Beavers fall in doubleheader to Mustangs to open NSIC slate
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Beavers fall in doubleheader to Mustangs to open NSIC slate

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader to open its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference slate at home against Southwest Minnesota State University. The Beavers fell 8-0 with the game being called due to the mercy rule in the sixth inning of the first game and then were dropped 5-4 as the Mustangs scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning for the comeback win. BSU falls to 6-11 on the season with the loss. Southwest Minnesota State improves to 11-7 with the pair of victories.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Beavers and Mustangs were engaged in a pitcher’s dual for the first five innings as Kelsey Saralampi (Jr., RHP, Esko, Minn.) and Rachel Hoeppner both controlled the game early. The lone run of the first five innings came after Amy Dreessen tripled to leadoff the top of the second. Dreesen scored as Kaley Searcy reached base on an error by BSU second baseman Kayla Babinski (Jr., IF, Devils Lake, N.D.).

The score remained 1-0 in favor of Southwest Minnesota State until the Mustangs added three runs in the top of the fifth inning. After striking out the first batter of the frame, Christine Borowiak got on base for SMSU with a single. She advanced to second on a stolen base and scored on a Ashley Gigax triple with two outs. Gigax found the plate on a Krista Steen single to put SMSU ahead 3-0. Steen found her way home on a error by the third baseman to give the Mustangs a 4-0 lead.

SMSU added four more runs to go ahead 8-0 in the top of the sixth inning. After giving up four hits and four runs in the inning, Saralampi was pulled in favor of Allison Roberts (Crystal, Minn.) who struck out the one batter she faced.

The Beavers tried to answer in the bottom of the sixth, but were unable to and thus the game was called due to the eight-run mercy rule, giving SMSU the win.

Saralampi went 5.2 innings in the game with 13 hits, six earned runs and a strikeout. The Beaver bats picked up four hits in the first game. Hoeppner went five innings giving up three hits and striking out three for the Mustangs before being relieved in the sixth by Rachel Groff, who went one inning and gave up one hit.

In game two, the Beavers got off to a quick start as Courtney Anderson (Sr., RHP, Virginia, Minn.) took down Southwest Minnesota State in order in the top of the first. The Beaver bats responded in the bottom of the second inning. Crystal Bowen (Jr., IF, Duluth, Minn.) led off the inning with a single down the third base line. She advanced to third after Kelly Richards (Fr., C, Virginia, Minn.) reached on an error by the first baseman. Bowen and Richards were both plated on a Courtney Loegering (Sr., OF, Blaine, Minn.) double. Loegering scored as Summer Monsrud (Fr., OF, Bemidji, Minn.) singled. Bemidji State ended the inning with three runs on three hits.

Southwest Minnesota State answered in the top of the third inning with a run of its own. Samantha Goblirsch, who reached on an error by the third baseman Megan Bergeson (So.,  C/IF, New London-Spicer, Minn.), scored on a Gigax single.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the Mustangs knotted the score at 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning. Borowiak led off the inning with a single for the visitors from Marshall. She was moved over on a sacrifice by Penick. A Gigax single, moved Borowiak to third base. Both players were plated on a single by Steen.

With the score knotted at 3-3, the Beavers knew they needed a strong inning. The first three batters of the inning reached base for BSU after Monsrud reached on an error, Cassie MacArthur (Fr., RHP/1B, Cottage Grove, Minn.) walked and Megan Beard (Sr., IF, Eveleth, Minn.) singled. SMSU pitcher Chelsey Evans struck out the next two batters before BSU was able to plate one run on a Richards infield single. A Nicole Dupay (So., OF, Woodbury, Minn.) ground out ended the inning.

After a scoreless sixth inning, the Mustangs, down 4-3, responded with two runs in the top of the seventh which ended up winning the game. Borowiak reached base on a double. She ended up scoring on a double steal, in which Kris Penick was caught stealing. After a Steen triple, Dreessen drove in the game-winning run with a single.

Anderson went seven innings in the circle for the Beavers. She gave up 11 hits, four earned run and had two strike outs. Evans went seven innings for SMSU, giving up eight hits and two earned runs. BSU’s bats were led by Monsrud, who was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI and Loegering, who was 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI.

BSU returns tomorrow for a pair of NSIC games against No. 13 Minnesota State University, Mankato at home with games starting at 12 and 2 p.m.