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FRIDAY SMSU SOFTBALL: Kebos bases loaded walk-off double lifts SMSU to sweep over Minot State

ST. CLOUD — Lileya Kebos smacked a three-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Southwest Minnesota State softball team to a dramatic 7-6 walk-off victory over Minot State in game two of a doubleheader on Friday night inside the Husky Dome. The comeback victory completed a sweep for the Mustangs which earned a 5-1 victory in game one of the non-conference doubleheader.

SMSU, now 6-2 overall, entered the bottom half of the seventh trailing 6-4, but strung together four straight hits to open the inning and earn the victory. Emma Grote, who finished the nightcap with three hits, started the rally with a single and was followed by a Kali Tomlinson base hit and a Jillian Noel infield single to load the bases. Kebos then stepped to the plate and lofted a long drive just inside the foul line with SMSU pinch runner Lauren Klein sprinting all the way from first base to score the winning run.

Minot State, which drops to 7-3 overall, scored the game’s first two runs in the top of first and added another in the third to take a 3-0 lead off of Mustang starting pitcher Shelby Bloemendaal.

SMSU came back in a big way to take the lead with a four-run third inning with six hits. Grote brought in the first run with an RBI single and Tomlinson followed moments later with a two-run double to tie the game at 3-3. After two straight outs, Madison Krog came through with a clutch two-out single to put the Mustangs ahead 4-3.

The lead wouldn’t last long as the Beavers countered with a single run in the fourth and then used a two-out, two-run double in the sixth to regain the lead at 6-4. SMSU went quietly in the sixth inning before exploding for the winning rally in the seventh.

Megan Cull (4-0) pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the top of the seventh, stranding two runners on base, to pick up her second win of the day in the circle. Bloemendall pitched the first six innings and allowed six runs on eight hits with a career-high six strikeouts.

SMSU cracked out 12 hits in game two with Grote pacing the way with three hits, while Tomlinson and Kebos each collected two hits.

In the opener, Cull fired a complete game four-hitter with two strikeouts and one walk.

SMSU trailed 1-0 in the fourth but rallied with a big inning to take the lead. With one out Kebos doubled and was followed by a Krog single and a Kaylee Hentges walk to load the bases. Molly Bull came through with a big two-run single and Bailey Johnson would later push across another run on a fielder’s choice to give the Mustangs a 3-1 lead.

SMSU added to the advantage in the fifth on a Krog sac fly to score Jillian Noel. The Mustangs pushed across another run in the sixth on a Johnson triple to score Madysson Schliinz.

The Mustangs closed game one with nine hits with Grote, Kebos and Krog each finishing with two hits.

Southwest Minnesota State returns to action on March 7 with a non-conference 1 p.m. twinbill versus Northern State inside the Presentation College Dome in Aberdeen, S.D.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic

Communications

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