PITTSBURGH, Mo. (PSU Softball Complex) --The Bemidji State University softball team ran into a NCAA Division II Powerhouse Thursday afternoon as it continued its spring road trip with a double-header at Pittsburgh State University. The Gorillas swept the double-dip by a combined total of 30-1, one-hitting the Beavers in game one 21-0 and taking game two 19-1.
Game one was a story of dominant pitching and a poor defensive effort by BSU. The Beavers committed eight errors in the game, and PSU took advantage of those miscues to score a total of 21 runs, 14 of which were unearned.
MerriAnne Werder (Browerville, Minn.) stepped up to the plate with one out in the top of the first and reached after the Gorillas' catcher was called for catcher's interference. She advanced to second when Jamie Docken (Owatonna, Minn.) grounded out to short, but the inning ended in the next at bat when Mandy Bambrough (Toronto, Ontario) lined out.
BSU's next base runner came in the third when co-captain Katie Gardas (Arden Hills, Minn.) walked with two outs but would not advance as the following batter grounded out.
The freshman Docken gave the Beavers their best chance to score in the top of the fourth when she connected with a pitch and sent it down the left field line for her team-leading third double o the season. Bambrough moved her to third on a ground out, but the Beavers would not bring her in before the inning ended.
PSU, on the other hand, got out of the gates quickly scoring eight runs in the first inning on six hits with the help of two BSU fielding errors. The Gorillas' lead-off hitter reached on a bunt single. Ashley Loncarich singled to center field advancing Tera Swartzlander to second. After a quick pop out to third base, Emily Gastineau ripped a base hit up the middle and would advance to second on BSU's first error of the game scoring both base runners. That was all the PSU offense would need as Stephanie Moore was simply dominant on the hill.
Moore finished the game with three strikeouts facing just 16 batters in five innings.
PSU plated runs in every inning adding two in each the second and third innings and exploded for nine runs on six hits as the BSU defense committed six errors in the fourth.
The game was called in the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule.
The 21-run output was the most PSU has scored in nine years, equaling the school's all-time record for runs in a game.
Andrea Schue (Roosevelt, Minn.) was on the mound for BSU working four innings. The junior gave up 19 hits and 21 runs (seven earned) collecting two strikeouts along the way.
Moore collected her fourth win of the season improving to 4-2.
In game two, PSU pounded out 18 hits and scored 11 runs in
the bottom of the fourth inning to claim the game via the
eight-run rule. Three different Gorilla players homered including
two in the bottom of the fourth.
The Beavers doubled their hit total from the first game in the first inning of game two as Gardas and Werder each singled but both failed to reach second as Gardas was caught stealing and Werder was left stranded at first base after a pair of strikeouts.
In the bottom of the inning the Gorillas manufactured two runs to take the early 2-0 lead on a pair of hits with the help of two BSU errors.
The Beavers came back in the second to cut the PSU lead in half, 2-1.
After BSU's leadoff hitter flied out to centerfield, Michelle Taylor (St. Michael, Minn.) reached on a single to center. Brenda Fritz (McIntosh, Minn.) advanced her to second when she earned a walk. Missy Schleicher (Waupun, Wis.) was called off the bench to pinch hit for Heather Kaskinen (Annandale, Minn.) and the move paid off and she loaded the bases reaching on a base hit up the middle. Gardas stepped to the plate with two outs and found a gap in right field knocking in her first run of the season.
The Beavers would be held hitless during the next two innings as JoAnna Brozovich clamped down and forced two ground outs, a pair of pop outs and fanned two BSU batters.
After plating four runs in the second and adding two more in the third, the Gorillas offense burst for nine hits and 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach form BSU.
The BSU pitcher, Alaina Ryberg (Hudson, Wis.) got the PSU leadoff hitter to ground out, but the next five batter each reached including a A.J. Miller home run to left center. Phillips also added a three-run homer before the Beavers were able to end the inning on a ground out.
BSU got two base runners in the top of the fifth, but were unable to advance them past second base as the game was called due to the eight-run rule, 19-1.
Ryberg took the loss for BSU. She allowed 18 hits and 19 runs (12 earned) while fanning four and walking one. She moves to 0-4 on the season.
Giving up five hits and one earned run, Brozovich earned her third win of the season in five innings of work. She collected five strikeouts and walked three. She is improves to 3-5 overall.
The Gorillas were led in the game by Gastineau who went 3-for-4, including a home run, with five RBIs and two runs scored.
The losses drop BSU to 0-8 on the road trip and in the season. Pittsburgh State improved to 14-12 with the sweep. The Beavers are back in action tomorrow (March 18) when they travel to Kansas City, Mo. to battle Rockhurst University in a non-conference double-header before ending the spring road trip in Topeka, Kan. in a double dip versus Washburn College (March 20).