NCAA SOFTBALL: SMSU works extra innings to sweep Moorhead

MOORHEAD – Southwest Minnesota State pushed across an unearned run in the top of the 14th inning to earn a 5-4 victory over Minnesota State-Moorhead in Game 1 of Friday’s Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader.

SMSU took a convincing 7-0 decision in Game 2 to sweep the doubleheader.

Game 1

SMSU 5, Moorhead 4 (14)

The Mustangs were first to hit the scoreboard as Chelsey Rodenkirch blasted a solo home run in the top of the third. It was Rodenkirch’s fourth home run and 16th RBI this season, both marking career highs.

SMSU continued to put runs on the board in the third when the Mustangs received RBI two-out hits from Elissa Reinsma and Katelyn Kalkman to make it 3-0. Rodenkirch grounded out to leave the bases full.

Rachel Hoeppner cruised through the middle innings, but MSUM presented a threat in the fifth. The Dragons’ Kristina Villalobos led off the inning with a double, but the Dragons couldn’t score her as she was tagged out in a rundown following a fielder’s choice.

Kaley Scearcy put the Mustangs up 4-3 in the top of the ninth with an RBI double to left center, but SMSU couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

In the 14th inning, Kasey Eichten started the game-winning rally with a pinch hit single and later moved to third on a wild pitch and a sac bunt. With two outs, Eichten came across to score on an error by the MSUM shortstop to give SMSU a 5-4 lead.

The Dragons put together a rally in the bottom of the inning, but Hoeppner coaxed a ground out with runners on the corners to seal the victory.

Hoeppner tossed all 14 innings, allowing four runs on 16 hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Reinsma led a 15-hit Mustang attack with four hits, while Scearcy adding three hits.

Game 2

SMSU 7, Moorhead 0

Southwest ramped up the offense as the Mustangs scored five runs in the sixth inning to break the game open. Starting pitcher Alex O’Connor was fantastic for the Mustangs as she threw a four-hit complete-game shutout to secure a sweep for SMSU.

Reinsma backed up her four-hit game in game one with two more hits and two RBIs in game two. Scearcy and Jazmyne Neely also recorded two hits in the game for the Mustangs. SMSU got RBIs from Reinsma, Neely, Eichten, and Karmann Carroll.

SMSU (14-29-1, 11-16-1) will wrap-up the 2014 season tomorrow with a doubleheader against Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D.