NCAA SOFTBALL: SMSU tops Maryville, falls to Southern Indiana

WINTER HAVEN, FLA. – The Southwest Minnesota State softball team earned its second split of the season on Tuesday, defeating Marryville (Mo.) 3-2 after falling to Southern Indiana 9-0 earlier in the day on the third day of the Rebel Spring Games.

“We finally broke through and got our first win in the first game (Monday),” said first-year head coach Jamie Dunn. “We talked about making some adjustments at the plate today to get started. We faced a good team and a good pitcher.”

The Mustangs (2-10) were only able to garner a pair of hits off of Screaming Eagles pitcher Sarah Owens.

“She had a good change-up, which is a pitch we haven’t seen a lot yet,” Dunn said. “She did a good job and got strikes early in the count.”

In the second game of the day, SMSU overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat Maryville 3-2.

“We tried to refocus after the first game,” said Dunn. “(Maryville) was a team we could beat if we played well.”

The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, only to have the Saints go up 2-1 after three.

SMSU got a run in the fourth and fifth innings to seal the win. Chelsey Rodenkirch, Morgan Peterson and Emily Olson each had an RBI in the win, but the Mustangs stranded nine base runners.

“We left a lot of runners on base,” Dunn said. “It’s something we’ve struggled with this season.”

Freshman Alex O’Connor pitched the win against Maryville, allowing only six hits after taking the loss in the first game.

“We started Freshman Alex O’Connor (Tuesday),” said Dunn. “She’s really turned things around the last few games. She pitched a full seven innings (against Maryville) without a walk.”

SMSU will play six more games in the Rebel Spring Games, including LIU Post (N.Y.) and Lees-McRae (N.C.) today.

“The goal down here is to get better every game,” Dunn said. “The kids are working hard every day and while we’re down here we want to get the bugs worked out and have an idea of how we’re going to start conference play.”