Playing in a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheaders over the weekend, the Southwest Minnesota State softball team went 3-1, sweeping Bemidji State on Saturday with 8-0 and 5-4 wins. On Sunday, the Mustangs split with Minnesota-Duluth, losing 3-1 in Game 1 before winning the nightcap with a 5-3 victory.
"We were playing pretty decent over the weekend," said SMSU head coach Missy Bruggeman. "We have to work on being a little more consistent. We had some errors and we had a little different mix of players."
In Game 1 against Bemidji State Saturday, Rachel Hoeppner picked up her fifth win in the circle, holding the Beavers to three hits and two walks in five innings.
"She did a great job forcing them to get a lot of groundouts and flyouts," Bruggeman said of Hoeppner.
On offense, Amy Dreessen and Ashley Gigax each had three hits. Leading 1-0 through the first four innings, SMSU went off for seven combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Five Mustangs had two-plus hits, with Christine Borowiak, Kris Penick and Krista Steen each with two hits.
In Game 2, the Mustangs trailed 4-3 in the seventh inning before Borowiak scored on a stolen base attempt by Kris Penick. With two outs, Dreessen drove in the game-willing run on an RBI single. Dreessen finished with five hits with four RBIs on the day.
On Sunday against Minnesota-Duluth, Megan Mullen struck out six, walked no batters and held SMSU to two hits and one run. Gigax and Kaley Scearcy got the lone hits for the Mustangs, with Scearcy scoring the lone run.
"Their pitcher did a great job of forcing us into groundout situations," Bruggeman said. "Mullen got some strikeouts and did a great job of staying low."
In Game 2, the Mustangs held onto a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning before the Bulldogs put together a rally. Leading by two with one out, SMSU pitcher Chelsea Evans forced UMD into a foul out and a groundout to escape with the victory.
Scoreless after three innings, Scearcy and Shelbie Stoll each had RBI singles for the Mustangs to break the game open. SMSU padded the lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Penick and Gigax had back-to-back RBI singles, and Penick scored the third run on a throwing error.
"We got more quality at-bats and we were being more aggressive at the plate," Bruggeman said.
SMSU (2-2 NSIC, 18-14 overall) stays on the road on Wednesday for an NSIC doubleheader against Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D.
SMSU010 034-8 13 2
BSU000 000-0 4 2
SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner, Rachel Groff (6); BSU-Kelsey Saralampi, Allison Roberts (6). WP-Hoeppner. LP-Saralampi. 3B: SMSU-Ashley Gigax, Amy Dreessen. 2B: SMSU-Dreessen, Morgan Peterson. LOB: SMSU-7; BSU-8.
SMSU001 020 2-5 11 2
BSU030 010 0-4 8 1
SMSU-Chelsey Evans; BSU-Courtney Anderson. WP-Evans. LP-Anderson. 3B: SMSU-Krista Steen. 2B: SMSU-Christine Borowiak; BSU-Courtney Loegering. LOB: SMSU-7; BSU-8.
SMSU001 000 0-1 2 2
UMD200 010 X-3 6 1
SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner; UMD-Megan Mullen. WP-Mullen. LP-Hoeppner. 2B: SMSU-Kaley Scearcy; UMD-Mullen. LOB: SMSU-3; UMD-6.
SMSU000 200 3-5 6 1
UMD000 000 3-3 7 1
SMSU-Chelsey Evans; Julia Nealer. WP-Evans. LP-Nealer. HR: Kierra Jeffers. 2B: SMSU-Christine Borowiak; UMD-Tyra Kerr, Megan Mullen, Erin Hunecke, Jordan Rice.