Mustang softball goes 0-4 during rough weekend

Blown out by the top team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Saturday, the Southwest Minnesota State softball team lost two games by a combined two runs Sunday against Upper Iowa to finish a tough weekend 0-4.

The Mustangs (14-20 overall, 7-15 NSIC) had no answers for Winona State Saturday in Winona. In Game 1, the Warriors exploded for seven runs in the first inning of a 15-3 win in five innings. Rachel Hoeppner struggled from the mound against Winona State’s powerful offense. She allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 12 hits and a walk in just two innings of action before being relieved by Katie Herron. Herron pitched the final two innings and surrendered four runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Chelsey Rodenkirch had two hits and two RBIs for SMSU in the loss. Seven WSU players had a multi-hit game.

The second game saw WSU score all of its runs in the first two innings in an 8-0 victory. Ashley Walker had a standout performance for the Warriors both at the plate and from the circle. She held SMSU to just two hits with four strikeouts and a walk. She also went 2-for-2 with a walk, pounding a double and a home run.

SMSU’s lone hits came from Morgan Peterson and Kailey Hanson.

On Sunday the Mustangs took on Upper Iowa in Fayette, Iowa and found themselves in a couple of tight battles against the Peacocks. UIU out-hit SMSU 13-4 in the first game but had to hold on for a 4-3 victory. In Game 2, SMSU had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh but fell 5-4.

Brooke Redmond got the win in the circle in the opener. SMSU scored three runs in the sixth inning to pull within a run, but Redmond shut the Mustangs down in the seventh to preserve the 4-3 win. She finished with six strikeouts and allowed just four hits and one walk. Whitney Williams and Jacqueline Flood each had three hits for UIU to help provide some offense for Redmond.

Hoeppner went the distance for the Mustangs in the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on 13 hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Jennifer Johnson went 1-3 with two RBIs to lead the Mustangs at the plate.

Both teams got off to good starts offensively in the second game of the doubleheader. SMSU scored two runs in the top of the first against Flood thanks to a two-run homer by Johnson. But UIU responded immediately with four runs in the bottom of the inning against Rachel Groff.

SMSU cut the lead to 5-4 in the top of the seventh when Peterson singled through the right side to score Katelyn Kalkman. With runners at first and second with two outs, Hanson was struck out by Redmond to end the game.

Kalkman went 2-for-4 for the Mustangs and scored two runs. Peterson had three hits and two RBIs.

Groff took the loss for the Mustangs. She threw six innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Mustangs are scheduled to have a home doubleheader against Concordia- St. Paul Wednesday, when they’ll attempt to snap a six-game slide.