By Corey Yuman and Chelsea Dorval
Minnesota State’s softball team has now won 16-straight home games after another day of winning. The Mavericks swept the day against the Upper Iowa Peacocks on Tuesday in Fayette, Iowa. Minnesota State picked up two shutouts over Upper Iowa winning 8-0 and 1-0 in the double-header.
Game one of the double-header was kicked off with an onslaught of offensive action from Minnesota State, with all eight of their runs coming in the first inning. Amber Kral helped get the scoring started by nailing a single to center and Meidl picking up the score, after Thell advanced to third. Meidl went on to pick up a run batted in (RBI) at the end of the inning as well. Cori Kennedy added a double to left-center to score Dana Mogren and Samantha Buhman. McKenzine Paap also contributed two RBI’s on three hits and one run during the contest.
Coley Ries picked up the win in the first game, pitching a complete game, as she struck out nine batters while allowing three hits in five innings. With the win, Ries improves to 24-4 on the year.
“We got two good wins at UIU on the road. It was a tale of two different games. Game one we score eight runs in the first inning and Coley shuts them out. In game two, we had to battle and didn’t score until the top of the seventh and proceeded to hold them in the bottom half,” head coach Lori Meyer said. “We went 10 innings without scoring, but on the flip-side we held UIU scoreless for 12 innings. Good times find a way to scratch out a run and we did in the seventh with Rickels drawing a walk, then Paap getting on with a bunt, Meidl putting down a sacrifice bunt and Thell giving us a sacrifice fly to left.”
Game two of the double-header saw far less action and no scoring until the final inning. As both teams struggled to get any offense, Minnesota State ended with six hits to Upper Iowa’s five, with the game winning-run coming in the seventh. Thell hit an infield fly to pick up the RBI as McKenzie Paap advanced to third and Alyssa Rickles crossed home plate to give the Mavs the victory. A total of four batters notched hits for the Mavericks, while Meidl and Buhmann put up two hits apiece.
Libby Bemis got the win for the second game, pitching six innings while striking out three batters and allowing five hits. Ries stepped in for relief and pitched one hitless inning while striking out one batter.
“Mckenzie Paap made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the sixth inning with two out. She robbed a ball at the fence in left that would have given the Peacocks a grand slam. That gave us momentum in the seventh” Meyer explained.
Minnesota State improves to 46-6 on the year and 24-2 in the NSIC. Road action continues this weekend as the Mavericks get set for their final four games of the regular season. On Saturday, Minnesota State takes on the University of Mary on Saturday in Bismarck, North Dakota and Minot State on Sunday in Minot, North Dakota.