MNSU softball off to 4-0 start in 2017

Minnesota State softball picked up four wins at the Regional Crossover / Kelly LAAS Memorial Invite in St. Cloud this weekend.

“Last week we were at a point where we needed to play some games so we could reevaluate and see where we’re at. I think offensively we did a good job and we scored 34 runs and only allowed three,” head coach Lori Meyer said. “We put the ball in play and did some nice things offensively. Defensively we only had one miscue.”

Minnesota State started the series off with a 9-0 shutout over Concordia-St. Paul. Senior pitcher Coley Ries picked up her first win of 2017, going all five-innings allowing only two hits and two walks. Fellow senior Ashley Thell contributed two runs on two hits in three at-bats while junior outfielder Jess Meidl went three-for-three, notching one run batted in (RBI).

The Mavericks had a productive third inning, earning four of their nine runs including a home run off the bat of freshman first baseman, Amber Kral. Kral added two hits and two RBI’s in only two at bats for her first outing of 2017.

“Anytime you come back from a four-game series and you can say you’re 4-0, you’ve got to be pleased,” Meyer said about the team’s first set of victories.

The Mavericks came out on top of their first meeting with the Viterbo V-Hawks, finishing 12-0 Saturday evening. Junior pitcher Libby Bemis earned her first win of the season walking only one while striking out 12 in Saturday’s game. Meidl finished the game with a grand slam in the fifth to total two runs on three hits and five RBI’s while junior designated hitter; Alyssa Rickels, went three-for-three.

In Minnesota State’s third game of the weekend, they shut out the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers 2-0 Sunday afternoon. One of Minnesota State’s runs came as a result of an illegal pitch in the first inning after sophomore McKenzie Paap was walked and stole second before advancing to third on a groundout off the bat of Meidl. Bemis increased her record to 2-0, pitching all seven innings allowing only one hit while striking out seven.

The last game of the Regional Crossover / Kelly LAAS Memorial Invite gave the Mavericks their fourth win of 2017, over Wisconsin-Parkside finishing 12-2 over the Rangers. Ries improved her record to 2-0, pitching all five-innings allowing only two hits while retiring seven of the 20 batters she faced. Paap went three-for-three while Kral put up two runs on three hits and two RBI’s in the meeting.

“I think this tournament now going in 4-0 sets us up with some confidence, gave us some at bats and we had a close game in there. Going into this weekend in Arkansas we are going to see better pitching,” said Meyer of the team’s upcoming series.

The Mavericks head to Bentonville, Arkansas Feb. 17 to take on the Harding Bison in their first of six games at the UAM 8-State Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m.

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