FARGO, N.D. – The Omaha softball team's 2017 season came to an end Wednesday afternoon, as the Mavericks dropped an 11-4 decision to South Dakota in the first round of the Summit League Tournament at the Ellig Sports Complex. No. 5-seeded UNO finishes with a record of 15-30 (6-8 Summit League), while No. 4-seeded USD continues play with a season mark of 22-30.
USD starter Rachel Cue (12-9) picked up the win, throwing a complete game allowing four runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Laura Roecker (10-15) took the loss, surrendering 10 runs – six earned – on 16 hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Senior Lizzie Noble led Omaha at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Senior Lia Mancuso finished the afternoon 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, while freshman Vicky Kinney added a home run and two RBI.
Emily Winckler and Jessica Rogers each had four hits to lead South Dakota. Taylor Steinfeldt was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
The Coyotes took a 4-0 lead over the Mavericks in the second inning. Kayla Fields singled to open the inning and moved to second when Jamie Holscher walked. UNO had retired the next two batters before a fielding error loaded the bases. Christy Warnock cleared the bases with a double to center and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Winckler's infield hit allowed Warnock to score and gave USD a 4-0 lead.
Omaha cut the lead in half in the top of the third inning. Noble hit a one-out single and came around to score on Kinney's home run to right, which made it 4-2.
South Dakota extended its lead in the bottom half of the third on six hits. After back-to-back singles, Steinfeldt hit a three-run homer to right center. Warnock reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a Winckler single and scored when Rogers doubled to right, which stretched it to 8-2.
The Coyotes capped their scoring in the fourth inning. Steinfeldt hit a two-out RBI single to right, moved to third on Camille Fowler's bunt and scored on Warnock's infield hit. Winckler and Rogers hit back-to-back RBI singles, which stretched it to 11-2.
Omaha responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Noble hit a two-out double to left and scored on Mancuso's home run over the scoreboard in right field that cut the lead to 11-4. Cue then allowed only one baserunner over the final two innings as South Dakota claimed an 11-4 victory.
Game Notes - Lizzie Noble earned a spot on the Summit League All_Tournament Team. - Four Omaha seniors finished their careers in Fargo: Noble, Abbie Clanton, Lia Mancuso, and Nicole Warren. - Noble made her 185th career start Wednesday, while Mancuso started her 184th career start. - Noble and Warren finish their careers in the top 20 in runs scored with 118 and 114 respectively. - Warren tied Allie Mathewson for fourth all-time with 35 career home runs. -Noble ends her career 12th all-time with 123 career RBI. - Mancuso's 33 career stolen bases rank her 17th all-time.