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SMSU SOFTBALL: SMSU picks up first wins of season in West St. Paul

WEST ST. PAUL – The Southwest Minnesota State softball team picked up its first two victories of the season on Thursday defeating MSU Moorhead 10-2 and Bemidji State 5-3 in non-conference games at the Dragon-Beaver Battle co-hosted by MSUM and BSU at the West St. Paul Dome.

Kali Tomlinson had a big day for the Mustangs, finishing the two games with five hits, six RBI and five runs scored.

SMSU improves to 2-2 on the season with the two wins.

In the win over MSUM (1-5), the Mustangs jumped on the board early with a four-run top of the first inning. Emma Grote started the scoring with an RBI single, before Mackenzie Clouse made the score 2-0 with a sac fly. Madison Krog and Sara DeSmet would later follow with back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 4-0.

The Dragons scored a run in the first inning to cut the lead to 4-1, but the Mustangs answered again with a three-run second inning. Tomlinson started the scoring with an RBI double and following a walk to Bailey Johnson, Kaylee Hentges smacked an RBI double to score Tomlinson. Johnson would later score on a fielding error to make the score 7-1.

Tomlinson delivered an RBI single in the third inning to give SMSU an 8-2 lead, before SMSU capped the scoring in the sixth with a two-run single by Abbie Decker.

The run support was plenty for SMSU starting pitcher Shelby Crank, who improved to 1-1 on the season, tossing a six-inning complete game. She scattered six hits, while allowing two runs with three strikeouts and one walk.

Grote and Tomlinson both finished the game with three hits and scored two runs.

In game two, Athena Golling (1-1) tossed a complete game allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Grote singled to lead off the frame and moments later Tomlinson drilled her first home run of the season to put the Mustangs in front 2-1.

BSU (0-4) pushed across a run in the fifth to tie the game, but SMSU answered again to regain the lead for good. Krog started the rally with a single and moved to third on a sac bunt by DeSmet an error by BSU to put runners on second and third with no outs. Following a line out and a ground out, Grote was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tomlinson then came through with a ground-rule double to put SMSU back in the lead at 4-2.

BSU would cut the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth, but in the bottom of the inning, Krog came through with an RBI triple to score Hentges and give SMSU a two-run lead.

Tomlinson finished the game 2 for 3 with four RBI and one run scored, while Krog added two hits.

Southwest Minnesota State will play two more non-conference games in the Dome today facing Concordia-St. Paul (5-1) at 9:30 a.m. and Bemidji State at 11:30 a.m.

Content courtesy of SMSU Athletic Communications

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