IOWA 9, BYU 7
FORT COLLINS, CO – Iowa assembled an amazing seventh-inning rally Saturday in the 2023 NISC championship game, scoring five runs with two outs to take the lead before holding off BYU at the finish to earn the title.
Grace Banes hit two solo home runs for the Hawkeyes (35-27) on the way to earning MVP honors for the event.
After two quick outs in the top of the seventh and trailing 7-4, Sammy Diaz and Brylee Klosterman each singled for Iowa. Tristan Doster came off the bench to hit a two-run triple, and then freshman Anna Streff (who entered the game hitting .195) hit a triple to tie things up, 7-7. Tatianna Roman’s infield hit brought in a run, and the rally was completed with a single by another freshman, Tory Bennett.
In the bottom of the seventh, Iowa pitcher Jalen Adams got two outs on a grounder and a strikeout, walked a batter, then finished it off with a flyout to left field.
Banes hit a solo home run to left field in the second inning as Iowa grabbed a 1-0 lead, but BYU (35-17) countered in the bottom of the frame as a sacrifice fly by Maddie Udall scored Martha Epenesa to tie the score, 1-1.
In the third, Klosterman hit a two-run homer (her fourth of the season) to put Iowa back ahead, 3-1. Banes added a one-out solo homer in the fifth as the lead grew to 4-1.
Maddie Bejarano came through for BYU in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out three-run homer that tied the score at 4-4.
In the sixth, BYU put runners on first and second with singles by Hailey Morrow and Epenesa. On a bunt attempt by Jaelyn Lambert, Iowa tried to get the runner at third, but the throw went into left field and two runners scored to give the Cougars a 6-4 lead. Alexis Gilio then singled to score Lambert as the lead moved to 7-4.
Here is the 2023 NISC all-tournament team:
Grace Banes – Iowa (MVP)
Denali Loecker – Iowa
Nia Carter – Iowa
Jalen Adams – Iowa
Maddie Bejarano – BYU
Maddie Udall – BYU
Chloe Temples – BYU
Allison Yoder – South Dakota State
Tori Kniesche – South Dakota State
Courtney Wyche – Maryland
Megan Mikami – Maryland
IOWA 4, MARYLAND 3
FORT COLLINS, CO – Iowa’s Denali Loecker drove in three runs and closed the game in the circle with two innings of work as the Hawkeyes got past Maryland in a semifinal Saturday at the 2023 NISC.
Iowa (34-27) will face BYU for the title.
After three scoreless innings, Iowa broke through for the game’s first run on a solo home run from Loecker, her 10th of the season. Loecker added a two-run single in the fifth, and the Hawkeyes’ lead moved to 4-0 on a sacrifice fly from Grace Banes that plated Tory Bennett.
Trinity Schlotterbeck hit a sacrifice fly for Maryland in the bottom of the seventh, and Sydney Lewis drove in a run with a two-out double. The Terrapins (38-19) got one run away after an error allowed a run, but the game ended as Denali struck out the final batter.
Iowa starter Jalen Adams went five scoreless innings with two hits and a walk allowed, with two strikeouts to get her 10th win of the season. Nia Carter had two hits for Iowa – she has 100 in 2023 and is just the second player in Big Ten history to have 100 or more hits in a season.
BYU 5, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 0
FORT COLLINS, CO – Chloe Temples had all her pitches working in a big moment on Friday, dealing out a complete-game four-hit shutout for BYU as the Cougars worked past South Dakota State in a semifinal of the 2023 NISC.
BYU (35-16) will play Maryland or Iowa in the championship game.
Temples (9-6) struck out 10 batters and allowed only one walk. She now has 124 strikeouts in 112 innings pitched this season.
After Mallory Barber and Alexis Gilio singled, Ailana Agbayani launched a three-run home run to center field in the top of the third to give BYU a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, Martha Epenesa walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single from Maddie Udall that ticked off the glove after a diving effort from SDSU shortstop Rozelyn Carrillo.
Agbayani added a two-out infield single in the sixth to make it 5-0 as Lauren Flanders scored the run.
Allison Yoder had two hits and a double for the Jackrabbits (39-19).
MARYLAND 7, SAN JOSE STATE 4
FORT COLLINS, CO – Top-seeded Maryland recovered after losing an early lead, riding the strong pitching of Courtney Wyche and topping San Jose State to earn a spot in the NISC semifinals on Saturday.
The Terrapins (38-18) will face Iowa at Noon MT, with the winner playing in the championship game against BYU or South Dakota State at 3 p.m. MT.
