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NDSU one win away from a Summit League softball tournament title

FARGO-North Dakota State's softball team will try to make it back-to-back Summit League tournament championships at 5 p.m. thanks to a 3-2 win over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis at Ellig Sports Complex on Saturday.

FARGO-North Dakota State's softball team will try to make it back-to-back Summit League tournament championships at 5 p.m. thanks to a 3-2 win over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis at Ellig Sports Complex on Saturday.

NDSU struck first in the top of the first when Logan Moreland scored on a passed ball. The Bison made it 2-0 when Alysaa Reina blooped a single into right field to plate Moreland in the top of the third. Jackie Stifter's two-out triple plated Amanda Grable to put the Bison (42-9) up 3-0.

That was just enough for NDSU pitcher Krista Menke. She picked up her 343rd strikeout of the season on IUPUI's first batter, breaking the NDSU record for strikeouts in a season. She would add 10 more, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings.

Eryn Dillon had a two-out double in the bottom of the fourth for IUPUI, but Menke got Maggie Good to ground out to end the inning. IUPUI (33-17) had a runner on second with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but Menke struck out Sarah Lawrence and Jazmine Pedrotti.

IUPUI would get on the board in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run homer from Roni Patterson to cut the NDSU lead to 3-2. The Jaguars had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, but Grable made a diving stop at third and tagged the base to end the inning.

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Bison put runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the seventh, but couldn't push a run across.

Menke gave up a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, but got a strikeout to pick up her 31st win of the season. NDSU coach Darren Mueller picked up win No. 500 as well.

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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