USF softball team gives coach 100th win on heroics of pitcher/slugger Kait Van Der Zwaag
Former SDSU assistant Shannon Pivovar earns 100th win as Cougars coach in split with Augustana
SIOUX FALLS — USF gave softball coach Shannon Pivovar the 100th win of her career on Tuesday as the Cougars took the second game of an NSIC doubleheader against rival Augustana at the Vikings' Bowden Field.
Though the games were played at Augie they were USF's home games. The Vikings won the first game 9-1 and the Cougars won game two 2-0 on a one-hit shutout and game-winning home run by Kait Van Der Zwaag.
The Vikings had the bats working in the opener, scoring two runs each in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh frames. Ashton Dorman had two hits and a homer while Andrea Cain had three hits and three RBIs and Gracey Brink, Abby Lien and Liz Dierks each had two hits. Torri Chute had a two-run double in the third inning to start the scoring for the Vikings.
That offense made a winner of pitcher Hailey Houston, who improved to 12-2 on the season by whiffing seven Cougars in a complete game in the circle.
In the nightcap it was Van Der Zwaag carrying the Cougars to the rivalry win. The teams remained scoreless into the sixth in an entertaining pitchers duel between Van Der Zwaag and Augustana's Lexi Lander, before Van Der Zwaag helped her own cause. She broke the deadlock with a two-run home run down the right field line against a stiff wind to score herself and leadoff hitter Lexie Swift, who had walked, to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. That was all Van Der Zwaag needed in the circle, as she set the Vikings down in order in the top of the seventh on three consecutive groundouts to shortstop Rylie Jones, who calmly handled all three to end it.
Van Der Zwaag improved to 10-5 in the circle on the year, allowing just one hit and striking out one, working around four walks and two hit batters. Lander allowed two runs on three hits in six innings to take a tough-luck loss for Augie.
The Vikings are 22-11 and 9-3 in NSIC play following the split, while the Cougars record sits at 15-16 and 6-6 in league play.
USF announced Tuesday they will play the remainder of their home games at the new Sanford Diamonds fields on the campus of the Sanford Sports Complex near the Pentagon and Great Shots Golf.