NDSU softball team's season ends in NCAA regional

Angie Massey
May 23, 2017

It was head coach Patty Gasso being in the unenviable position of having to challenge her group to play to the expectation of a national champion. The victor of the first game Saturday will have to play Tulsa, coming off a full day's rest after beating Arkansas 5-4 Friday. But the Razorbacks answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, the most allowed by Oklahoma in a first inning this season.

NDSU (29-32) is scheduled to play the victor of Oklahoma and Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21, in an elimination game.

Oklahoma was able to keep Tulsa off the board thanks to good defense and a clutch performance from Junior pitcher Paige Parker. "I thought she was really good this weekend, she was doing some things that she wasn't doing early this year so I'm really excited for her to come back".

Mariah Lopez went 51/3 innings to get the win.

NDSU had chance to score earlier in the game, in the bottom of the third when Tabby Heinz walked and Dani Renner singled.

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"I knew that she would be exhausted and I saw her throw a little bit in the bullpen", NDSU coach Darren Mueller said. The Sooners lost 3-2 to North Dakota State in nine innings Saturday afternoon, becoming the first defending national champion to lose its regional opener since 1985. She threw 118 pitches including 89 for strikes in the win. Arkansas had runners on second and third with one out in the third but the threat was cut short when Paige Parker snagged a liner back to the circle and flipped to third for a double play.

At the time, it was the Sooners' third long ball over the last seven Watson pitches going back to the dramatic 10th-inning comeback Sunday. Stavrou scored to put the Bison ahead 1-0.

Parker struck out 10 Golden Hurricane batters and allowed eight hits and one walk in the winning effort.

In the third, Julia Hollingsworth singled with one out and eventually reached second on a wild pitch but a strikeout of Stafford by Parker kept OU on top 1-0.

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