SMSU SOFTBALL: Mustangs earn first win in Florida over Eckerd

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Southwest Minnesota State earned its first victory of the Florida trip in the final day as they split with Eckerd with a 9-7 loss in game two after taking the first game 3-2 on Wednesday evening in St. Petersburg, Florida.

SMSU, now 5-7, and Eckerd, now 11-14, after the double header.

Game 1

SMSU 3, Eckerd 2

SMSU had five hits and one error in the Mustangs first victory of the game.

Kali Tomlinson led the team going 2-for-3 with one RBI in SMSU’s first victory over the Florida trip’s four-day, eight-game stretch.

The Mustangs jumped to an early lead scoring two runners in the top of the first. Decker singled to short to start off the game. Emma Grote followed in similar fashion with a single past short as well. Bailey Johnson sac flew out to left right to bring in Decker for the first run of the game.

Tomlinson then brought in Grote with a single to the left side to close the top of the first with three hits and one left on base.

The Tritons responded with a solo homerun to go on the board 2-1.

SMSU brought in Johnson off a passed ball in the top of three to advance lead to 3-1 in the top of four.

Eckerd would attempt to contest SMSU in the bottom of the same inning with a double to center field to score a runner from second. Eckerd finished the inning with 3-2 and was unable to break through the Mustang defense.

Athena Golling improves to a 3-3 record this season after throwing a complete game with six strikeouts.

Game 2

Eckerd 9, SMSU 7

The Mustangs totaled 12 hits, two errors, and six runners left on base while the Tritons drove in 11 hits, one error, and four runners left on base.

The Mustangs opened game two with another strong inning with Tomlinson singling with two outs to get one base. The Tritons committed a fielding error to bring both Johnson and Grote in for a 2-0 lead.

The Mustangs weren’t down as Hentges drove the ball up the middle to score Tomlinson to stamp in a 3-0 lead.

The Tritons responded with a big bottom of the second inning with a sac fly to right to go on the board 1-0. With two outs, Eckerd doubled down the left line to score three more to take the lead 4-3.

Both teams quiet third and fourth innings before both teams responded with a loud fifth.

In the top of the fifth, the Mustangs fought back to the game as Grote and Johnson opened the inning with singles to get two runners on. Tomlinson followed behind with a double to left that hit just off the fence to keep it in the park to bring Grote in to tie.

Kaylee Hentges went to first on a fielders choice that was opposed to tag Johnson out at home but Johnson slid home before the play to take a 5-4 lead.

Still no outs, Alex Reak was hit by the pitch to load the bases with no outs and Kaylea Van Regenmorter to the plate. Van Regenmorter reached first on fielder’s choice but the Mustangs were still able to bring Hentges and Tomlinson full circle for a 7-4 lead.

The Tritons opened the bottom with a triple and an RBI single to make a comeback as they trailed 7-5. They would go on to score five total for a 9-7 lead with no outs.

Golling took to the circle to hold the Tritons at bay to end the inning down 9-7.

The Mustangs went up three, down three in the top of seven to split the final game of the trip.

Megan Cull, 2-3, went four innings for six strikeouts.

Southwest Minnesota State returns to action on March 26 hosting Sioux Falls to open NSIC play.

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