Minnesota State’s softball team opened up Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) action 2-0, as they swept the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears on Monday in Mankato. With the remainder of the women’s regular season all conference play, the Mavericks improved to an overall record of 24-4 while coming out with wins in 17 of their last 18 games.
The Mavericks swept the Golden Bears, beating them 4-1 in game one and getting a 4-2 win in the second outing. Concordia-St. Paul dropped to 8-15 after the losses.
Game one was led by senior Coley Ries, as she pitched the entire game coming up with 12 strikeouts while only allowing two hits. Ries continues to be a very valuable asset to this team and improves her record to 12-2 on the year.
The game-winning run came in the second inning when Samantha Buhmann stole home to put Minnesota State up 2-0. The first score came from Dana Morgen, who hit a single to left field and advanced to second, sending Buhman to third and scoring Amber Kral.
Concordia-St. Paul put together a score in the third inning, with Sarah Kivisto hitting a homerun to bring the Golden-Bears within one score. The Mavs struck back in the bottom of the third inning as Ashley Thell got a RBI to score McKenzie Paap.
Only one more score came, coming from Minnesota State’s Carly Esselman spurning from an RBI from Cori Kennedy in the bottom of the sixth.
The Mavericks won the hits battle with the team coming up with six to the Golden Bears’ two. Mogren led the team with two hits and an RBI.
Game two was highlighted by Carly Esselman’s two hits and two runs as Minnesota State completed the sweep with a 4-2 win. Esselman earned the game-winning run in the fourth inning as she stole third to put the Mavs up 3-0.
Concordia-St. Paul began to rally back in the sixth inning, where they scored their lone runs. Kivisto once again stepped up for the Golden-Bears and drilled her second homer of the day to score her and Liz Jarosz to bring their deficit down to two runs. Kivisto and the rest of the Golden Bears weren’t able to build anything more however, and in the bottom of the sixth Paap hit a single to score Esselman.
Libby Bemis finished off the Golden-Bears in the seventh and picked up the win as she struck out five batters and allowed five hits. Bemis pitched all seven innings and is now sitting on a 12-2 record on the season.
Minnesota State is going to be back in action this weekend as they play double-headers back-to-back. The Mavericks face the Augustana Vikings on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and Wayne State on Sunday starting at noon. All four games will take place at The Pitch in Mankato.