NCAA SOFTBALL: SMSU falls in season-opening DH

GOLDEN, Colo. – The Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs were swept in their season-opening doubleheader on Saturday to Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers defeated SMSU 8-6 in the first game, and won 14-5 in five innings of the second game.

Kaley Scearcy got the first big hit of the season for SMSU as her bases-clearing three-run double in the top of the first gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Rachel Hoeppner was hit hard in her first inning of work this season. Mines pushed five runs across on four hits, including two extra base hits.

The Orediggers later extended the lead to 8-3 with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

SMSU pulled within two in the sixth, but couldn’t close the gap further. Jennifer Johnson was robbed of a potential game-tying hit to end the inning.

Southwest brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the seventh but Bailie Sheahan flied out to right field and Alysse Luttmann was thrown out at third trying to advance on the play.

Rachel Hoeppner took the loss in her season debut. Hoeppner went the distance and allowed eight earned runs on eight hits.

In game two, the Mustangs jumped on the board first once again, this time with four runs.

The lead didn’t last long, as the Orediggers scored nine runs in their half of the first inning.

Alex O’Connor was lifted after two-thirds of an inning of work. Hoeppner relieved her after pitching six full frames in Game 1.