Minnesota State softball’s eight-game winning streak and undefeated record in the NSIC came to an end, as they split games against the University of Sioux Falls Cougars on Tuesday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After the split, Minnesota State’s record moves to 29-5 and 7-1 in the NSIC.
Sioux Falls entered the double-header holding on to a 16-15 and 4-4 record in the NSIC. After losing two straight to Winona State this past Saturday, the Cougars were going to be looking to snap that short, losing stint. Minnesota State made sure to get the scoring started quickly and early.
In the first inning, senior infielder Ashley Thell got things started with a bang as she nailed a homer to left center and scored junior outfielder Jess Meidl in the process. Meidl would score her second run in the third inning after freshman infielder Amber Kral and Thell advanced to third to score Meidl.
With the Mavericks up 3-0, Sioux Falls drilled back-to-back homeruns in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. The scoring came to an abrupt stop for both teams and the Mavs picked up the 3-2 win in game one of the double-header.
Senior pitcher Coley Ries remained tough to beat, picking up her 15th win. She pitched seven strong innings while striking out nine batters and allowing six hits.
Game two of the double-header started with Sioux Falls getting on the board first. The Mavericks struck back in the second inning with freshman outfielder Carly Esselman getting the RBI and senior infielder Dana Mogren scoring.
Meidl continued to shine on the day, as she drilled a homerun in the fifth inning and scored sophomore outfielder McKenzie Paap and freshman infielder Caitlin Stone in the process to put the Mavs up 4-1 heading into the sixth inning. The Cougars ended up going on a scoring barrage, adding four runs over the final two innings to win 5-4. Courtney Matthews picked up the win for Sioux Falls, allowing four hits and striking out one batter.
Junior pitcher Libby Bemis took the loss, allowing eight hits and striking out four batters. She moves to 14-3 on the year.
The Mavericks will be back in action this coming weekend in more NSIC action on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Minnesota State will travel to Duluth to take on the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The Bulldogs enter the weekend holding onto a 23-9 record and 7-1 in the NSIC.
Sunday will see the Mavs make a stop in St. Cloud to take on the St. Cloud State Huskies. The Huskies will play a double-header on Saturday, but head into the weekend 21-13 and 5-3 in the NSIC.
Minnesota State takes on Minnesota Duluth at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday in Duluth, and St. Cloud State at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday in St. Cloud.