FARGO – Fitting on the eve of Easter, the North Dakota State and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne softball teams posted a bunch of zeros – or, to stick with the holiday theme, Easter eggs – on the scoreboard.
The opening game of the Summit League doubleheader Saturday at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome lasted 11 innings and was scoreless until sophomore shortstop Logan Moreland connected for a walk-off home run.
Moreland’s blast led off the bottom of the 11th inning and sealed NDSU’s 1-0 win over Fort Wayne. The second game of the doubleheader was still in progress at press time.
Moreland, who finished
3-for-5 at the plate, had the most success against Mastodons lefty Miranda Kramer.
“(Kramer) had been working in and out all game, but the inside pitches were her go-to pitches,” Moreland said. “We were really working on both sides of the plate. I saw the pitch come inside, I turned on it and got it.”
When the ball landed in the right-field bleachers, the Bison dugout emptied in celebration.
No player was happier than junior starting pitcher Krista Menke, who got the complete-game shutout victory.
“All I said was ‘Yes’ and ran out of the dugout to celebrate,” Menke said. “I knew we were going to come out on top eventually. You just have to give your teammates a chance to win the game.”
Menke allowed just one hit and struck out a career-high 14 batters for the Bison (25-13, 8-1 Summit League).
“Krista kept us in the game,” Moreland said. “Without her, who knows how the game would have turned out. We kept battling back and knew we had to stay strong.”
Senior shortstop Alex Bousquet was the only Mastodons batter to get a hit off Menke. Bousquet broke up the no-hitter in the top of the sixth inning.
Fort Wayne (29-13, 8-4) loaded the bases in the ninth inning with one out, but Menke got back-to-back batters to pop out to end the threat.
Kramer finished with 15 strikeouts and scattered eight hits through 10 innings, walking just one batter.
Moreland’s home run was her fifth this season. The Bison are now 17-2 in games played at the Fargodome.
FW 000 000 000 00– 0 1 0
NDSU 000 000 000 01– 1 8 1
Kramer and Pugh. Menke and Ortega. W–Menke (19-5). L–Kramer (15-8). HR–NDSU, Moreland (5).
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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562
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