BYU set to face South Dakota State in NISC semifinal
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Fresh off a 6-4 win over Maryland in the second round of the NISC, BYU softball gets set for a Saturday morning semifinal against South Dakota State.
The Cougars (34-16, 11-4 WCC) and Jackrabbits are slated to play in the first of two semifinal games on Saturday, May 20, with a first pitch of 9 a.m. MDT. The winner of the contest will advance to the afternoon's championship game at 3 p.m.
2023 National Invitational Softball Championship
- BYU vs. South Dakota State
- Saturday, May 20 (9 a.m. MDT)
- Live Stream: Triple Crown Sports/YouTube
- Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
BYU got ahead early in its second-round win against Maryland on Friday afternoon, as both Huntyr Ava and Maddie Udall homered for the second game in a row. Ava extended her team-leading home run and RBI totals to 16 and 50, respectively, while Udall launched the second long ball on her young career.
Including Ava and Udall, eight different Cougars tallied a hit in the game, with Maddie Bejarano tallying three and both Hailey Morrow and Martha Epenesa recording two. Tristen Turlington drew a pair of walks and Ava earned one.
Chloe Temples (8-6) earned the start and went 3 2/3 innings, giving up just four hits and two runs while striking out eight Terrapins. Kaysen Korth pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief, fanning three. BYU finished with 13 hits to Maryland's six.
Advancing to the NISC semifinal, the Cougars will face the Jackrabbits, who won their opener on Thursday but had to win an elimination game after falling to Iowa earlier on Friday morning.
South Dakota State (39-18, 17-0 Summit League)
- The Jackrabbits have sandwiched two run-rule wins over Tarleton State with a loss to Iowa in NISC play
- South Dakota State fell to Omaha in its Summit League tournament title game last weekend
- The only two common opponents between the Jackrabbits and Cougars this season are Stanford and North Dakota State
- Kristina McSweeney is in her first year at South Dakota State. She is 397-204-1 (.660) in her 11-year career.
- BYU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 1-0. The only previous matchup occurred in Provo back in 2008, with the Cougars picking up an 8-0 win in five innings.
With a win over the Jackrabbits, BYU would advance to Saturday afternoon's NISC championship game, slated for 3 p.m. MDT. They would face the winner of Saturday's noon semifinal between Big Ten foes Iowa and Maryland. Since the championship bracket of the NISC is single elimination, a loss to South Dakota State would conclude the Cougars' 2023 season.
Should BYU move onto Saturday afternoon's title game, its all-time series records vs. their two potential title game foes are:
- Iowa leads 4-0
- Last matchup: March 15, 2007, Capital Classic — Iowa 4 | BYU 0
- BYU now leads, 3-2
- The Cougars avenged their 10-2 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge loss to the Terrapins with a 6-4 victory in round two of the NISC on Friday afternoon.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.