Spartan Softball Drops Two at Home

May 5, 2016

On a beautiful day in front of a nice crowd, the M State softball team ended its season with a pair of losses to the No. 5 ranked team in the nation. The St. Cloud Technical and Community College Cyclones won game one 4-0 and took game two 17-6.

"Obviously not the way we wanted to end the season, but they are an outstanding team," said head coach Steve King. "We competed very well in game one, but we let the second game slip away. We had some defensive breakdowns, and they took advantage of that. Overall it was a productive and fun season, and hopefully we get these freshmen back for another year."

The Spartans couldn't continue their hot hitting from the previous week as they managed only four hits in game one, including two by sophomore Kaci Walvatne. Kayla Pring pitched well but was once again the victim of a low-scoring game that went the wrong way.

In game two, M State jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Walvatne collected another single and Amber Boese walked. Haley Poehler singled to score Walvatne. With two outs and runners on second and third, Ally Jensen delivered a much-needed clutch hit, driving in Boese and Poehler with a single.

Unfortunately the Spartans didn't do some of the little things necessary to win the game. The Cyclones built a 10-3 lead going into the fourth before M State answered with some offense. Chloe Evenson, Nicole Anderson and Walvatne all singled to open the bottom of the fourth inning. Doranna Blascyk drove in a run with a single, and Jensen picked up an RBI with a fielder's choice to make the score 10-5 in favor of the Cyclones.

The Cyclones added one in the sixth and six more in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach and claim a 17-5 victory.

"I told the team I hope they had as much fun playing as I had coaching," said King. "They are a great group of people, and if we can keep the freshmen around, we will be in contention next year. My thanks to sophomores Kaci Walvatne, Amy Benson and Chloe Evenson for their efforts and leadership throughout the past two years. It's always tough to see them leave, but they will be successful people and hopefully will come back to see us."

M State ended its season with an overall record of 12-18. They were 8-16 in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division, which currently has three teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

 

Spartans Earn Impressive Road Split

May 3, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team traveled to Cambridge to play the No. 8 ranked team in the latest NJCAA Division III softball polls, the Anoka Ramsey Community and Technical College Golden Rams, and came away with a split. The Spartans lost game one 6-1 but rebounded to win game two 12-4 in five innings.

"The win today was not the impressive part of the day because we believe we can beat anyone right now," said head coach Steve King. "The impressive part is the way we competed. We have no shot at post-season play, plus we are in finals week at the college. Most of the players had at least one difficult final test, and a few took two final tests today. Then we pack the vans and travel three hours and still competed at a high level all day long. That's impressive, and that's the true definition of a student athlete."

In game one Kayla Pring pitched a very good game, but the Spartans were hurt by several close pitches that weren't called third strikes. The offense had a difficult time scoring, and the Spartans picked up their only run of the game in the second inning on a single and stolen base by Haley Poehler and an RBI single by Ally Jensen.

Game two was highlighted by a very impressive pitching performance by Laura Tunseth, outstanding defensive play at third base by Amber Boese and Doranna Blascyk's first career home run for a 12-4 victory.

The Spartans jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Kaci Walvatne walked and Blascyk reached on an error. Boese then hammered a two-run double down the left field line.

The Spartan bats really came alive in the top of the third inning, scoring eight runs. Leading 2-1 at the time, they took advantage of some timely hits, walks, wild pitches and errors by the Rams to break the game open. Jensen had a two-run base hit, and sophomore Chloe Evenson drove in a run with a single to make the score 7-1. With runners on first and third, Blascyk unloaded on a pitch and sent her first career homerun over the left field fence to give the Spartans a 10-1 lead.

The Rams closed the gap to 10-4 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Spartans scored several runs on wild pitches and closed out the game at 12-4 in five innings.

The Spartans are now 12-18 on the season and end the 2016 season with a home contest Thursday against another nationally ranked team, St. Cloud Community and Technical College. Game time is 3 p.m.

 

Lady Spartans Drop Two on the Road

April 30, 2016

The M State Lady Spartans cooled off in Rochester on Saturday as they dropped a pair of game to the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellow Jackets by scores of 5-0 and 6-4.

"We competed well today, and our pitching was outstanding," said Spartan head coach Steve King. "RCTC is a good team with very good pitching. Defensively they don't make many mistakes. We just couldn't shake loose offensively today."

In game one the Lady Spartans collected only two hits, a fourth-inning double by Amber Boese and a fifth-inning single by Kayla Pring. They were unable to advance a runner to third base.

