NCAA SOFTBALL: Mustangs sweep Golden Eagles in NSIC twin-bill

MARSHALL – Southwest Minnesota State added to Minnesota-Crookston’s woes this past weekend, sweeping them in two games, winning 10-2 and 5-2.

The Mustangs have now won four straight games and coach Jamie Dunn is pleased with the way her team has been performing as of late.

She is seeing improvement in their approach at the plate.

“We talk about that a lot,” Dunn said. “You have to be confident in your swing, but you have to adjust to the pitchers. This weekend, we had some pitching, we had some pitching that was different than what we’ve seen. When the pitching slows down a little bit, we start over-thinking things. The girls did a great job of finding one good pitch to hit.”

Dunn had a recent discussion with Chelsey Rodenkirch about being more aggressive at the plate and Rodenkirch responded in a big way, totaling a career-high four rbi in game one of the series. She finished a combined 4-8 from the plate and scored four runs herself.

Rachel Hoeppner pitched a combined 11 2/3 innings, going the full seven in the first game. She finished with seven total strikeouts and walked just one while giving up two runs on six hits on the weekend.

The Mustangs had to fight more in the second contest as they trailed 2-1 heading into the top of the 6th before Karmann Carroll drove in two runs with a double to left field.

“All season, we’ve been talking about hitting behind our players and hitting to right field so we can score our runners,” Carroll said. “I was just focusing on getting a base hit, not popping it up and just driving through the swing.”

For Minnesota-Crookston coach Ed Deugan, whose team has no conference wins and just two wins overall, felt the losses came down to the lack of mental preparation.

His team had seven total errors on the weekend.

“The biggest thing is focus,” Deugan said. “It’s not that were not capable of making plays, its that were not making plays that were capable of making. It takes focus and it takes consistency.”

Game 1

Rodenkirch finished with a career-high four RBI while they got two RBI from Carroll and two from Alysse Luttman. Kaley Scearcy and Morgan Peterson, Jennifer Johnson and Shelbie Stoll all finished the game with hits as well.

Rachel Hoeppner struck out seven in seven innings of work while walking just one and giving up two runs on four hits.

Game 2

The Mustangs took advantage of four errors by the Golden Eagles as Jazmyne Neely and Carroll each had two RBI and Neely recorded three hits. Rodenkirch finished with two hits while Katelyn Kalkman, Stoll and Carroll each had one hit.

Alex O’Connor started the game on the mound and pitched 2 1/3 before, where she walked three, struck out three and gave up three hits before Hoeppner took over and pitched 4 2/3. She allowed just two hits and no runs, had no strikeouts and no walks.

Game 1

SMSU 10, UMC 2

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HITTING: Southwest Minnesota State (Chelsey Rodenkirch 2-for-4, double, HR, four RBI, two runs; Katelyn Kalkman 1-for-2, single; Kaley Scearcy 1-for-2, double, walk; Morgan Peterson 1-for-2, single; Jennifer Johnson 1-for-4, single, run; Karmann Carroll 1-for-2, single, walk, two RBI, two runs; Shelbie Stoll 1-for-4, double, two runs; Alysse Luttmann 2-for-4, two singles two RBI, run); Minnesota-Crookston (Shelby Hollinger 1-for-2, single, run; Ashley Manusos 1-for-2, HR, two RBI, run; Paige Schaust 1-for-3, single; Kaylin Beatty 1-for-3, single).

PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO): Southwest Minnesota State (Rachel Hoeppner 7.0-4-2-2-1-7); Minnesota-Crookston (Bailey Braatz 3.2-4-6-0-6-0; Brooke Vatthauer 1.1-2-2-2-1-0; Sammy Knudson 2.0-4-2-2-0-1).

Game 2

SMSU 5, UMC 2

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HITTING: Southwest Minnesota State (Chelsey Rodenkirch 2-for-4, single, double, two runs; Katelyn Kalkman 1-for-3, single; Jazmyne Neely 3-for-4, three singles, two RBI, run; Shelbie Stoll 1-for-2, single, RBI; Karmann Carroll 1-for-3, double, two RBI); Minnesota-Crookston (Shelby Hollinger 2-for-4, two singles; Josee Plante 1-for-2, single; Paige Schaust 1-for-3, single; Alexis Khoshaba 1-for-2, single, two RBI).

PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO): Southwest Minnesota State (Alex O’Connor 2.1-3-2-0-3-3; Rachel Hoeppner 4.2-2-0-0-0-0); Minnesota-Crookston (Paige Schaust 7.0-8-5-1-0-1).

RECORDS: Southwest Minnesota State (11-22-1, 8-9-1 NSIC); Minnesota-Crookston (3-25, 1-13 NSIC).

NEXT GAME: Southwest Minnesota State (Tues. at Augustana, S.D.); Minnesota-Crookston (at Minnesota-Duluth).