North Dakota St.
SALEM, Ore. -- Lindsey Graham pitched a complete game shutout and hit a home run as North Dakota State rolled to a 5-0 victory over defending national champion St. Mary's in the first round of the NCAA Division II Softball Championships at the Wallace Sports Complex.
Graham, one of three first team All-Americans from NDSU, gave up just four hits against the powerful Rattler lineup. The junior improved to 26-7 on the season as the Lady Bison advanced to meet UC Davis on Friday in the winner's bracket.
Jess Christensen went 2-for-3 on the day, driving in a run on a pair of singles. Seven different Bison registered hits off of Kym Kling and Amanda Bayless.
"Our goal was to get ahead early," NDSU head coach Darren Mueller said. "We knew that St. Mary's had a good pitcher in Kling, so it was real important to get ahead early. Lindsey (Graham) came out and really pitched well."
NDSU got things started in the third inning, when Molly Pufall broke up what looked to be a pitcher's duel with a RBI double to left field. Pufall eventually scored in the inning, and the Bison added single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to secure the victory.
Kling (30-3) took the loss for St. Mary's. The Rattlers will play a Friday elimination game against Wayne State.
"It is a double elimination tournament," St. Mary's head coach Donna Fields said. "This is definitely unfamiliar territory for us, but when you play a lot of games, you get better each time out."