Long Balls Hinder Orediggers’ Upset Bid Of No. 4 Humboldt State
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – NFCA No. 4 Humboldt State accounted for six home runs and denied Colorado School of Mines softball a late-inning rally Sunday, defeating the Orediggers 7-4 to close out the 5th Annual Desert Stinger Tournament at Majestic Park.
Mines (0-5) rallied to within 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning as senior Sami Springer led off with a walk, junior Cassie Ford singled up the middle, and following consecutive wild pitches that plated Springer, senior Gianna Duncan hit her first homer of the season to centerfield.
The Jacks (9-0) extended the lead back to three in their next at-bat though on a two-out, two-run long ball to left center and allowed only one Oredigger baserunner in the seventh to remain unbeaten.
HSU built a 3-0 lead through five on solo homers in the first, fourth and fifth innings. Mines got on the board in the fifth on sacrifice fly to center by freshman Paige Noehring, before the Jacks tacked on two more via solo shots in the sixth.
Duncan ended the tourney finale 2-for-3 with the two RBI and two runs scored.
Ford was 2-for-3 for the third straight outing with one run, finishing the three-day weekend 10-for-14 (.714) with a 1.000 slugging percentage. She has hit safely in seven straight games dating back to last season's NCAA tournament with multi-hit efforts over the last four.
Tonya Walker and Sarah Fox had two home runs apiece to lead the Jacks.
Sophomore Kristen Prudhomme (0-4) worked the complete game loss, surrendering seven earned runs on nine hits with a season-high five strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
Humboldt State, a 2013 NCAA Division II Championship finalist, set the NCAA single-season record with 114 home runs a year ago.
Mines hosts Southwest Minnesota State in a four-game series next weekend, beginning with its home-opening doubleheader at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.