UMD softball suffers second heartbreak

After scratching out the tying run in the top of the seventh, UMD walked in the winning run on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

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JOPLIN, Mo. — After a walk-off loss sent Minnesota Duluth to the elimination bracket of the NCAA Central Region softball tournament on Thursday, Friday was just as painful.

UMD's game-tying rally led to another walk-off loss, 4-3 to Rogers State.

"We all wanted to go farther than we did. so we hung with the number 2 and number 3 seed in this tournament, and that's a pretty cool thing to say, and I know we could have won, it was a back and forth game," UMD senior catcher Sidney Zavoral said.

UMD led 2-1 through four innings, but after changing pitchers from Lauren Dixon to Mady Stariha (Superior), RSU's Abbey Rogers delivered a two-run single for her third RBI of the game and the lead.

"It was just one of those moments that it seemed like she was just missing spots a little bit. So talking with it, and then talking as a staff, we decided you know what, let's roll with Mady, and they've always been a good mix between the two, because Mady brings such a different look than Dixie," UMD head coach Lynn Anderson said.


The Bulldogs were down to their last at-bat in the top of the seventh when Julia Gronholz and Elle Potts reached on an error and singled, respectively. Nicole Schmitt's sacrifice fly tied the game but the Hillcats got out of the inning.

"I think that shows right there just the grit and the toughness that we've shown all entire season. I mean, we've had a number of games this year, looking back that we were down in games, and for some teams that's really difficult to overcome, and that's not for our team and I think that takes a special amount of just mindset and grit," Anderson said.

Anderson changed pitchers a second time with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Allyssa Williams struggled to find the plate, issuing three walks around a sacrifice to load the bases. On a 3-2 pitch and with nowhere to put her, RSU's Callie Yellin took ball four to decide the game.

Potts was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the UMD offense, which had five hits.

UMD finishes the season 40-13 and returns nearly all its major players for next season.

"At some point the sadness of losing is gonna wear off. And you know that feeling of just being proud of our team is always going to stay there," Anderson said.

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