No. 1 North Dakota State defeats No. 4 South Dakota State to advance to the Championship

North Dakota State freshman Paige Vargas pitches a gem against SDSU to send NDSU to the championship game. Photo Courtesy Nick Nelson
North Dakota State freshman Paige Vargas pitches a gem against SDSU to send NDSU to the championship game. Photo Courtesy Nick Nelson

FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State Bison outlasted the No. 4 South Dakota State Jackrabbits in a contest that started out as a pitchers dual before NDSU was able to plate five runs late in the game.

Paige Vargas of NDSU and Kendra Conard of SDSU were dealing in the circle for the first three innings of the game as only five total hits were allowed. In the top of the fourth inning with two outs NDSU's Maddie Hansen homered to left on a ball that just cleared the fence but broke a scoreless tie.

In the fifth, North Dakota State was able to string some runs together. Following Katie Shoultz single to short that drove in Sam Koehn, Vanessa Anderson sent a shot to left center that scored two. The Play was then extended when Madyson Camacho missed the stop sign at third but was able to score on an SDSU throwing error. South Dakota State had a few chances late, but Vargas was able to work out of every jam she faced in the game.

How It Happened






North Dakota State took the lead midway through the game on a Maddie Hansen home run to left that just cleared the fence



North Dakota State doubled its lead when Katie Shoultz beat out a ground ball to short that allowed Stephanie Soriano to score. Later in the inning the Bison got a double from Vanessa Anderson that scored two before an SDSU throwing error allowed a third Bison to score


Pitchers of Record

Win – Paige Vargas (15-4): 7 IP, 6 hits, 0 earned run, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk

Loss – Kendra Conard (17-5): 7 IP, 8 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 strikeout, 2 walks


Notable Notes

• North Dakota State reached the 40-win mark for the 10th time in program history and its first since 2015

• The Bison reach the Summit League championship game for the 11th time in program history, and every year they have been eligible for the Summit League tournament

• This is the sixth time that NDSU will have to play two games in the championship series and the third time that they will have to win two games

• NDSU is 2-1 in championship series that they must win two games (2013, 2014, 2017). Their lone loss was to Purdue Fort Wayne in 2013. They beat IUPUI in '17 and Purdue Fort Wayne in '14.

• South Dakota State left six runners on base while North Dakota State left five

• Attendance: 336

Up Next

North Dakota State advances to Championship Saturday with its 5-0 win over South Dakota State. The Championship game will be at 1 p.m. and shown live on Midco Sports Network and ESPN+. The Bison will have to beat South Dakota twice on Saturday to win The Summit League Tournament Championship.

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