After three scoreless innings, Maryland jumped ahead in the fourth when Sydney Lewis stormed home on a double-steal play. Michaela Jones drove in Trinity Schlotterbeck with a single and Madison Runyan made it 3-0 with her own RBI single.
San Jose State (27-30) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth – Alyssa Graham came through with a bases-clearing double to tie it at 3-3 with one out, driving in Taylor Squires, Aubrie Thomas and Karizma Bergesen. With two outs and a full count, Ashley Rico gave the Spartans a 4-3 lead with an RBI single.
Maryland’s Kamryn Davis scored on an error to tie the game at 4-all in the sixth; Megan Mikami pushed the Terrapins ahead with an RBI single, and two more runs came across on a Jaeda McFarland single and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Wyche retired the Spartans in order in the sixth, right after Maryland had retaken the lead, and got the first two outs of the seventh on a groundout and popout. She allowed six hits and struck out five.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 11, TARLETON STATE 1 (5)
FORT COLLINS, CO – An eight-run burst in the second inning put South Dakota State in control, and pitcher Tori Kniesche dominated in the circle as the Jackrabbits beat Tarleton State to earn a spot in Saturday’s semifinals at the 2023 NISC.
SDSU (39-17) will face BYU at 9 a.m. MT. The title game of the NISC is slated for 3 p.m. MT.
South Dakota State jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning as Cheyanne Masterson hit a single to bring in Emma Osmundson, who had doubled to lead off the frame. Alexa Williams scored with the bases loaded and no outs on a wild pitch; Allison Yoder drove in two runs with a single, and another run came in on the play thanks to an outfield error.
Rozelyn Carrillo made it 6-0 (still with no outs) with a run-scoring single to drive in Yoder. Jocelyn Carrillo doubled to push the advantage to 7-0, and after a pitching change helped Tarleton State secure one out, the score moved to 8-0 on a single from Osmundson.
Katy Schaefer put the Texans (31-29) on the board with a home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Osmundson drove in two more runs with a double to left-center in the third as the score ballooned to 10-1, and she drove in her fourth run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Kniesche allowed two hits and struck out five batters in her five innings of work.
BYU 6, MARYLAND 4
FORT COLLINS, CO – First-inning home runs from Huntyr Ava and Maddie Udall gave BYU an early lead, and the Cougars held on to beat top-seeded Maryland and earn a spot in Saturday’s semifinals of the 2023 NISC.
The Cougars (34-16) will play in the 9 a.m. semifinal Saturday; the Terrapins (37-18) play later Friday against San Jose State, with the winner set to face Iowa in the other semifinal.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Maddie Bejarano doubled and Ava homered to left field to give BYU a 2-0 lead. Udall pushed the lead to 5-0 with a three-run shot. In the second, Hailey Morrow singled on a full count to bring in Ailana Agbayani and push the lead to 6-0.
Mackense Greico got Maryland in the mix with a two-run single in the third that scored Kiley Goff and Sammi Woods to make it 6-2. Greico kept the hits coming, adding a two-run homer in the fifth (her sixth of the season) to make it 6-4. Kiley Goff tripled with one out as Maryland looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh, but the push ended with a lineout to third, a walk and a strikeout.
For BYU, Chloe Temples went 3 2/3 innings and had eight strikeouts, and Kaysen Korth went 3 1/3 innings in relief to get the save, with three strikeouts. Keira Bucher threw six innings of relief for Maryland, allowing eight hits and one earned run.
IOWA 6, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 3
FORT COLLINS, CO – Iowa’s offense built an early lead and pitchers Jalen Adams and Denali Loecker took advantage as the Hawkeyes worked their way by South Dakota State in the winner’s bracket Friday at the 2023 NISC.
Iowa (33-27) is in Saturday’s semifinals and will play at 9 a.m. or Noon for a spot in the 3 p.m. championship game.
Iowa took a 3-0 lead in the first inning with all the runs coming with two outs. Loecker had an RBI single, Grace Banes added a run-scoring double and Sammy Diaz brought in the other run with a single.
The Hawkeyes proceeded to load the bases with no outs in the second inning. Tatianna Roman drew a walk, and after a pitching change, Iowa scored again on a fielder’s choice and then another single from Loecker to push the lead to 6-0.
Alexa Williams helped make it interesting for South Dakota State with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to make it 6-3; it was her seventh long ball of the season.
