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College softball: UMD rallies to earn split on opening day of NSIC tournament

Zavoral’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning keeps Bulldogs’ season alive.

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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Minnesota Duluth bounced back from a 1-0 loss to St. Cloud State by rallying for a 4-3 victory over Wayne State Thursday, May 5, on the opening day of the double-elimination NSIC softball tournament before 137 at the Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Complex.

Trinity Junker (19-6) tossed a two-hitter to lead St. Cloud State in the opener, with three strikeouts and two walks, while Jasmin Estrada provided the lone run with a solo home run in the sixth inning for the fourth-seeded Huskies (36-16).

Kat Burkhardt had a double and Cloquet’s Kiana Bender had a single for fifth-seeded UMD. Lauren Dixon (16-8) took the loss despite allowing just two hits in six innings, with 11 strikeouts and one walk.

Sidney Zavoral’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning against Wayne State, scoring Bender and Esko’s Dea DeLeon, kept UMD’s season alive in their loser-out matchup.

Zavoral finished with two hits, a walk, run and three RBIs while Bender and DeLeon added two hits apiece for the Bulldogs (38-15). Sam Pederson (14-4) got the pitching win, allowing just one earned run in seven innings, with four strikeouts and no walks.

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Trailing 2-1, Paiton Tornberg’s two-run single gave 10th-seeded Wayne State (15-38) a 3-2 lead before Zavoral’s heroics.

UMD continues play in the double-elimination tournament with a loser-out game at 10 a.m. Friday, May 6, against eighth-seeded Southwest Minnesota State.

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