The Southwest Minnesota State softball team opened its 2012 campaign with a pair of wins Sunday afternoon at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.
In their first games under new head coach Missy Bruggeman, the Mustangs defeated Ferris State University (Mich.) 3-2 on a walk-off single by Amy Dreessen and followed with a 10-1 victory over the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.
The Mustangs defeated Ferris State despite being outhit 9-3. SMSU got its bats going against Sciences, piling up 13 hits in the nine-run victory.
"Our hitting wasn't very good in the first game," Bruggeman said. "I think it just took us some time to get used to being at the plate because the first pitcher we faced wasn't overpowering by any means."
SMSU was down to FSU 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth before Christine Borowiak got things going for the Mustangs with a leadoff double. She later stole third and was driven in by Kris Penick on a sacrifice fly. Krista Steen then reached on an error, and the next three batters walked to score Alysse Luttamann (who pinch ran for Steen) to tie the game.
Chelsey Rodenkirch and Ashley Gigax both reached base on throwing errors by Ferris State in the bottom of the seventh, and Rodenkirch was knocked in on a two-out walk-off hit by Dreessen.
Chelsey Evans got a complete-game win for SMSU, allowing just one earned run and giving up one walk with two strikeouts.
The Mustangs used their momentum going into Game 2, scoring all 10 of their runs against Sciences in the first three innings, including an eight-run third inning. Gigax picked up her first career home run in the game, and Borowiak, Dreessen and Steen each had a double.
SMSU was active on the base paths all day, stealing nine bases over the two games. Borowiak led the way with three steals on the day.
"We had a lot more stolen bases than what the girls were used to in the past," Bruggeman said. "We used our speed a lot in the second game to advance runners into scoring position."
Ferris State000 110 0-2 9 4
SMSU000 020 1-3 3 1
FSU-Cara DeLange, Amy Dunleavy (5). SMSU-Chelsey Evans. WP-Evans. LP-Dunleavy. 2B: FSU-Chelsea Morris, Lainee Clay; SMSU-Christian Borowiak. SB: SMSU-Kris Penick, Morgan Peterson, Borowiak, Chelsey Rodenkirch.
SMSU118 00-10 13 0
Sciences000 10-1 3 1
SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner, Rachel Groff (4). SCI-Julie Shaw. WP-Hoeppner. LP-Shaw. HR: SMSU-Ashley Gigax; 2B: Borowiak, Krista Steen, Amy Dreessen. SB: SMSU-Borowiak (2), Gigax, Steen, Shelbie Stoll.