Warriors, Golden Bears too much for Mustangs in weekend road trip

In a tough weekend road trip against two of the top six teams in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, the Southwest Minnesota State softball team was only able to muster one win in three games against Concordia-St. Paul and Winona State.

Concordia-St. Paul

Game 1: CSP 13, SMSU 3 (5)

ST. PAUL — In the first game of the weekend road trip, the second-place Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears made a statement early. CSP went off for 10 first-inning runs against the Mustangs and never looked back in their 13-3, five-inning victory.

The Golden Bears finished the first inning with eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. Among those eight hits were a pair of doubles and a three-run home run by Riley Rosenthal to cap off the inning with a 10-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Molly Bull and Brynn Webber each singled to set the stage for Paris Van Dyke’s three-run homer. The deep shot to right field was the first home run for the freshman first baseman. Unfortunately, it marked SMSU’s last runs of the game.

Morgyn Otte fell to 8-11 in the circle for SMSU after allowing 11 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. Jordan Bussey pitched two innings of relief after Otte came out to start the third inning and allowed two earned runs on two hits and four walks. Bussey also struck out four batters.

Riley Kramolisch singled twice in the game while Jillian Noel hit a single and drew a walk. They were the only Mustangs to reach base multiple times in the game while Van Dyke gave the Mustangs their only extra-base hit.

Erica McCullough allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings for CSP.

Concordia-St. Paul tacked on one extra insurance run in the second, third and fourth innings before winning via mercy rule after the top of the fifth.

Game 2: SMSU 5, CSP 1

ST. PAUL — While the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs struggled to stop Concordia-St. Paul in the first game, a stellar pitching effort from Karlie Miller led the Mustangs to a 5-1 victory in the doubleheader’s second game.

Miller pitched all seven innings to improve to 11-5 on the season. She held the Golden Bears to one run on five hits and four walks.

The Mustangs’ offense also got off to a hot start. Abby Russell and Jillian Noel hit back-to-back singles in the top of the first to put the first run on the board and, after an Emma Humpal single put runners on the corners, Molly Bull drove in Noel on a fielder’s choice for a 2-0 lead.

Miller retired the Golden Bears in order in the bottom of the frame and SMSU picked up where it left off in the top of the second. Grace Anderson and Brynn Webber each singled to start the inning. After the two advanced on a fielder’s choice, a Kramolisch single scored Anderson and a Russell single scored Webber for a 4-0 Mustang lead.

CSP got back on the board in the bottom of the second when Alexus Houston doubled, stole third and scored on a throwing error. Yet, that was as close as they would get. 

SMSU pushed one extra run across the plate in the top of the fourth when Brynn Webber singled, advanced on a groundout and a Kramolisch single, and scored on a Russell single.

Kramolisch and Russell each had three hits in the game while Humpal and Webber added another two each.

McCullough again started the second game, allowing five runs on 10 hits and a walk over four innings to drop to 22-4 on the season. Makayla Wigern pitched the final three innings, holding SMSU scoreless on two hits and a walk.

Winona State

Game 1: WSU 11, SMSU 5

WINONA — Any momentum the Mustangs had after their Saturday win over Concordia-St. Paul didn’t carry over into Sunday. Winona State held Southwest Minnesota State scoreless in the first game of the doubleheader to capture an 11-0 win.

The Warriors first got on the board when Carly Engelhardt hit a three-run homer in the first inning. Sam Keller matched the production with another three-run shot in the top of the second for the Warriors and a Teaghan Amwoza double made the score 7-0 in favor of the Warriors through two innings. Keller also had an RBI double in the third and the Warriors pushed three more runs across in the fourth to seal the win.

Kramolisch continued her hot weekend at the dish with another pair of singles for the Mustangs while Molly Bull added another. No other Mustangs had a hit or drew a walk on the day.

Otte pitched the game’s first three innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits without a walk. Bussey relieved Otte in the fourth, allowing four runs on two hits and seven walks in the frame.

Izzy Howe pitched for Winona State, striking out 10 of the 18 batters she faced in the five-inning shutout.

Game 2: WSU 9, SMSU 1 (5)

WINONA — Southwest Minnesota State came just a half inning shy of avenging their early loss. After leading 1-0 through four innings, SMSU allowed nine fifth-inning runs to fall 9-1 via mercy rule to the Warriors to conclude the doubleheader.

Winona State first got on the board when, after Savannah Serdynski singled and Tiegan Mancuso reached on an error, Keller hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the game. Abbie Hlas followed up with another RBI single to give Winona State their first lead of the game and, after a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third, a passed ball scored Keller and an Engelhardt two-run homer made the score 5-1.

The Warriors continued to capitalize on a series of singles and walks before a Keller two-run double gave Winona State the eight-run lead it needed to close out the game.

Miller fell to 11-16 with the loss for SMSU, allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits and a walk over 4 2/3 innings. Of the baserunners she allowed, eight of the hits and the walk occurred in the fifth inning.

SMSU went ahead in the top of the second when Bull singled and scored on a Webber single. They maintained that lead until the Warriors’ fifth-inning, game-ending rally.

Jayda Berg pitched the game’s first four innings for Winona State, allowing one run on five hits. She was relieved by Abby Smith in the fifth inning. Smith held SMSU to one hit while improving to 10-7 on the season.

SMSU falls to 10th in the NSIC with the weekend’s losses at 10-16 in the NSIC and 19-30 overall. Sitting in the last NSIC Tournament spot, they sit just behind St. Cloud State and Sioux Falls — tied for eighth at 10-14 — and just ahead of Northern State, Minnesota Crookston and Bemidji State, who are tied for the first spot out of the tournament at 7-17.

SMSU will look to secure its playoff spot when it hosts Minnesota State (37-13, 17-7 NSIC) for a doubleheader on Saturday. The games will begin at Mustang Field at 1 p.m.


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