Minnesota State softball sprinting toward the finish line

With a 35-11 record and losing just five games in the last month, the Minnesota State softball team is in hot pursuit of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s top seed. 

With just under two weeks left in the season, the Mavericks sit at no. 3 in the NSIC, behind Concordia St. Paul (34-8) and Augustana, (34-13) who are on a 16-game winning streak. The Mavericks will have their chance to dethrone the Vikings in their final games of the season, a double-header in Augustana on April 28. 

Over the weekend, the Mavericks were on the road against their in-state rivals, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth. The Mavericks were able to take home a 7-1, 10-5 sweep over the Huskies, but split the series against the Bulldogs, 2-6 and 5-0. 

In their first game against the Huskies, three first-inning runs were enough to power the Mavericks to a victory, but two runs in the sixth and seventh inning were the dagger in a great game for ace McKayla Armbruster. Armbruster pitched a complete game where she allowed just four hits, one run and struck out five batters. She also pitched and won in the following game, giving her 16 wins on the season, compared to just five losses. 

In the next game, the Huskies came out and scored the first two runs of the game in their first at-bat. The Huskies were able to build up a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but two great rallies in the sixth and seventh innings gave the Mavericks the 10-5 win. The Mavericks scored all nine of their runs in the sixth and seventh inning runs with two outs.

“We got determined to win and grit it out,” said head coach Lori Meyer in a press release posted to the Maverick Athletics website. “We battled with great at bats and capitalized on their mistakes and had some great baserunning. It was great for us to score nine runs all with two outs in those final innings.”

In their first game against Duluth, the Mavericks would have no such luck coming back against a multi-run lead. The Bulldogs got up 4-0, courtesy of a grand slam in the first inning and never looked back. The Mavericks would put up one run in the second and third inning, but those two runs would be the only ones they would score, leading to a 6-2 defeat at the paws of the Bulldogs. 

However, they would bounce back with a 5-0 win in the next game, where Armbruster pitched a two-hit complete game shutout, not allowing a baserunner until the bottom of the fifth. Ellie Tahlman and Rhyan Fritz led the way offensively with a combined four hits and all five runs batted in for the winning team. 

“Our ability to get runners on base and have good at bats set us up for success in game two,” Meyer said. “We were able to get timely hits with runners in scoring position. [Armbruster] pitched great, I love how she competed on the mound. UMD is a tough offensive team to shutout.”

Next up for the Mavericks is a Tuesday doubleheader at home against Winona State. The first game begins at 2 p.m. and the second game will begin shortly after at the MSU Softball Diamond.

Header Photo: Minnesota State plays next in a double-header at home on Tuesday against Winona State. Both games will be played at the MSU Softball Diamond at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

Write to Hayden Lee at

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