MARSHALL, Minn. – The Bemidji State University softball team nearly upset No. 1-seeded and No. 8-ranked Southwest Minnesota State University in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Saturday in Marshall, Minn., but saw its season come to an end after it fell to the Mustangs and the University of Mary.
The Beavers lost a close 2-1 game against SMSU before being upended 6-3 by the Marauders in the second round of the double-elimination tournament.
The Mustangs (36-8) got on the board first with a run in the second inning after they collected three hits, while leaving two on base.
Bemidji State answered in the top of the fifth with a home run by Karissa Hendrickson (Fr., Big Lake, Minn.) that tied the game. Jamie Docken (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) struck out looking and Mara Johnson (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.) grounded out to end the inning.
The lack of production from the heart of the order proved costly as SMSU drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth.
BSU had six outs to try and pull the upset, but went 0-for-6 and struck out four times.
Kristin Paine (Sr., Chisolm, Minn.) pitched a complete game and allowed two runs on seven hits. She struck out six batters while only allowing one walk.
U-Mary (29-29) went ahead 2-0 after one inning in the first round of the losers bracket, and BSU was never able to respond. After tacking on four insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 6-0, Bemidji State tried to mount a come back in the top of the seventh, but could only manage three runs in the final frame to fall 6-3.
The Beavers were able to muster eight hits, with two coming from Brittany Bolstad (So., International Falls, Minn.) who went 2-for-4 from the plate. Jamie Ford (So., Edina, Minn.) had one at-bat in the game, which came in the last inning, and she made it count. She went 1-for-1 with two runs batted in, and also scored a run.
Paine got the start and lasted only 0.2 innings, after giving up two runs and three hits. Allison Willard (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) relieved Paine and threw 4.1 innings, giving up four runs (one earned) off five hits. Jamie Lund (Fr., Grantsburn, Wis.) threw the final inning, allowing just one hit.
Bemidji State’s season is now over, and the Beavers ended the 2008 campaign with no true home games and a 6-23 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the NSIC.