Adams pitched 6 1/3 innings and had five strikeouts; Loecker earned the save, ending the game with a strikeout. Williams did great work in relief for SDSU (38-18), allowing three hits in five scoreless innings.
The Jackrabbits (38-17) face Tarleton State later Friday, with the winner of that game also reaching the semifinals.
SAN JOSE STATE 13, CSUN 5 (6)
FORT COLLINS, CO – After falling behind, 5-0, San Jose State stormed back and rang up nine runs in the fifth inning before wrapping up a run-rule victory over CSUN in an elimination game Friday at the 2023 NISC.
SJSU will face Maryland or BYU later Friday, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s semifinals.
CSUN vaulted out of the dugout in the top of the first inning and took a 4-0 lead; Kaylee Escutia drove in two runs with a double and Gizella Vargos-Sandoval hit a two-run homer on the first pitch she saw, her third long ball of the season. In the second inning, Shaylan Whatman led off with a home run, her fifth in 2023, as CSUN (28-24) moved ahead 5-0.
Makenzie Hutchinson got San Jose State (27-29) on the board, leading off the bottom of the fourth with a home run, her second of the season. Taylor Squires singled to start the fifth, advanced to second on the play via error and later scored on a bases-loaded walk as the Spartans closed to 5-2.
After a pitching change, Hutchinson hit a grand slam on a full-count pitch to push San Jose State in front, 6-5. Adrianna Noriega kept up the beat with a two-run homer (her third of 2023) to make it 8-5. Aubrie Thomas bashed another two-run homer as the lead grew to 10-5.
In the sixth, Ashley Rico had an RBI groundout, and the game was wrapped up by a two-run double from Karizma Bergeson. Lacey Ham was outstanding in relief for SJSU, going five innings and allowing five hits and an earned run to go with four strikeouts.
TARLETON STATE 10, UC DAVIS 4
FORT COLLINS, CO – Tarleton State broke open a close game by scoring nine runs in the final two innings, moving past UC Davis on Friday in an elimination game of the 2023 NISC.
The Texans (31-28) will face Iowa or South Dakota State later Friday, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s semifinals.
Sarah Starks got the Aggies (29-22) on the board first with a two-out single in the third inning that brought in Anna Dethlefson.
Tarleton State first baseman Jordan Dickerson hit her second home run of the tournament in the fourth, tying the game at 1-1, and the Texans moved ahead 3-1 on a two-RBI double from Morgan Medford in the sixth. MacKenzie Peterson followed with a single; Medford scored and Tarleton State claimed a 4-1 lead.
Sarah Nakahara came through with a two-out single for UC Davis, and the Aggies trailed just 4-2.
Kayla Wallace started adding insurance runs for Tarleton State in the seventh, launching a two-run homer to make it 6-2. Medford’s two-run single made it 8-2 and Brittany Coe’s double in the inning pushed the Texans ahead, 10-2.
Bella Pahulu closed the scoring with a two-run homer for UC Davis. Aggies starter Kenedi Brown did have nine strikeouts.
For Tarleton State, Tristan Bridges went four innings with three hits, three walks, three strikeouts and one earned run. Grace Garcia did well in relief, going three innings and giving up four hits.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 11, TARLETON STATE 5
FORT COLLINS, CO – South Dakota State was the only team Thursday to reach double figures in runs on Day 1 on the 2023 NISC, moving past Tarleton State.
Lindsey Culver got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning as SDSU took the lead; Emma Osmundson added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. A single by Rozelyn Carillo brought in another run in the second inning, and Jocelyn Carillo’s two-run home run made it 5-0.
After a rain delay in the third inning, Allison Yoder drew a bases-loaded walk as the Jackrabbits (38-17) moved ahead, 6-0. Tarleton State jumped into the scoring mix in the fourth, as Katy Schaefer hit a double to score Kayla Wallace and Austin Germain added a sacrifice fly. With the score 6-2, the Texans made it very interesting with a two-run homer from Jordan Dickerson, her fourth of the year, to pull Tarleton State within 6-4.
It became a 7-4 lead for SDSU in the fourth on a Osmundson single that plated Jocelyn Carillo; Cheyanne Masterson made it 8-4 with an RBI single, and the lead ballooned to 10-4 on a two-run triple from Mia Jarecki. Culver closed the SDSU scoring with a solo home run.
South Dakota State’s Tori Kniesche (23-6) struck out 12 batters, working a complete game around the rain delay. The Jackrabbits will play Iowa on Friday in the winner’s bracket, while the Texans (30-28) face UC Davis in the loser’s bracket.