Bulldogs use three home runs to pick up sweep over BSU
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Bulldogs use three home runs to pick up sweep over BSU

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The University of Minnesota Duluth used three home runs to ignite a doubleheader sweep against the Bemidji State University softball team Thursday afternoon at the BSU Softball Field. The Bulldogs picked up a 8-0 win in five innings in game one and an 8-0 victory in six innings in game two. BSU falls to 8-23 on the season. UMD improved to 26-16 with the wins. The games count as nonconference games for both teams.

In game one, UMD’s Megan Mullen pitched a one-hitter in five innings. The one hit given up was the only base-runner in the game for Mullen. She had 11 strikeouts on the game. BSU started Kelsey Saralampi (Jr., LHP, Esko, Minn.) in the circle who gave up six earned runs on eight hits before being pulled in the fourth inning in favor of Courtney Anderson (Sr., RHP, Virginia, Minn.). Anderson pitched two innings of shutout ball and gave up two hits.

After a scoreless first inning, the Bulldogs put three on the board in the top of the second of game one. Saralampi walked Erin Hunecke to lead off the frame. Kierra Jeffers then reached on an error by third baseman Chelsea Tollberg (Fr., North Branch, Minn.). A single by Jordan Rice scored Hunecke from third. That was followed up by a single from UMD’s Whitney Strantz to drive in Jeffers and put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0. Carlie Schnobelen gave UMD a 3-0 advantage after doubling down the right field line which allowed Rice to come home. Saralampi was then able to get out of the inning for the Beavers.

UMD added three more runs off a blast from Strantz, which scored Jeffers, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Rice, who doubled.

In the top of the fourth inning, Michaela Goris reached on an error by Saralampi to lead off the inning. In the next at bat, Mullen hit a two-run homer to put the Bulldogs ahead 8-0. After the blast, Anderson was inserted and got the Beavers out of the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Megan Beard (Sr., IF, Eveleth, Minn.) broke up a perfect game for Mullen, who had not allowed a runner to reach base up until that point. BSU was unable to score Beard and was unsuccessful again in the fifth inning allowing UMD to win 8-0 in five innings.

In game two of the doubleheader, the Bulldogs got to BSU starting pitcher Allison Roberts (Fr., RHP, Crystal, Minn.) early. Tyra Kerr and Goris led off the game with a pair of singles. Roberts then walked Mullen to load up the bases. With the bases full, Hunecke hit a single up the middle to plate Kerr. Jeffers then singled to score Goris from third and put UMD ahead 2-0.  With the bases still loaded, Rice hit a grand slam to clear the ducks on the pond and put the Bulldogs up 6-0.  Roberts was able to get out of the inning with the Beavers down 6-0.

Minnesota Duluth added a run in the second inning as a ground out to third base allowed Goris to score, who had reached on an error by Beard at short stop.

Roberts would give up only four hits and shut down the Bulldogs over the next three innings but BSU was unable to find a run.

In the top of the sixth inning, Jeffers doubled to right field to plate Goris, who had reached on an infield single.

The Beavers had one more chance in the bottom of the sixth inning to get runs but were unable to, thus the game ended with a Bulldog win 8-0 in six innings due to the mercy rule after five.

Roberts pitched six innings for BSU and gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits. Julia Nealer started in the circle for the Bulldogs and gave up one hit in three innings. Sara Sauter came on in relief and gave up two hits in three innings. Nealer picked up the victory for UMD.

BSU had hits from Beard, Kayla Babinski (Jr., IF, Devils Lake, N.D.) and Katelyn Fondurulia (Jr., C/OF, Blaine, Minn.) in game two.

The Beavers and the Bulldogs will return to the BSU Softball Field at 12 p.m. for another doubleheader on Friday. The games will count as Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contests.