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Taylor Mortensen is greeted at the plate after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of North Dakota State's 9-7 win over Hawai'i on Saturday in Tucson.
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Bison Rally Past Hawai'i 9-7, Fall to Notre Dame 8-4 at NCAA Tucson Regional

Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: May 20, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz.--North Dakota State rallied past 13/16th-ranked Hawai'i 9-7, but fell to Notre Dame 8-4 in an elimination game at the NCAA Tucson Softball Regional played Saturday, May 19, at Hillenbrand Stadium. Notre Dame plays host Arizona at 4:30 p.m. Central in the championship game.

NDSU finishes the season with a 38-22 record and matches the school record for wins at the Division I level. The 2009 Bison team finished 38-20.

North Dakota State scored in all but the first inning in the win over Hawai'i to snap a seven-game NCAA tournament losing streak. The last NCAA tournament win came against Tulsa in the NCAA Norman Regional championship game.

The game featured four lead changes and the score was tied twice.

Makani Duhaylonsod doubled down the right field line with two outs in the second inning to put Hawai'i ahead 1-0.

The Bison struck with two outs in the bottom of the frame when Alex Sobrero singled down the left field line and Brandi Enriquez reached on an infield single to short. Sobrero would score from second when Enriquez and the UH second baseman collided near the base, forcing the ball to bounce free.

Hawai'i (44-9) went up 4-1 in the top of the third on back-to-back home runs. Kayla Wartner drilled a two-run homer to center, then Sarah Robinson hit a solo shot to left field.

North Dakota State struck for four runs to take a short-lived 5-4 lead in the bottom of the third. Taylor Mortensen led off a with a double to left field. With one out, Katie Tamayo reached on a two-base fielding error by the right fielder. Brea Konz lined a two-out, two-run single to left. Amanda Grable lined a double to right center to score Konz and came home on Sobrero's RBI single up the middle.

Wartner struck again for Hawai'i in the top of the fourth to regain the lead 6-5, lining a two-out, two-run home run over the right field fence. Her pair of homers lifted her season total to six.

The Bison tied the game at 6-all in the bottom of the fourth when Jenina Ortega led off with a solo home run to left field. It was Ortega's second of the season.

The lead changed hands again in the top of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Jocelyn Enrique singled down the right field line with two outs to put Hawai'i ahead 7-6.

North Dakota State took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Cristina Borek led off with a single. Konz doubled down the left field line to chase pinch-runner Presley Glaser to third. Glaser scored on an error and Konz crossed the plate on a Sobrero fielder's choice.

The Bison tacked on an important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Mortensen smacked a 3-2 pitch for a solo home run to left field to start the inning. It was Mortensen's ninth home run of the season.

Freshman Krista Menke (25-12) picked up the win. Menke allowed 11 hits, struck out five and walked five. Kala Parnaby and Stephanie Ricketts (28-6) pitched for Hawai'i with Ricketts recording the loss. The pair combined to allow 11 hits, strike out four and issue no walks.

Mortensen, Konz and Sobrero each had two hits for NDSU. Jessica Iwata, Wartner and Duhaylonsod all had two hits for Hawai'i.

Katie Haus went 2-for-4 with three RBI and pitcher Laura Winter struck out 10 to lead Notre Dame (40-15) to the 8-4 win.

Amy Buntin hit a solo home with two outs in the first inning to put the Fighting Irish ahead.

Grable answered with two outs in the bottom of the second when she crushed a 2-2 pitch into the left center field bleachers. It was Grable's ninth home run of the season.

North Dakota State took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, Enriquez walked and moved to second on a single from Ortega. Jamie Gay lined a double to the left center gap to knock in two runs.

Notre Dame sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five times in the top of the sixth to build a 6-3 lead. The Fighting Irish took advantage of a wild pitch, a two-run single from Chloe Saganowich, and run-scoring hits from Alexa Maldonado and Haus.

Haus added a two-run single in the top of the seventh to make it 8-3.

The Bison cut the margin to 8-4 in to the bottom of the seventh. Sobrero reached on an infield single and scored on Ortega's double to right center. Ortega and Gay each had two hits for NDSU.

Menke went the distance and recorded the loss. She surrendered 11 hits, struck out five and walked two. Winter (29-10) picked up the win for Notre Dame. She allowed seven hits and walked one.

 

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