(East Los Angeles, CA) May 20, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: For the 11:00 am|ET start of Game 1 in this NCAA D-1 Softball, Orlando Regional tournament, South Dakota State University (SDSU) took the field as the visiting team in their 1st round match-up against the Michigan University Wolverines. Both teams knew what it would take to win this game and then move into the lesser-stressful Winner’s bracket. You can be sure that SDSU’s Head Coach Krista Wood’s team was ready to play their best game of the 2022 season, given what was at stake for each and every team that is entered.
With that very positive approach to every game, Coach’s can only be advisors and guides to their players performing nearly perfect at the plate and in the field. And in this game of trying to effectively and safely hit a 60 mph softball coming your way as a hitter, or perhaps if you’re pitching and you find yourself in a “jam” and can’t escape the consequences, the game itself remains in the balance until there is finality on the field and the game ends either in 7 innings or goes to extra innings. At the end, it would come down to which team made the costlier mistake.
(Brief Game Summary): The game started very evenly and rolled quickly through the first (4) completed innings. Then, in the bottom half of the Wolverines 5th, SDSU’s starting pitcher, Grace Glanzer, threw an inside pitch to lead-off, left-handed hitter Annabelle Widra and hit her on the forearm, putting her on base. This rapidly changed the complexion of the game in that now, Glanzer had to work harder to retire the side and keep the opponent from scoring additional runs.
The next batter, Ella McVey got on base with a bunt single moving the runner to 2B. That was followed by a Kristina Burkhardt single to center, moving McVey to 2nd and Widra to 3rd. The next batter, Audrey LeClair reached base on a fielder’s choice and in the process, SDSU’s SS/Rozelyn Carrillo very alertly and skillfully threw out Widra who tried to score.
Then Glanzer had to face the Wolverines best hitter in 1B/rf/Lexie Blair and she laced a sharp single down the left field line scoring both runners, suddenly it was (2-0) Wolverines. Glanzer was left in to finish the inning with no further damage, hopeful that her team could invoke their distinguished “Rally Carabiners Keychain” and supporters to bring them some Good Luck and Good Fortunes when it came time for their at-bats in the 6th inning.
Fortunately, and in answering to the “Rally” call for help, the Jackrabbits did positively respond when Cylie Halvorson stroked a deep shot to left-center field for a solo home run, cutting the lead in half. There was not another threat in the Jackrabbits at-bats for the inning. Meanwhile, Glanzer had settled down after the hit-batter scenario and managed to keep the Wolverines at bay through the 6th.
In the Jackrabbits’ final at bats in the top half of the 7th, they quickly had 2 outs against them and appeared to have no shot at tying the game. But then perhaps urged on by the Rally vibes, the following strange play occurred. Jocelyn Carrillo struck out swinging and the ball caromed away from the catcher, and on her run to 1B, the ball hit her in the back and she was awarded the base, signifying there was still a breath and glimmer of hope. However, after Mia Jarecki drew a walk and Carrillo was at second base now, Rf/Emma Osmundson, on a “run-up” attempt to the pitch, was caught looking and that ended the game.
(FINAL SCORE): University of Michigan 2 South Dakota State University 1 (TIME): 1:52
(SDSU Stats): 1B/Cylie Halvorson (1-3/solo home run in 6th/1 RBI; SS/Rozelyn Carrillo (1-3/Double); 3B/Cheyanne Masterson, (1-3 single); P/Grace Glanzer (20-6) with Loss. Runners Left-On-Base (7).
(Closing Thoughts): The heartbreaking loss caused SDSU to drop down into the loser’s bracket for the rest of the tournament. Although the Jackrabbits hit the ball long and hard in defeat, and hitting the ball hard for long or sharp outs is not a stat, it could yet be indicative of something big happening in the Villanova game. Vámonos/Let’s Go Jackrabbits!!
(Next Up): Villanova Wildcats, Saturday, 5/21, at 10:30 am|PT. Click here to subscribe and watch on ESPN+