SIOUX CITY | Tenth-ranked Morningside slugged three home runs during Thursday’s 10-3, 3-0 Great Plains Athletic Conference sweep over Dakota Wesleyan at the Jensen Complex.

The win clinched at least a share of the GPAC title.

Abby Conner hit her third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning of the first game, the same frame when Emily Dorpinghaus smacked a solo homer, her fifth of the season. Moriah Bohlmann hit her sixth round-tripper of the season, a solo shot in the sixth inning of the nightcap.

Winners of four straight, Morningside (33-8, 15-3 GPAC) enters Saturday’s home doubleheader against Midland with 21 home runs. Better yet, Coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann’s squad ended a three-game stretch of at least two errors with an errorless-game in the second game, when Rachel Henks recorded her sixth shutout of the season.

Morningside trailed 3-0 in the opener until Allie Martinez clubbed a three-run double in the bottom of the first inning. Second-inning action saw the Mustangs take advantage of two Dakota Wesleyan errors to score two unearned runs, Elin Landgren crossing the plate on Conner’s double to snap a 3-all tie.

Conner was 3-for-3 with three RBIs while Dorpinghaus was 3-for-4. Martinez added a 2-for-4 performance for a Morningside squad that committed three errors, three less than the Tigers.

Henks (28-6) pitched a one-hitter and struck out nine in the opener, yielding all three runs in the first inning. She extended her scoreless stretch to 13 innings after allowing two hits and striking out five in the nightcap.

Tracee Edwards gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead when she walked in the first inning and scored on Bohlmann’s sacrifice fly in the first inning. McKenzie Anderson doubled in the second inning and scored on Edwards’ single.

Landgren established a new NAIA national softball record for when she was hit by a pitch for the 72nd time of her career when DWU’s Lorissa Loeppky hit her in the leg with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Landgren, who has been hit 21 times this season, had shared the previous NAIA record with Lindsey Krippel of Olivet Nazarene, who was hit 71 times during her career from 2013-16.

Bohmann and Anderson each recorded two hits for the Mustangs.

USD 13, CREIGHTON 10: A seven-run second inning highlighted by a grand slam from Emily Winckler propelled South Dakota to a 13-10 win against Creighton Thursday.

The Coyotes (18-26) have won five of six and improved to 4-0 against the Bluejays (18-26) this season.

Winckler finished 1-for-3 with a walk and had a career-best five RBIs. She hit her team-best fifth home run of the season and her second grand slam. Catcher Jessica Rogers also homered for South Dakota. She led off the fourth inning with a solo shot to center field. It was her fourth blast of the season and it put USD ahead 9-4.

Megan Green pitched the first three innings for South Dakota and had four strikeouts. Rachel Cue took the final four frames and took the win to improve to 8-8. Cue has won her last four decisions.

SMSU 2-5, WAYNE STATE 0-1: Three Southwest Minnesota State pitchers held Wayne State without a run until the sixth inning of the second game as the Mustangs posted a 2-0 and 5-1 sweep over the Wildcats in Northern Sun Conference softball Thursday.

The first game was a pitchers’ duel between Alex O’Connor of SMSU and the Wildcats' Riley Vanderveen. The lone runs scored in the game were in the fourth inning on a two-run homer by the Mustangs.

SMSU held a 7-6 edge in hits over WSC. Rachel Shumaker was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Monique and Melanie Alyea, Alyssa Schropp and Sarah Hunter each added singles.

The Wildcats scored their lone run in game two in the bottom of the sixth when Melanie Alyea walked and later scored on an Abbie Hix RBI single to right field.

Katelyn Wobken went 2-for-4 with a double and single. Abbie Hix added an RBI single while Monique and Melanie Alyea each singled.

WSC is now 11-37 and 5-19 in the league while SMSU is 21-21 and 12-14 in the NSIC.


Sports editor

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