Bison Edge IPFW 2-1, Advance to Summit League Championship Game for Fourth Straight Year
Release: May 11, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Clutch defense, solid pitching and an opportunistic offense led North Dakota State University to a 2-1 win over IPFW on Friday, May 11, in The Summit League Softball Tournament played at Missouri 362 Field.
North Dakota State (36-19) advances to the Summit League championship game against either IPFW (44-13) at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12. The Mastodons defeated UMKC 9-0 in Friday's final game. A second championship game, if needed, is scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m. The Bison make their fourth straight championship game appearance and are 11-1 in league tournament play.
NDSU freshman pitcher Krista Menke (24-10) went the distance against a patient Mastodons offense and threw 147 pitches. Menke struck out eight and walked four.
IPFW threatened in the top of the seventh. Mackenzie Ritsema doubled to right field with one out. Ritsema advanced to third on a ground out to the right side. Menke struck out the final batter to end the game.
The Mastodons took a 1-0 in the top of the second inning when Dani Pugh belted a 3-1 pitch over the left field fence.
North Dakota State responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Down 0-2 in the count, Cristina Borek led off with a line drive double down the right field line. Presley Glaser pinch-ran for Borek and advanced to third on Amanda Grable's fly out to center. Brea Konz delivered a sacrifice fly to left to score Glaser. Borek went 2-for-3 and accounted for half of NDSU's hits.
The next batter, Alex Sobrero, reached on an infield hit to the shortstop in the hole and advanced to second on a throwing error. Brandi Enriquez laid down a bunt single three feet in front of plate. Sobrero scored on the second IPFW throwing error of the inning.
North Dakota State's defense came up big to stop several IPFW threats. With one out in the top of the second inning, catcher Jenina Ortega threw out a runner attempting to steal. Second baseman Enriquez made the catch and the tag with the runner bearing down on her.
With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Ortega whipped a throw down to first baseman Katie Tamayo to pick off an IPFW baserunner.
With two out in the top of the sixth, shortstop Konz handled a hot shot in the hole and forced out a runner at third base.
Courtney Cronin (18-3) picked up the loss for IPFW. Cronin scattered four hits, walked three and struck out two. Ashleigh Bousquet led the Mastodons with a pair of singles.