Four days after throwing a no-hitter against Holy Family (Pa.), Southwest Minnesota State pitcher Chelsey Evans tossed a one-hitter against Slippery Rock (Pa.) to help the Mustangs close the Rebel Spring Games on a high note with a 4-0 victory Monday in Kissimmee, Fla.
SMSU played a game against California (Pa.) earlier in the day, losing a 4-3 contest after a two-run walk-off home run by the Vulcans' Katie Netter. It was Netter's second home run of the game.
Evans' win against Slippery Rock improved her record to 4-0 on the season and moved SMSU to 8-4 overall at the conclusion of its 12-game trip in Florida. The senior right-hander struck out two and walked two in her one-hit effort.
"She threw great again today," said SMSU head coach Missy Bruggeman. "Their pitcher was the only player to get a hit off her. She really worked the batters and shut them down."
The Mustangs scored two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth for the 4-0 win. In the fourth, SMSU scored on a passed ball and an RBI triple by Morgan Peterson. In the sixth, Alysse Luttman struck out swinging, but reached base on a passed ball. She later stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on another RBI triple by Peterson, who was knocked home on a single by Katelyn Kalkman.
Peterson ended the game going 3-for-3 from the plate.
Christine Borowiak had a 3-for-3 effort at the plate in SMSU's loss to California. Amy Dreessen added two hits and a walk, and Peterson also had two hits.
With five hits on the day, Peterson was a driving force in SMSU's offense.
"She wasn't just hitting the ball, she was hitting it hard," Bruggeman said. "Morgan has been getting into the groove a little bit. She's just getting more and more comfortable and has been stepping up into a leadership role as a freshman."
Freshman pitcher Rachel Hoeppner threw six-plus innings for SMSU against the Vulcans. She took the loss, allowing four runs on 10 hits with three walks and one strikeout.
Bruggeman said she couldn't fault Hoeppner for the two home runs by the Vulcans' Katie Netter.
"(Netter) was pretty legit," Bruggeman said. "Those were good pitches. You've just got to tip your hat to her."
Now that she's been able to see her team on play 12 games in a short period of time, Bruggeman has a much better idea of what she has to work with in her first year as SMSU's head coach.
"We can use a lot of the roster. It's a very versatile team," she said. "It's been fun to see some of the underclassmen start stepping into new roles, and especially to see the senior class step into those leadership roles."
The Mustangs return to the field March 17 for a pair of non-conference games in Wayne, Neb. SMSU will face both Northern State and Wayne State.
SMSU 000 012 0-3 12 1
CAL 010 010 2-4 10 0
SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner. CAL-Kaitlyn Schilling. WP-Schilling. LP-Hoeppner. HR: CAL-Katie Natter (2). 3B: SMSU-Christine Borowiak. 2B: SMSU-Kaley Scearcy. LOB: SMSU 10; CAL 7.
SRU000 000 0-0 1 1
SMSU000 202 X-4 8 0
SRU-Shaylee Ianno. SMSU-Chelsey Evans. WP_Evans. LP-Ianno. 3B: SMSU-Morgan Peterson. SB: SMSU-Kris Penick, Alysse Luttman, Katelyn Kalkman. LOB: SRU 3; SMSU 5.