Beavers Snap 19-Game Skid and Pick Up First Victory
Saturday, April 9, 2005
WINONA, Minn. - The Bemidji State University Softball team picked up its first win of the 2005 campaign with a victory over Wayne State (Neb.) College at the NSIC Southern Crossover in Winona, Minn. After dropping their first contest of the Crossover to Southwest Minnesota State, 3-0, the Beavers bounced back and picked up an extra-inning victory over WSC.

The Beaver defense held strong through the first three innings of their first game of the weekend. Southwest Minnesota State was the first to score, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the fourth on an RBI-double by Lisa Vandieredonck, scoring Amanda Opatz.

SMSU put up two more runs in the fifth to seal the game. Opatz knocked in the two runs on a single after
BSU pitcher Alaina Ryberg (Jr.; Hudson, Wis.) had walked two consecutive batters after giving up a single with two outs.

The Beaver offense, however, couldn’t hold up the errorless defense. Bemidji State picked up just four hits in the game. The offense’s best chance to score came in the fifth. Heather Kaskinen (Fr.; Annandale, Minn.) singled to lead off the inning. One batter later Ryberg reached on an error and was followed by a Michelle Taylor (Fr.; St. Michael, Minn.) walk. The Beaver bats sputtered as MerriAnne Werder (Sr.; Browerville, Minn.) struck out and Katie Gardas (Sr.; Arden Hills, Minn.) grounded out to end the rally.

Ryberg had a solid game for BSU on the mound giving up just three runs on six hits while pitching all seven innings. On the mound for the Mustangs was Shannon Lindquist. Lindquist struck out 12 batters and picked up the complete game shutout victory, while giving up just four hits.

A determined Beaver squad hit the field for the nightcap. Gardas started a small first-inning rally with a one-out double. After a fly out by Jamie Docken (Fr.; Owatonna, Minn.) and an intentional walk drawn by slugger Mandy Bambrough (Jr.; Toronto, Ont.), Missy Schleicher (Fr.; Waupun, Wis.) got BSU on the board first with with an RBI-single scoring Gardas.

Wayne State (Neb.) College answered quickly in the bottom of the first to knot the score at 1-1. That scored stood until the third when the Beavers, again, were able to take the lead, 2-1. This time Werder started things off with a double, which was followed by a Gardas single moving Werder to third base. The next batter, Docken, picked up the RBI on a fielder’s choice play.

Strong pitching by Ryberg held the Beaver lead into the fifth inning before Wayne State was able to tie the score at 2-2. A defensive battle ensued as each time was unable to find the plate in the sixth and seventh innings, moving the game to extras.

In the eighth, Bambrough started the inning off with a double followed by a Schleicher single. Bambrough moved to third on the play. the next batter, Kaskinen popped up to the second baseman for the first out. Brenda Fritz followed with a strikeout, leaving two outs. Ryberg came to bat, looking to help her own cause, and promptly singled to knock in Bambrough and put the Beavers ahead 3-2 heading in the home half of the inning.

The Bemidji State defense tightened up in the bottom of the eighth and retired three of the four Wildcat batters to gain their first victory of the season.

Ryberg pitched all eight innings for the Beavers giving up just two runs, on seven hits and striking out two to pick up the win.

The Beavers collected a season-high 10 hits in the game with Gardas going 3-for-4 and Werder and Scheicher each 2-for-4.

Bemidji State will be in action for their final two games of the NSIC Southern Crossover in Winona, Minn. on Sunday, April 10 starting at 11:00 a.m. against Concordia-St. Paul and returning to the field at 3:00 p.m. to take on host Winona State.