Ries throws two perfect games over winning weekend

Minnesota State’s senior pitcher Coley Ries played her final two regular season games in Mankato by pitching perfect games on back-to-back days while also picking up her 100th career win this weekend.

“This weekend was better than I ever could have imagined. Having it be our last weekend at home, going for my 100th win, my grandpa’s celebration of life, who was my biggest supporter, and having it be senior day had a lot of emotions surrounding it. My teammates and coaches made every moment so special and I’ll never forget it,” Ries said.

Minnesota State also finishes the regular season with an undefeated record (16-0) at home, which should be a big advantage come playoff time. Ries and the Mavericks swept the weekend in route to extending their winning streak to 14-in-a-row. The wins improve Minnesota State’s record to 44-6 and 22-2 in the NSIC.

Opening the weekend, Minnesota State earned 4-0 and 7-1 wins over Northern State on Saturday. Ries pitched her first perfect game in game one of the double-header. Ries finished with 15 strikeouts in the shutout win.

All of the Mavericks scoring came in the middle of the game, picking up four runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Minnesota State got six hits and four RBIs on their way to victory.

Libby Bemis led the way in game two of the double-header against Northern State. Bemis pitched all seven innings striking out five batters, allowing five hits and walking none.

Northern State scored their lone run in the fourth inning but not before the Mavs unleashed a four-run third inning on them. Cori Kennedy smacked a three-run double in the sixth to put the Mavs up 7-1, which proved to be enough to stay out of reach and complete the sweep. Kennedy was the only Maverick to achieve a multi-hit game, going two-for-three.

On Sunday, Minnesota State welcomed MSU-Moorhead to Mankato for senior day. Ries continued to give home fans reason to be excited, pitching her second perfect game of the weekend in game one. Ries finished with 18 strikeouts on her way to a shutout and improving to 23-2 on the year.

Minnesota State was much quicker to get the scoring going in the first matchup against the Dragons. Jess Meidl doubled and scored McKenzie Paap in the first inning to put the Mavs up 1-0. Ashley Thell hit a single to center field, scoring Meidl as the Mavericks went up 2-0 heading out of the first.

Thell appeared again in the second inning to add another two RBI’s after a double to left-field. Amber Kral cemented the victory in the fourth and sixth with flies to right field for two RBI’s as the Mavericks won, 7-0.

The Mavericks started game two off with a huge bang in the first inning, scoring two runs before Carly Esselman drilled a grand slam. Kennedy followed with a solo homer of her own as the Mavericks went up by seven to start the game. The Dragons attempted a comeback in the fifth and sixth, picking up three runs but could not manage more than that.

Bemis notched the win, pitching six innings, striking out two batters and allowing six hits.

The Mavericks will begin to wind down their regular season with a six-game road stint. Minnesota State takes on Upper Iowa today in Fayette, Iowa. The first game is set for 2 p.m. and the second will begin at 4 p.m.

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