The Mavericks softball team split the weekend at the UAM 6 State Class in Bentonville, Arkansas, giving head coach Lori Meyer her 1,100th career win.
“We had 10 games in February, all on the road and we ended up 7-3. This past weekend we could have been 6-0 instead of 3-3, as in our three losses we out-hit our opponents,” Meyer said. “What we were missing in those three games was stringing our hits together to create runs. We need to find that piece of the puzzle when it comes to our offense.”
The weekend started off with Minnesota State winning over the Harding Lady Bisons Friday. Senior Coley Ries earned another win, pitching all seven innings allowing only three hits. The only run of the game came as a result of Jess Meidl’s home run in the sixth inning. The game gave the Lady Bisons’ Autumn Humes her first lost of the season despite throwing all seven innings allowing only three hits and striking out 12 Mavericks.
Minnesota State finished the first day of the tournament with a 3-2 loss to the Missouri Western State Griffon’s. Despite a solid seven innings, Libby Bemis took the loss for Minnesota State, allowing six hits while striking out six. The Mavericks were the first on the board courtesy of Alyssa Rickels singling to left field to bring home Amber Kral in the second. Meidl helped the Mavericks with the team’s other run, cranking her second homer of the day in the seventh inning. Griffons’ Katie Klosterman gave Missouri Western all three runs with the first one coming in the third as the result of a sacrifice fly-out to left field before hitting a two-run shot in the seventh.
The Mavericks started the second day of the tournament strong, blanking Arkansas Tech 8-0 and giving Meyer her 1,100th career win. Ries improved to 4-0 on the season, throwing all six innings allowing only one hit while striking out 10. The third inning produced four runs for Minnesota State, beginning with Meidl being walked before advancing to second on a wild pitch while Carly Esselman advanced to third. Ashley Thell was walked, loading the bases before Kral doubled to left field bringing home all three Mavericks, while Samantha Buhmann’s triple down the right field line brought home Kral. Esselman was the last to put up a run hitting a homer to center field, going three-for-three and earning two runs batted in (RBI) during the game.
Libby Bemis’ record fell to 2-2 after going four innings before Ries came in for the final two innings of the game against Arkansas-Monticello. Bemis started the first four innings allowing three runs off five hits. Ries closed out the final two innings, striking out five of the six batters she faced. Meidl was the Mavericks’ only run in the 3-1 loss to the Blossoms after being brought home by a single off the bat of Thell.
Minnesota State started the third day with a 5-2 loss to Pittsburg State. Ries’ record fell to 4-1 with the loss, despite striking out nine batters and allowing only five hits in the six innings thrown. The game started with the Gorillas’ Kylie Guthier homering to left-center while the Mavericks two runs came in the sixth. Esselman started by doubling to right to bring home Dana Mogren before McKenzie Paap singled to short to bring home Esselman.
The Mavericks finished the weekend with a 2-1 win over Central Missouri. Bemis improved her record to 3-2 for 2017 going all seven innings allowing only one hit while striking out three. MNSU’s two runs came as a result of an error. It started in the second with Esselman reaching first on an error while Kral scored. Then, the second error occurred in the seventh after Esselman singled before advancing to second on a throwing error bringing home Mogren.
“We need to find consistency. I thought we did a great job of getting hits, as we faced every team’s number one pitcher,” said Meyer. “I thought our defense for being on dirt for the first time was very solid. Our pitchers, Ries and Bemis, did what they needed to do to keep us in the games and allow our hitters an opportunity to score runs. We have some things we need to work on this week and next to get better prior to our spring break trip.”
The Mavericks return to action March 4 at 1 p.m. for The Spring Games in Clermont, Florida against the Walsh Cavilers.