Pring pitched well but took the loss for the Lady Spartans.

Game two started out much the same way for the Lady Spartans. Boese had a first-inning single, Poehler a fourth-inning single and Nicole Anderson a fifth-inning single, but they were unable to push a run across.

Laura Tungseth was throwing a great game and kept the Lady Spartans close. RCTC built a 5-0 lead through five innings before the Lady Spartans used a couple of errors, a hit batter and two bases on balls to scratch out three runs to cut the lead to 5-3 after the top of the sixth. RCTC added a single run in the bottom of the sixth for a 6-3 lead.

The Lady Spartans made it interesting in the top of the seventh. Poehler reached on an error and advanced to third base on walks by Amy Benson and Ally Jensen. Poehler scored on a hard-hit sacrifice fly by Tungseth to make the score 6-4. The Lady Spartans had a couple of runners on but were unable to get the clutch hit and lost the game 6-4.

The Lady Spartans are now 11-17 on the season and 7-13 in the MCAC Southern Division. They wrap up their season with games in Cambridge against Anoka-Ramsey Community and Technical College on Tuesday and on Thursday at home against St. Cloud Community and Technical College. Both games start at 3 p.m.

 

Lady Spartans Finally get a Sweep

April 29, 2016

After a number of doubleheader splits, the Lady Spartans played well and won both ends of a double header. Amber Boese hit two home runs in game one, and the Lady Spartans used a very balanced attack in game two to sweep a Friday doubleheader in Austin against the Riverland College Blue Devils. The Lady Spartans won game one in five innings 10-2, and won game two 16-7. Both games were well-pitched and well-played defensively for the Lady Spartans as they continue to improve their play down the stretch run of the season.

In game one Lady Spartan pitcher Kayla Pring allowed two solo homeruns in the first inning but settled down to pitch a complete game that the Lady Spartans were able to finish in five innings. With Riverland leading 2-1 in the bottom of the second, Pring helped herself out with a two-run line drive homerun over the left center field fence to give the Lady Spartans a 3-2 lead, and they never looked back.

Boes hit the first of her two homeruns in the game to lead off the top of the third for a 4-2 Lady Spartan lead. They added to that lead in the top of the fourth scoring six runs. Boese drew a bases-loaded walk for an RBI, Haley Poehler and Amy Benson singled in runs and Ally Jensen cracked a two-run double. Laura Tungseth picked up an RBI with a single, and the Lady Spartans had a 10-2 lead.

Boese hit an absolute bomb to left field for a two-run homerun and a 12-2 fifth inning lead. Pring completed the game with a clean bottom of the fifth for the win.

The Lady Spartan offense kept rolling in game two, scoring a 2-0 first inning lead on RBI singles by Poehler and Benson. They added four more in the top of the third when Kaci Walvatne led off the inning with a solo shot to left field. Ally Jensen plated two runs with a double, and Chloe Evenson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Lady Spartans a 6-0 lead.

Tungseth pitched well, giving up a solo shot in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Spartans answered that with four more in the top of the fourth. Three walks, an error and a Benson RBI single gave the Lady Spartans a 10-1 lead.

Amber Boese and Haley Poehler had RBI singles in the top of the fifth and the lead was 12-1 Lady Spartans. The Blue Devil bats woke up and they scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 12-7, but the Lady Spartans put the game away with four more runs in the top of the seventh. Doranna Blasyck and Boese singled, Poehler plated Blasyck with a double, but Boese was out at third on the play. Jensen stayed hot and doubled home Poehler and Evenson, finishing the scoring with a RBI single.

Pring relieved Tungseth and cleaned up the bottom of the seventh, and the Lady Spartans won 16-7.

Tungseth picked up the pitching win and Pring the save. Amber Boese had two homeruns and five RBI on the day. Jensen also had five RBI, and Poehler and Benson added four more.

 

Lady Spartans Earn Home Split

April 24, 2016

The M State Lady Spartans played a cool, windy home doubleheader Tuesday and came away with an exciting split against a very good Ridgewater College team. The Lady Spartans rallied late but lost game one 8-7. In game two, the ladies rallied late and won by a score of 10-8.

"We are playing better defensively and hit the ball much better today" said Steve King, head coach of the Lady Spartans. "In game one we made a couple of mistakes that caused us to fall behind early, and we just couldn't recover. In game two, Laura Tungseth made some great pitches to some dangerous hitters, and we made two-out defensive plays and had a couple of key two-out hits. This team never quits, and it's beginning to pay off with wins."

