DES MOINES — Illinois State got a game-winning home run from Riley Strandgard in the top of the 10th inning and knocked Northern Iowa out of the Missouri Valley Conference softball tournament Thursday, 4-3.
It was a back-and-forth game until the end. The Redbirds went up 1-0 in the third, and Brittney Krodinger’s bunt single in the bottom half of the inning scored Courtney Krodinger from second base to tie it.
Illinois State took a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth on RBI hits by Strandgard and Caitlyn Daly, but UNI pulled even again. Kennedy Bailey singled to start the Panthers’ eighth and Ashley Chesser delivered a two-out, two-strike homer to right to tie the game at 3-3.
Brooke Craig pitched the first 7 1/2 innings for UNI, allowing eight hits and two earned runs. Freshman Emma Olejniczak took the loss.
The Panthers finish the season with a 26-26 record, while the Redbirds advanced to face third-seed Southern Illinois Friday with a 21-32 mark.
Illinois St. 4, UNI 3, 10 inn.
Illinois St. 001 000 020 1 — 4 10 1
N. Iowa 001 000 020 0 — 3 8 1
Day, Domkuski (9) and LaFountaine. Craig, Olejniczak (8) and Chesser. WP — Domkuski (6-9). LP — Olejniczak (5-8). 2B — Coursey (Ill. St.), Roby (UNI). HR — Strandgard (Ill. St.), Chesser (UNI).
Records: UNI 26-26, Illinois St. 21-32.