The Southwest Minnesota State softball team played a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheaders over the weekend at the Husky Done in St. Cloud and finished with a 1-3 record after getting swept by Minnesota-Duluth Saturday and earning a split with St. Cloud State Sunday.
The Mustangs' pitching was up to task against UMD but the offense wasn't there, as SMSU lost both games Saturday by the score of 2-1. SMSU opened Sunday's action with a 7-5 win over SCSU, scoring four runs in the top of the sixth. SMSU got off to a positive start at the plate in the second game, scoring seven runs in the first three innings, but couldn't slow down the Huskies' offense in a 13-7 loss.
SMSU drops to 11-13 overall follwoing the 1-3 weekend and is 4-8 in NSIC play.
Rachel Groff got the start for SMSU in Game 1 Saturday and put forth a strong effort. She gave up just one run on three hits with four walks before being relieved by Rachel Hoeppner after 5 1/3 innings. Groff tallied three strikeouts in the game.
SMSU scored its lone run in the third inning when Amy Dreessen knocked in Shelbie Stoll with an RBI single. UMD didn't score until the sixth, when they got one run off of Groff. Hoeppner wasn't able to keep the Huskies off the board in the seventh, as Kierra Jeffers hit a single to right center to score Ashley Schilling for the winning run. UMD's pitchers combined to hold SMSU to five hits in the game.
Game 2 was much the same. This time Hoeppner got the start and went the distance, but SMSU managed just three hits in a 2-1 loss in eight innings. SMSU's only run was unearned and the Mustangs were struck out 13 times by Bulldog pitcher Julia Nealer, who earned the win in both games.
SMSU001 000 0-1 5 1
UMD000 001 1-2 5 0
SMSU-Rachel Groff, Rachel Hoeppner (6). UMD-Cayli Sadler, Julia Nealer (6). WP-Nealer. LP-Hoeppner.
SMSU001 000 000-1 3 2
UMD000 100 001-2 6 2
SMSU-Hoeppner. UMD-Nealer. WP-Nealer. LP-Hoeppner. 2B: UMD-Tyra Kerr.
SMSU001 020 4-7 6 0
SCSU000 140 0-5 10 2
SMSU-Hoeppner, Groff (5). SCSU-Kelly Franks. WP-Groff. LP-Franks. 2B: SMSU-Chelsey Rodenkirch. HR: SCSU-Breana Canova.
SMSU232 000 0-7 8 1
SCSU416 200 X-13 13 4
SMSU-Groff, Katie Herron (2). SCSU-Kendra Merritt. WP-Merritt. LP-Herron. 2B: SMSU-Amy Dreessen, Kaley Scearcy 2; SCSU-Mikayla Hogan, Kelsie Fitch, Taylor Thomas. HR: SMSU-Shelbie Stoll.
Hoepnner didn't have any strikeouts in the performance but gave up just six hits and three walks.
On Sunday, SCSU tagged Hoeppner for four runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Groff came on and shut the Huskies down the final three innings and SMSU broke through for four runs in the seventh inning to snatch away a 7-5 win.
Chelsey Rodenkirch led SMSU with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate with a run scored, an RBI and a double. Morgan Peterson had two RBIs in the game but didn't record a hit, as she earned both RBIs on walks.
SMSU's offense was there to start Game 2, scoring two runs in the first, three in the second and two in the third. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, their pitching struggled against the Huskies' lineup and after a six-run bottom of the third by SCSU the Mustangs trailed 11-7 on the way to a 13-7 defeat.
Dreessen and Kaley Scearcy both had two hits for SMSU in the loss, while Stoll had SMSU's lone home run for the weekend. She went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk in the loss.
SMSU will be in Wayne, Neb., Wednesday for an NSIC doubleheader against the Wayne State Wildcats.