The Minnesota State Mavericks softball team continued their season in another five-game weekend, where they won three games and lost two in the Emporia State Softball Classic.
To start the weekend, the Mavericks played their first game against the Washburn University Ichabods on Friday afternoon. Maverick junior Mackenzie Ward opened with pitching three innings and striking out five batters and allowing only one hit.
Freshman Katie Bracken replaced Ward and helped the team win by pitching four innings and allowing only one run and three hits and striking out three batters.
The Mavericks didn’t begin to score until the bottom of the second inning when junior Torey Richards stole from first base to third right before scoring at home off a single form junior Emma Schifferle.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Mavericks scored five more runs with a sequence of hits including a double from Schifferle that allowed two runs for her third RBI of the game.
Despite the Ichabods attempting to catch up to the Mavericks with one run in the top of the fourth, the Mavericks came back with a solo homerun to center from freshman Madi Newman to let the Mavericks win 7-1.
Schifferle ended the game 2-3 at the plate with three RBI and a double and sophomore Hannah McCarville going 3-3 from the plate with an RBI.
Richards went 1-2 from the plate, scoring two runs and stealing two bases.
Following this game, the Mavericks played against the Missouri Western State Griffons and once again took the win.
Ward pitched the whole game for the Mavericks and let by only two runs on four hits while also striking out eight batters.
Minnesota State’s defense was unstoppable as Ward cut down the Missouri Western State’s batting rotation even though they passed up on a few scoring opportunities themselves. The Mavericks started the game in the fifth inning when freshman Sydney Nielsen hit a double that brought sophomore Kayla Moky home from third.
In the sixth inning the Mavericks scored three more runs due to the Griffons missing throws and catches, bringing their lead to 4-0. During their last at bats, the Griffons managed to score two runs in the top of the eighth inning, but this didn’t bring the Mavericks down. Ward earned her eighth strikeout of the game, which helped the Mavericks win 4-2.
Nielsen and Richards both went 2-3 from the plate while sophomore Hannah Hastings went 1-3 with a triple and a run scored.
Moky ended the game with a stolen base for Minnesota State.
On Saturday, the Mavericks had only one game against the Missouri Southern State Lions, and here they fell short and lost 5-4.
Bracken started things off by pitching one inning, while passing up four runs on eight hits, but Ward picked things up and pitched the last six innings and allowed one run.
The Lions didn’t hesitate by bringing in eight hits in the first inning and scoring on four of those hits. In the bottom of the second inning the Mavericks slowly began to come back when McCarville hit a single through the right side of the field, bringing in Schifferle and Newman. Succeeding this play, Nielsen hit a hard grounder to second base, bringing junior Courtney Potter home.
After going two innings without scoring, Potter tied the game up at 4 with a home run to left field. The winning run from the Lions came in the top of the seventh inning after a single to left field brought in a runner from second base, winning the game 5-4.
On Sunday, the Mavericks played their last two games of the classic with the first one of the day being against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats.
Ward started things steady for the Mavericks with pitching four innings and not allowing any runs on two hits with six strikeouts. The Maverick were able to score in the first inning with a solo home run from leadoff hitter senior Carly Esselman, this being her second home run of the early season, while bringing in another run on an error to lead the Mavericks in a 2-0 lead.
The Bearcats thought they would bring in some runs in the top of the fourth inning with bases loaded and one out, but Ward spared this by striking out one batter and managing to get another runner out at second off a groundball.
The Mavericks continued their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Esselman hit a single up the center, allowing Potter to run home in advance of junior Hailey Forshee hitting a double to center field, which brought home both Esselman and Moky.
In the sixth inning Newman drove home a combination of insurance runs with a double to center field. Following this, Schifferle hit a single to right field, which brought Potter home and extended the Mavericks lead 8-0, resulting in a run rule in the sixth inning.
Esselman closed the game 2-3 from the plate with three runs scored and two RBI while Newman as well went 2-3 with two runs and two RBI.
Richards went 2-3 from the plate with a run scored, and at the same time Schifferle went 2-4 with the walk off RBI.
In the last game, the Mavericks fell short to the Emporia State University Hornets with a score of 4-3.
Ward pitched seven and a third innings this game, passing four runs, two of them earned on four hits.
The Hornets were the first to score in the bottom of the third inning off of a two-run home run. In response to this, the Mavericks scored one run in the top of the fourth inning when Richards hit a single into right field to bring Schifferle home.
The Mavericks tied the game up in the top of the fifth inning when Forshee hit a single to left, bringing Moky home. Neither teams scored in the remaining innings, leading to extra innings under international rules which places a runner at second to start the additional inning.
In the top of the eighth inning, McCarville hit a single down the third base line, which brought Forshee home, giving the Mavericks a 3-3 lead. The Hornets came back from this in the bottom of the inning with a two-run walk home run to win the game 4-3.
Richards concluded the game 3-4 at the plate with an RBI while Forshee finished 2-4 from the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
The Mavericks won’t be on the field again until the NTC Spring games hosted in Clermont, Florida from March 7-12. There, Minnesota State will play against Indianapolis University, Northwood University, Edinboro University, Ferris State, Wayne State University, Concordia College New York, Lock Haven University, University of Pitt Johnstown, Hillsdale College, and Bloomfield College.