Softball splits both double headers, now 26-10

The Minnesota State University, Mankato softball team improved to 26-10 on the season after splitting doubleheaders last weekend with Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. The Mavericks took game one Saturday against the Bulldogs 3-0 before dropping game two 0-2. MSU defeated SCSU in game one Sunday 5-0 before falling 2-5 in game two.

Senior MacKenzie Ward pitched in all eight innings in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader and earned her 16th win of the season, allowing only four hits while striking out five batters in the process. 

Game one against the Bulldogs remained scoreless until the eighth inning when sophomore Ellie Tallman tallied an RBI single giving the Mavs the 1-0 lead. Later in the eighth, Sophomore Courtney Baxter brought the lead to 3-0 off an RBI double to right center field. 

MSU took game one against UMD 3-0, and both teams returned to the field at 3:40 p.m. for game two.

Sophomore McKayla Armbruster got the start on the mound in game two and picked up her fourth loss of the season. The Faribault, Minn. native let up two runs on four hits in five innings pitched. 

Like game one, it took several innings for the first run to be scored in game two. Freshman infielder Nicole Schmitt got the Bulldogs on the board with a solo homerun in the fifth inning.

Sophomore utility Kat Burkhardt brought UMD’s lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning with an RBI single to center field. The Bulldogs would go on to hold off the Mavericks, winning 2-0 in a low-scoring affair.

The Mavericks then traveled to St. Cloud to take on the Huskies in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader. 

Ward picked up her 17th win of the season in game one on Sunday after pitching in all seven innings. The Clive, Iowa native allowed only two hits while striking out 13 batters.

Senior infielder Hailee Forshee got the Mavs rolling in the second inning of game one with an RBI single to left center. Freshman infielder Cheyenne Behrends brought the lead to 3-0 with a two-run RBI double to right center field in the third inning.

Behrends picked up another RBI off a bunt in the fifth inning that drove home sophomore utility Madi Newman. Forshee would finish off the scoring in the game with a solo homerun in the sixth inning to left field to help the Mavericks pick up their 26th win of the season in their 5-0 victory over the Huskies. 

Both teams had a short break before returning for the final game of the doubleheader at 3:40 p.m.

Armbruster got the start on the mound in game two against the Huskies, picking up her fifth loss of the season, allowing four runs and six hits in 4.1 innings pitched. 

Tallman got the Mavs on the board first in the third inning with an RBI double to center field. The Huskies would respond in the bottom of the third by tallying two runs and taking a 2-1 lead.

SCSU would extend their lead to 3-1 in the fifth when senior infielder Raven Vanden Langenberg went the distance for a solo homerun. Senior infielder Jasmin Estrada would tally another home run for the Huskies in the fifth, bringing the lead to 5-1. 

The Mavericks would get one back in the seventh as Forshee picked up the RBI, but it was too little too late as they fell to the Huskies 2-5 in game two. 

Minnesota State will be back in action Apr. 12 taking on the Upper Iowa Peacocks in an afternoon doubleheader in Fayette, Iowa. The Peacocks come into Tuesday’s action with a 15-14 overall record including going 6-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.

The Peacocks’ hitting is led by grad-student infielder Katie Crogan who owns an impressive .505 batting average so far this season. Crogan has also tallied 30 runs and 46 hits this season through 91 at-bats.

Upper Iowa’s pitching crew is led by senior Sydney Wilcox. The Shiocton, Wis. native owns an 8-7 record this season and a 3.07 earned run average.

Start-times for the Mavericks and Peacocks are April 12 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Fayette.

Header Photo: Senior pitcher Mackenzie Ward improved to 17-3 with two wins this past weekend. Ward has an ERA of 0.87, WHIP of .85, and has struck out 189 batters in 129.1 innings pitched this season. (Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)

Write to Karson Buelow at karson.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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