The Minnesota State softball team returns from The Spring Games 10-0 in the tournament to improve to 17-3 on the season.
Minnesota State started the weekend with a 15-0 win over Urbana on March 4. Pitcher Libby Bemis picked up her fourth win of 2017 after going 3.2 innings allowing only three hits, while striking out seven of the Blue Knights. Jess Meidl and Amber Kral started the scoring early with two home runs in the first inning. The Mavericks quickly increased the lead to 8-0 in the second after Kral hit a three-run homerun to center field. Kral eventually helped advance the Mavs to a 12-0 lead in the fourth, hitting her third homerun of the game. Kral is the first member of the softball team to hit three home runs in a game since 2003. The team went on to earn another three runs in the fifth.
Game two of the day, the Mavericks ended up beating Southern Indiana 2-1 with senior Coley Ries picking up her fifth win of the season. Ries went all seven innings with 14 strikeouts in the contest. The Mavericks got started early, putting up two runs in the first inning after Dana Mogren was walked, bringing McKenzie Paap home. Both teams went scoreless the next six innings when the Screaming Eagles hit a single up the middle to score in the seventh inning. The Mavericks put up a total of seven hits in the game.
The Mavericks finished game three with a 5-2 win over the Lewis Flyers. Ries picked up yet another win, posting a season-high 19 strikeouts after going all seven-innings allowing only three hits. Minnesota State got off to a quick start putting up three runs in the first inning after Kral hit her fourth homerun of the weekend to make it her fifth of the season. The Flyers ended up cutting the Mavericks’ lead down to 3-2 in the fourth inning after a two-run RBI hit. Minnesota State quickly answered with Kral hitting an RBI single to second, bringing home Meidl in the fifth. The team went on to earn an additional run in the sixth inning. Meidl finished the game putting up two runs on three hits, with one RBI in her four at-bats.
After putting up a 2-0 lead in the first inning, courtesy of runs from Paap and Meidl, the Mavericks finished their game against Mercyhurt 8-1. Bemis picked up another win after throwing nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. Minnesota State improved to 5-0 after Kral hit an RBI double to left, bringing home Ashley Thell. The Lakers eventually earned a run in the fourth inning to ruin the shutout.
In a five-inning game, Bemis earned her sixth win, tossing six strikeouts allowing only three hits. Kral put up another homerun during the Spring Games, giving the Mavericks a 2-0 lead in the first and went on to hit her sixth of the trip and eighth of the season. Samantha Buhmann added a two-run homerun to center, her first of the season to increase the lead to 9-0. The Lions earned all their four runs in the fifth inning to decrease the Mavericks’ lead.
Ries earned her seventh win of the season, shutting out Wilmington 9-0. Ries threw 17 strikeouts and allowed only four hits in the contest. The Mavericks got the scoring started, putting up two runs in the third inning. Paap notched two runs on two hits while Esselman put up two runs on three hits during the game. Rickels added two runs on two hits and two RBI to help the team secure the victory.
In another shortened game, Minnesota State won over Saint Anselm 9-0. Bemis added another shutout win, going all five-innings allowing only two hits. Again, the Mavericks struck early, putting up a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a two out, bases-loaded RBI single from Mogren before Buhmann smashed a three-run triple to right. Thell added an RBI double in the second to improve the lead to 9-0. Paap put up two runs on two hits, while Thell notched one run on two hits and two RBI.
In their fourth shutout win of the trip, the Mavericks won over Holy Family 6-0 with Ries being credited with the win. Ries threw five shutout innings while freshman pitcher Bria Majeski allowed only one hit in relief. The team posted runs in each of the first four innings, with Meidl getting the scoring started as she doubled to bring in Paap. Meidl put up two hits and two RBI while Cori Kennedy notched one run on one hit and one RBI.
Minnesota State topped the Northwood Timberwolves 7-1 during the last day of the Spring Games. Ries added another win, tossing six scoreless innings while striking out 12. The Mavericks were the first to reach the scoreboard, scoring off a triple from Samantha Buhmann in the third. Kennedy added a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth. Kennedy totaled one run on one hit and three RBI’s, while Thell contributed one run on two hits and two RBI’s.
The Mavericks closed out the Spring Games with a 9-1 win over Hillside. Bemis earned another win, extending her streak to six. For the tenth time of the trip, the Mavericks were the first on the board putting up four runs in the second inning. Paap totaled two runs on two hits and three RBI while Mogren added two runs on two hits and two RBI in her three at-bats. Bemis picked up another win, going three innings without allowing a hit.
“Any time you can go 10-0 on a spring trip you have to be pleased as a coach and a team. I thought we had very solid performances from our offense, as we outscored our opponents 83 to 10. We had 100 hits in 10 games, and 70 RBIs. We had solid pitching from both Coley and Libby as both threw very well and went 5-0 and only allowed 1 earned run,” Head Coach Lori Meyer said.
Meyer still believes the team has room to improve, however.
“Defensively, we need to improve and reduce our errors as we are a better defensive team than what we are showing. This weekend we head to St Joe, MO and play six important regional games,” Meyer said. “We can’t be satisfied with how we are playing. We need to continue to improve each day, as we finish up region play this weekend and start conference play. We need to continue to push ourselves and perform under pressure daily.”
The Mavericks head to Missouri to play six games in the Missouri Western Tournament starting Friday and will start NSIC conference play in Mankato March 28 against the Concordia – St. Paul Golden Bears.