FT. PIERCE, Fla. – The Bemidji State University softball team took two games against Penn State Beaver Sunday night to earn its fifth-straight win. The win streak gives BSU a 5-5 record on the young 2009 campaign, and is the longest such streak since 1999.
The Beavers defeated the Lions by scores of 4-3 and 11-4.
After a fast, scoreless first three innings, Bemidji State jumped out to a 3-1 lead after a triple by Mara Johnson (Sr., 2B, Bemidji, Minn.) and a clutch, two-out single by Courtney Moriarty (So., C, St. Paul, Minn.). The hit and run batted in were both Moriarty’s first as a Beaver.
The two-out hitting continued with Courtney Loegering (Fr., OF, Spring Lake Park, Minn.), who followed Moriarty with a single of her own. Moriarty advanced home after Loegering stole second, who later scored off a double by Amy Klaers (Sr., 3B/C, Elk River, Minn.). Two runs were surrendered in the top of the sixth to tie the game, but Loegering and Klaers struck again after the first two batters were retired. Loegering hit a single and Klaers blasted a triple to drive home the winning run. Bridget Smith (Jr., SS, International Falls, Minn.) closed the door on PSB in the top of the seventh with three-straight putouts.
Jamie Lund (So., P, Grantsburn, Wisc.) had been struggling on the mound recently, but she responded with a strong complete-game performance. She allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits, striking out two and walking two.
Moriarty was 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI, and Loegering and Klaers both went 2-for-3. Loegering scored twice and Klaers knocked her home both times.
Lund and Karissa Hendrickson (So., 3B/2B, Big Lake, Minn.) both had extra-base hits to get the offense going in the nightcap against the Lions. BSU scored twice in both the second and third to give the green and white an early 4-0 lead. Johnson hit a solo homer in the top of the sixth to increase the lead, and Penn State Beaver answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
With only the two-run cushion going into the final frame, BSU responded with a decisive six-run top of the seventh. Bemidji State took advantage of early walks and pitching struggles by the Lions staff, and Kailee Jaeger (Jr., OF, Devils Lake, N.D.) came up with a pinch-hit single that plated two runs and sealed the game for the Beavers.
Lund stayed solid at the plate, going 1-for-2 with one run and one RBI. Johnson was the driving force at the dish, finishing 3-for-4 with two runs, two runs batted in and one round-tripper. Brittany Bolstad (Jr., OF, International Falls, Minn.) was 1-for-3 and scored twice.
Alison Willard (Sr., P, Hutchinson, Minn.) earned another win, pitching a complete game. She gave up four runs (three earned) with five hits, six strikeouts and two walks.
The 5-5 mark for Bemidji State is the best start to a season since 2003, when the Beavers were 6-5 through 11 games.
BSU has also hit double-digit runs in four of its last five games, tying the best stretch in school history. The only other time the Beavers notched double-digit runs in four of five games was in 1996.
will look to finish 7-1 in Florida against Indian River (FL) State
College today, with the first pitch of the doubleheader set to be
thrown at 1:30 p.m. CST. If the Beavers sweep the Pioneers, they would
tie the school record for longest win streak. The only seven-game win
streak in school history came in the 1989 season, 20 years ago.