South Dakota State's Teresa Toscano captured the individual title Monday at the 2021 Summit League Championship, while the women's golf team finished second.
"We came up a bit short today, but we are very proud of what the ladies were able to accomplish this year," director of golf Casey VanDamme expressed. "I am especially grateful for the seniors and proud of how they have represented us. I look forward to seeing continued growth for the underclassmen."
The Jackrabbits, who trailed Denver by just three strokes heading into the final round, shot a 322 (+75) on the final day at the par-72, 6,000-yard Sand Creek Station Golf Course. SDSU finished the event with a 54-hole score of 939 (305-312-322) through three days of play in windy conditions. Denver earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals, claiming the team title with 921 (+57).
Toscano, who was named the Championship MVP and garnered a spot on the all-tournament team for the fourth time, shot a field-best 2-over 74 in her final round and birdied No. 18 to give her a two-shot victory and 54-hole total of 224 (+8). The senior captured her fifth individual title this season and eighth in her career.
All five Jackrabbits finished inside the top-20 of the 40-player field. Mia Seeman finished ninth after carding an 8-over 80 in the final round. The junior recorded a 54-hole score of 238 (+22). Lani Potter and Cassidy Laidlaw finished 10th and 11th, respectively, each carding an 84 (+12) on Monday. Hester Sicking finish tied for 19th with 246 (+30).
"The coaches and players are so excited for Teresa," VanDamme said. "She will be the first women's golfer in the Division I era to compete at the NCAA Tournament."
Toscano will find out where she will be playing Wednesday at 1 p.m. CT on the GOLF Channel.
Teresa Toscano, South Dakota State
All-Tournament Team (Top-five finishers and ties)
Teresa Toscano, South Dakota State (1st, 75-75-74 = 224; +8)
Mary Weinstein, Denver (2nd, 74-77-75 = 226; +10)
Anna Zanusso, Denver (3rd, 70-81-78 = 229; +13)
Alyson Bean, Denver (4th, 70-81-81 = 232; +16)
Megan Lee, Oral Roberts (5th, 78-77-80 = 235; +19)
• Teresa Toscano will be the first Jackrabbit women's golfer in the Division I era to compete at the NCAA Regionals. The NCAA's new policy, which was supposed to be implemented in 2020, provides all conference individual champions, if not on the winning team, a berth to the postseason event.
• Toscano is the fifth individual medalist in SDSU women's golf postseason history and second in the Division I era. Megan Mingo claimed the Summit League individual title in 2017, where Toscano finished third. Amy Lewis won the 1995 North Central Conference title while Carin Doyle won the 1982 and 1983 NCC titles.
• This is SDSU's fifth second-place finish at the Summit League Championship.
Badger claims Summit weekly honor
South Dakota State senior Landon Badger was honored Monday as Summit League Baseball Player of the Week for his performance in a four-game series against North Dakota State over the weekend.
An outfielder/first baseman from Pierre, Badger became the first Jackrabbit in exactly 12 years to hit three home runs in a game, accomplishing the feat int he first game of an April 24 doubleheader. He homered in three consecutive innings, hitting a solo homer in the third inning, a three-run homer in the fourth and a grand slam in the fifth for eight runs batted in as SDSU won 12-2 in eight innings.
Badger added a solo homer in the second inning of the doubleheader, giving him four home runs and 10 RBIs in the two games. He entered the weekend without a home run on the season.
Badger is the second Jackrabbit to be named Summit League Player of the Week, joining shortstop Luke Ira, who was honored April 12.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to return to action with a four-game weekend series at league-leading Oral Roberts. The series starts Friday with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Jacks again sweep Summit weekly awards
Following a weekend in which it clinched the first conference title in program history, the South Dakota State University softball team has once again swept the Summit League weekly awards. Monday, center fielder Jocelyn Carrillo was honored as Summit League Player of the Week and Tori Kniesche earned her third Summit League Pitcher of the Week award.
A returning freshman from Palmdale, California, Carrillo batted .636 (7-for-11) in a four-game weekend series versus in-state rival South Dakota. She hit safely in all four games to extend her hitting streak to eight games, and is now batting .412 overall, including a .509 clip in 18 Summit League games.
Carrillo went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer as part of a three-RBI outing in the second game of an April 24 doubleheader, then added two hits and scored twice in Game 1 of a twinbill the next day for a pair of multi-hit performances.
She is the fifth different Jackrabbit to earn Summit League Player of the Week honors this season, joining her younger sister, Rozelyn (March 8), as well as Emma Osmundson (March 15), Lindsey Culver (April 5) and Kelsey Lenox (April 12).
Kniesche was dominant in two starts against the Coyotes, allowing only one earned run and three hits over 10 innings of work. The freshman right-hander from Wayne, Nebraska, hurled a five-inning no-hitter on April 24 - a game in which she struck out 11 and walked one.
The next day, Kniesche improved to 17-1 overall and won her 13th consecutive decision after allowing one earned run over five innings, striking out 10 and walking two in a 10-2 Jackrabbit victory.
Kniesche has recorded double digits in strikeouts in six games this season and upped her season strikeout total to 134 in 93 innings.
She also received the Summit's weekly pitching award Feb. 15 and April 5.
South Dakota State enters the week 32-5 overall and 17-1 in The Summit League. The Jackrabbits will play out of conference this week, hosting Creighton in a Friday doubleheader. Action is set for a 2 p.m. start at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium.