The Southwest Minnesota State softball team continued Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play by splitting a doubleheader with the University of Mary (N.D.) in Bismarck, N.D., on Friday.
A seven-run sixth inning lifted the Mustangs past U-Mary in the opening game of the doubleheader, 8-6, while the Marauders launched a walk-off, three-run home run to take Game 2 5-3.
SMSU's huge sixth-inning in Game 1 featured 12 batters, while all seven runs occurred with two outs. The Marauders' pitchers struggled with control as three of SMSU's runs were scored via RBI walk. Another two came by benefit of U-Mary errors, while Morgan Peterson belted a two-RBI single to account for the remaining runs. The Mustangs had trailed 5-1 entering the sixth.
The Marauders put their pitching issues aside for the second game, fanning the Mustangs 14 times.
Despite their own struggles at the plate, SMSU led for the entirety of Game 2. The Mustangs scored three runs on four hits over the first two innings and held a 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh. U-Mary's Allison Brown went deep off of Mustang pitcher Rachel Hoeppner to give the Marauders the split.
Hoeppner pitched every inning of the doubleheader for the Mustangs. Marauders' starter Cherlyn Trujillo finished the second game with 16 strikeouts.
SMSU (9-7 overall, 2-2 NSIC) will look to bounce back and take a pair from Minot State (N.D.) today, again in Bismarck.
Box score not available
SMSU120 000 0-3 6 0
UMary011 000 3-5 9 3
SMSU-Rachel Hoeppner; UMary-Cherlyn Trujillo. WP-Trujillo. LP-Hoeppner. HR: SMSU-Chelsey Rodenkirch; UMary-Allison Brown. 2B: SMSU-Amy Dreessen 2; UMary-Erin Keen, Julissa Perales, Trujillo.