Softball keeps momentum up

The Mavericks softball team returns from the Missouri Western Tournament with five more wins and only one loss.

Minnesota State picked up their first win of the tournament against Northeastern State, finishing 8-1. Senior pitcher Coley Ries picked up her 10th win of the season throwing a complete game, including 15 strikeouts while allowing only six hits. After a scoreless first inning, Dana Mogren got the Mavericks on the board with a two-run RBI and first home run of 2017. Jess Meidl went on to double to left for a three-run RBI to put the team up 5-0. Amber Kral helped the team with a total of two runs on three hits in the win.

In game two of the day, the Mavericks finished 7-3 over Washburn with junior pitcher Libby Bemis earning the win. Bemis went seven innings striking out 10 while allowing only six hits. Again, it was Meidl to get the scoring started by stealing home in the first; she totaled two runs on two hits. McKenzie Paap also contributed two runs on two hits in her four at bats in the win.

The Mavericks won against the Nebraska-Kearney Loopers 8-3 Saturday afternoon. Bemis earned her 10th win of the year, striking out nine while allowing seven hits over seven innings. Carly Esselman put up two runs and two RBI’s while Sarah Buhmann also contributed three hits in the contest.

Ries had another solid performance in the 3-0 win over Northwest Missouri State after throwing all seven innings including 12 strikeouts. With the win, Ries moved into the third all-time career wins slot with 89. Morgren and Buhmann both contributed one run on one hit and one RBI in the shutout win.

Pittsburg State was the team to end the Mavericks’ 15-game win streak with a 1-0 loss on the last day of the tournament. Despite 14 strikeouts in seven innings, Ries picked up the loss for Minnesota State. With the only run coming in the top of the seventh inning as a result of an RBI single, the Mavericks were unable to answer. Minnesota State totaled two hits while the Gorillas notched three.

The Mavericks finished off the tournament with an 8-1 win over Missouri Western. The win is the team’s third over a top-25 team this year. Bemis picked up her 11th win of 2017 tossing all seven innings, notching nine strikeouts while allowing only three hits. Minnesota State got started in the second inning putting up three runs. Ashley Thell hit her first home run of the season with a two-run RBI. Thell totaled one run on two hits and four RBI while Paap posted two runs on two hits and Cori Kennedy contributed one run and two RBI.

“This is a tough tournament, as it is good competition with six games in three days and to go 5-1 is a great accomplishment. We had solid defense, pitching and got timely hitting when we needed it. Our one loss was a great game with Pittsburgh State. It was a great pitcher’s dual, with some good defensive plays. It just came down to who was going to get the key hit and they did,” said Head Coach Lori Meyer.

“We are 22-4 going into our conference season, which gives us confidence. But we need to remember that any given day, any team can beat anyone. We need to work hard this week as we have things that we need to work on and improve. We need to continue to get better and take our game to the next level each day this week. Our conference season will consist of 30 games that we have to be prepared to play,” Meyer said of the upcoming start of the NSIC season.

Minnesota State will start NSIC conference play March 28 when they face off against Concordia-St. Paul in Mankato at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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