Fighting for the eighth spot in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference softball standings, the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs entertained Concordia-St. Paul in a key doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.
Chelsey Evans tossed a complete-game gem to lift SMSU to a 2-0 victory in Game 1, but C-SP earned a split by claiming a 4-2 victory in Game 2.
SMSU is now 11-11 in the conference and 20-18 overall, while C-SP is 9-11 in the league and 24-19 overall.
"It was a bit disappointing to only get the one win today, as we were looking for a sweep," SMSU head coach Missy Bruggeman said. "We were held to just six hits in the two games, as we hit a lot of balls right at the defense. Krista Steen had three hits on the day, and it was good to see her senior leadership out there."
Evans fanned six batters and scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings in the opener, walking just one and working out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to preserve a key shutout.
"Chelsey threw well," Bruggeman said. "She kept us in the game, and we made the plays when we had to."
Steen belted an RBI double in the first inning, and Shelbie Stoll cracked an RBI single in the second to account for the game's only scoring.
Steen was 2-for-2 with another double in the nightcap. Stoll and Kailey Hanson each drove in a run for the Mustangs.
Rachel Hoeppner pitched the first 2 2/3 innings for SMSU, while Rachel Groff finished up the final 4 1/3 innings.
SMSU plays a pair of home doubleheaders to close the regular season this weekend. The Mustangs host Northern State Saturday at 1 p.m. and entertain the University of Mary Sunday at noon.
C-SP 000 000 0-0 6 2
SMSU 110 000 X-2 2 0
Concordia-Stephanie Kappes. SMSU-Chelsey Evans. WP: Evans. LP: Kappes. Concordia: 2B-Brynn Larsen, Cassie Bertelsen; LOB-7. SMSU: 2B-Krista Steen; LOB-4.
C-SP 003 000 1-4 12 0
SMSU 010 000 1-2 4 1
Concordia-Ashley Kluever. SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner, Rachel Groff (3). WP: Kluever. LP: Hoeppner. Concordia: 2B-Calli Brennan, Bekah Roth; LOB-9. SMSU: 2B-Steen, Shelbie Stoll; LOB-4.