BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University softball team’s offense was held in check by Minnesota State, Moorhead, pitchers in a doubleheader at the BSU Softball Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Beavers managed just six total hits off of Dragon pitching in the two-game sweep, losing by scores of 1-0 and 9-0.
In the opener, a pitcher’s duel between BSU’s Ali Willard (So., Hutchinson, Minn.) and MSUM’s Julie Vancura outshined the lackluster offenses by both teams. The Dragons got to Willard just one time, with a couple singles in the second inning to put runners on first and third with just one out. Against the ensuing batter, Willard uncorked a wild pitch, one her very few mistakes on the day allowing the Dragon runner to plate the game’s first and only run.
The Dragons’ Vancura scattered four hits in her complete game shutout. BSU’s Jamie Docken (Jr., OF, Owatonna, Minn.) managed a 2-for-3 day against Vancura, but the rest of the lineup was a combined 2-for-21 against the MSUM lefthander.
Willard (3-6) pitched a gem as well, giving up just one run on five hits and striking out three.
In the nightcap, the Dragons’ offense came alive, while BSU couldn’t seem to find a comfort zone at the plate. MSUM also took advantage of four Beaver miscues in the field to score eight earned runs and extend innings on three different occasions.
MSUM notched eight hits in the 9-0 win and Dragon pitcher Holly Kitchen took a no-hitter into the fifth and final inning before pinch hitter Michelle Taylor (So., INF, St. Michael, Minn.) ripped a shot between the shortstop and third basemen. Brittany Bolstad (Fr., OF, International Falls, Minn.) followed Taylor with a single to put two on. But, Kitchen regained her momentum and got Ashley Leopold (Fr., INF, Afton, Minn.) to pop out to end the game.
Kristen Paine (Jr., P, Chisholm, Minn.) was on the mound for the Beavers. Paine (1-6) pitched the five-inning complete game allowing nine runs (one earned) on eight hits, striking out three and walking four.
BSU (4-15; 1-6 NSIC) will be back on the field tomorrow against the University of Minnesota, Crookston, with a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. Last season, the Beavers beat UMC in three out of four meetings.