IOWA CITY, Iowa (gojacks.com) -- South Dakota State softball swept a Power Five opponent for the first time in its Division I history Wednesday, winning a pair of midweek games at Iowa. The Jackrabbits defeated the Hawkeyes 4-1 in the first game before a 5-2 victory in the finale.
The Jackrabbits are now 16-9 on the year and continues its best start in the team's Division I era.
Game One: South Dakota State 4, Iowa 1
SDSU took the lead early and never looked back in the day's first game.
Madison Hope (9-3) picked up the win in the circle, tossing a complete game with just one unearned run allowed. She struck out five and scattered three hits in the outing with one walk.
Abbey Murphy was 3-for-3 on the day with a double and a triple, adding a walk.
Brittney Morse (2-for-4), Erin Mullen and Megan Rushing (double) drove in runs for the Jacks.
State put two runners on in the first but did not break through until the top of the second, when Rushing took a one-out pitch up the middle for an RBI double to plate Baily Janssen, who singled in the previous at-bat. After Rushing's two-bagger, Yanney Ponce singled to right to put runners on the corners before an Iowa error on a double-steal allowed Rushing to scamper home.
Leading 2-0, the Jacks tacked on another pair of runs in the fifth to open up a four-run advantage. Murphy started the frame with a triple to right center and Julia Andersen followed with an infield single before stealing second. With both runners in scoring position, Murphy came home as Kerigan Torres singled to right field, and Mullen followed with a single of her own to push Andersen across.
Iowa got one back in the bottom of the fifth but came no closer as Hope and the Jackrabbit defense closed the win.
Game Two: South Dakota State 5, Iowa 2
Down 1-0 after the second, SDSU outscored the Hawkeyes 5-1 the rest of the way to complete the sweep.
Taylor Compton (6-6) started and threw five innings with four strikeouts. She allowed two runs on six hits and four walks before Hope entered to finish the game, earning her second save of the season in shutout fashion, allowing just one hit with a strikeout. Hope is now alone in second-place in the Jackrabbit record books with four career saves.
Ali Herdliska went 2-for-4 in the game with a run and an RBI, while Morse drove in two runs and Lyndsey Crist blasted her first home run of the season.
Iowa scored a run in the bottom of the second but saw the Jackrabbits respond with three runs in the top of the third to take control for good.
Crist started the inning with a solo home run to tie it, and Rushing followed with a walk before taking second as Ponce reached on an error. Murphy loaded the bases with another walk and Rushing dashed home in the next at-bat as another Iowa error allowed Andersen to reach safely. With the bases still loaded, Herdliska took the first pitch she saw to left to push Ponce across before Iowa used a play at the plate and two strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Ahead 3-2, State saw its lead cut to one behind a solo home run from the Hawkeyes before three straight frames of scoreless action.
In the seventh, Morse gave the Jacks breathing room with a two-out single to center, scoring Andersen (walk) and Herdliska (single) on the hit.
Iowa put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but Hope induced a fly ball to left to finish the game.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.orgwebsite, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.