The defending champs kicked off the season Saturday with a bang, getting out the brooms and sweeping the Missouri Western State Griffons in a two-game series.
The Mavericks shut them out 9-0 in the first, and came out on top 11-7 in the second game. The Mavericks continued their stampede Sunday, defeating the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 10-0, and then winning in extra innings, 7-6, in St. Joseph, Mo.
In the season opening series, lone senior Jessica Meidl came out of the dugout ready to make an impact, and she did. Meidl connected with the ball seven times, two of those for extra bases, against the Griffons and drove in three runs.
Two Mavericks smashed the ball out of the park to add onto the beatdown. Hannah McCarville and Amber Kral took a trip around the bases with the McCarville in the first game and Kral in the second game.
Mackenzie Ward put more salt on the wound, striking out six in seven innings pitched during the first of two. She then closed out the second game in the doubleheader for the win, coming in to replace Lexi Schoper, who had three strikeouts of her own.
After a rough outing in their series finish against the Griffons, the Mavericks came back and well, let the score speak for itself. A 10-0 victory on Sunday over the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats.
In a unanimous victory for the Mavericks, it was Torey Richards who was the top star. She had three base hits and drove in a team-high four runs. Meidl had two hits, including a home run in the seventh inning. It was the third inning, however, when the Mavericks struck dynamite, scoring seven runs. Mackenzie Ward pitched the whole game, racking up three strikeouts.
The sequel, however, was far from a blowout. The two teams refused to give in, and seven innings wasn’t enough. The Bearcats had two three-run leads during the game, to which the Mavericks responded with three of their own.
McKenzie Paap was the hero for the team as she hit the walk off single in the 8th. Paap also contributed two other hits, in addition to a stolen base. Along with Paap, Carly Esselman led the team with two RBI’s and both Meidl and Kennedy had one.
Three pitchers took the mound Sunday afternoon for the softball team for what was a team effort. Ward was the last on the mound before Paap drove in her walk off run.
It looks to be a blazing start for the Minnesota State Maverick softball team. The team will enter Kelly Laas Memorial Invite on Thursday and begins it by facing the Griffons yet again.
Photo: (Courtesy of msumavericks.com)