).
That run proved to be a necessity as the Wolves scored in the top of the final inning, giving BSU the 2-1 victory.
Hendrickson finished the game 2-for-2, collecting half of BSU’s four hits.
Kristin Paine (Sr., Chisolm, Minn.) threw a complete game and allowed four hits and one run, while striking out 10 and walking three.
The second game was a back and forth affair that took nine innings to decide who was going to the NSIC Softball Tournament and who was staying home this postseason.
When it was all said and done, Megan McDonald (Jr. Warroad, Minn.) knocked in Klaers in the bottom of the ninth frame to score the game and series winning run.
BSU had only one hit in the entire game, and that came from Johnson. NSU collected seven hits, but couldn’t score a run in nine innings.
Paine started the second game, and lasted 5.1 innings. She allowed three hits, while striking out three and walking three. Allison Willard (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) came in and threw 2.1 innings, allowing four hits. Jamie Lund (Fr., Grantsburn, Wis.) pitched the final 0.1 inning, walked one and struck out one to record the win.
Bemidji State will now move into the first round of the double elimination NSIC Softball Tournament as the No. 8 seed, and will play No. 1 seed and tournament host Southwest Minnesota State at 12 p.m. May 2 in Marshall, Minn.
The Beavers will face off with the Mustangs at the SMSU Softball Field. The winner moves on to face the winner of the 4-5 matchup between the University of Mary and Concordia-St. Paul University at 4 p.m. May 2 at SMSU Field. The loser of the two first-round games will move into the other half of the bracket, and will play at 4 p.m. at Marshall Softball Complex.
The other seeds in the tournament include No. 2 Winona State University, No. 3 Wayne State University, No. 6 Upper Iowa University and No. 7 Minnesota State University Moorhead. Northern State and the University of Minnesota, Crookston failed to qualify for the eight-team field in part because BSU swept both teams this season.