Strong pitching and clutch bats lift BSU to sweep on day one in Florida
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Strong pitching and clutch bats lift BSU to sweep on day one in Florida
CLERMONT, Fla. - The Bemidji State University softball team used strong pitching and late inning heroics to pick up a sweep on the first day of play during its spring break trip in Clermont, Fla. The Beavers took down Hannibal-LaGrange University, a NAIA affiliate, 2-1 on a Crystal Bowen (Jr., IF, Duluth, Minn.) walk-off hit that bounced off the wall six inches underneath the outfield fence to lift BSU to a win over the Trojans. BSU picked up win number two on the day as Kayla Babinski (Jr., IF, Devil’s Lake, N.D.) hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to put the Beavers over Simmons College 5-3.

“We really relied on strong pitching again,” said head coach Rick Supinski. “So far this season it has been our pitchers that have carried us and we are just hoping for runs to come across. We need to improve our play at the plate as we continue to progress this season.”

The sweep gives Bemidji State a four-game winning streak as they improve to 4-2 in Supinski’s first season as head coach of the Beavers. The winning streak is BSU’s best since picking up five wins at the Florida Coast Softball Tournament in March of 2009. BSU is now one win shy of its win total of five from the 2011 season.

Courtney Anderson (Sr., RHP, Virginia, Minn.) got the start in the circle in game one. The BSU pitcher went a full seven innings and struck out 14 batters. She gave up four hits and one run on a solo shot to lead off the top of the seventh inning against Hannibal-LaGrange. The game was knotted 0-0 until the home run by the Trojans.

Bemidji State answered in the bottom of the seventh as the Hannibal-LaGrange pitcher walked Nicole Dupay (So., OF,  Woodbury, Minn.) to lead off the inning. Dupay moved to third base on a throwing error from the Trojan pitcher to first base on a ball put into play by Babinski. The two runs scored to give BSU the victory on Bowen’s hit to the outfield fence.

Southpaw Kelsey Saralampi (Jr., Esko, Minn.) got the starting call in game two against the Simmons Sharks. Saralampi went four and two-thirds innings allowing three hits while striking out six batters. Allison Roberts (Fr., RHP, Crystal, Minn.) came in relief in the fifth inning and gave up one hit and one walk while picking up her second win of her young collegiate career.

BSU got on the scoreboard first against the Sharks as Saralampi gave herself some run support with a two-run home run in the second inning. Babinski added to the lead in the fourth inning with a solo shot to put the Beavers ahead 3-0 over the Sharks.

Simmons crawled its way back in to the game in the fourth inning with a two run home run off of Saralampi. The Sharks would tie the game 3-3 in the fifth inning as a Simmons player singled off of Roberts to score a runner who was put on base by Saralampi.

BSU took the lead for good on Babinski’s second round tripper of the day as she drove in two runs in the top of the sixth inning. She finished the game 2-for-3 with two home runs and 3 RBI. BSU’s total of four round trippers this season already surpasses last season’s total of three.

Bemidji State will return to action in Clermont tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT as they have two difficult games on tap. The Beavers will battle Division II foe Georgian Court University out of Lakewood, N.J., in game one, before taking on West Virginia Wesleyan University at 2 p.m., another Division II foe, who finished in the top 20 nationally last season.