In game one, the Lady Spartans fell behind 8-1 after a Ridgewater six-run third inning. The Lady Spartans battled back with five in the bottom of the fourth. Taking advantage of three consecutive walks to load the bases with Lady Spartans, Kayla Pring singled to drive in one run, and Jordan Hill singled to score another to make the score 8-3. Kaci Walvatne had an RBI sacrifice fly, and Doranna Blasyck singled home another to make the score 8-6. Another run scored on an error, and the inning ended with the score 8-6 in favor of Ridgewater.

Kayla Pring started the game and really settled down and pitched well after the third inning. She did not allow a run the rest of the game, allowing the Lady Spartans to try to win the game. The Lady Spartans added another run in the bottom of the fifth on a couple of Ridgewater errors to make the score 8-7. They had runners on in the sixth and seventh but couldn't get the clutch hit to score, and Ridgewater won the game 8-7.

Game two started with the Lady Spartans grabbing a first inning 2-0 lead on an RBI base hit by Haley Poehler and an RBI ground out by Amy Benson. Once again Ridgewater had a big third inning, scoring six times to take a 6-2 lead. The Lady Spartans cut the lead to 6-5 with a three-run third of their own. Amber Boese singled and took third on a Poehler double. Ally Jensen scored Boese, moving Poehler to third. Jensen stole second and both runners scored on a single by Chloe Evenson to make the score 6-5 in favor of Ridgewater.

Starting pitcher Tungseth battled through some difficult situations including a bases-loaded, one-out, heart-of-the-order up, to keep Ridgewater scoreless in the late innings and keep the Lady Spartans in the game.

With the score 8-5 the Lady Spartans scored a single run in the fifth when Boese singled and stole second. Ally Jensen picked up an RBI with a base hit to make the score 8-6. The Lady Spartans took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Nicole Anderson reached on an error. Blasyck singled and, with two on, Poehler lined a double to score two runs and tie the score 8-8. With Poehler on second, Amy Benson traded spots with her with an RBI double to give the Lady Spartans the 9-8 lead. Ally Jensen lined a run-scoring triple down the right field line to make the score 10-8 in favor of the Lady Spartans.

Tungseth pitched around a one-out error in the top of the seventh to get the Lady Spartans the game two win.

The Lady Spartans are now 9-15 overall and 5-11 in the MCAC Southern Division. They continue Southern Division play with a weekend trip to Austin to play Riverland College on Friday and on Saturday play Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester.

 

Lady Spartan Softball Wins One, Loses One at Home

April 21, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team had an exciting day of softball, splitting a double header at home with the Blue Jays from Minnesota West. In game one, the Lady Spartans walked off the Blue Jays on a base hit by sophomore Amy Benson that scored Haley Poehler from second base for an 8-7 win. In the second game the Lady Spartans trailed 12-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh, scored five runs to make the score 12-10 and had the tying run at second base with two outs. A great play by the Blue Jays' third baseman ended the threat and the game.

"Much better attitude and performance today," said Lady Spartan head coach Steve King. "We weren't perfect, and that doesn't matter. The effort was tremendous, and we played hard and competed until the last out. That was what made it fun today, just knowing that they weren't going to quit. We gave ourselves a chance at the end but came up just short."

In game one, Minnesota West scored a single run in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. The Spartans answered with a three-run bottom of the first. Kaci Walvatne singled, Amber Boese walked and both advanced on a ground out by Poehler. Benson roped a two-out double to score Walvatne and Boese. Benson eventually scored on a passed ball for a 3-1 Lady Spartan lead.

Walvatne singled in the second and scored on a Boese hit to make the score 4-1. The Blue Jays tied the score with three in the third, but the Lady Spartans answered right back. Kayla Pring doubled and Nicole Anderson laced a single to center and stole second to put runners on second and third. Walvatne collected her third hit of the game with a two-run single to give the Lady Spartans the lead back at 6-4.

The Blue Jays scored two in the top of the fifth for the 6-6 tie. Starting pitcher Kayla Pring really settled down and set down the last six batters in order to keep the game tied heading into the bottom of the seventh.

The Lady Spartans wasted little time winning the game in walk-off fashion. Poehler singled and stole second. Benson provided the winning hit as she roped a single to center.

Pring went the distance and was the winning pitcher. Walvatne had three hits and two RBI. Benson had two hits and three RBI.

Game two started slow before both offenses cranked it up. In the early innings Boese had an RBI double and Walvatne a two-run single to give the Lady Spartans a 5-3 lead going into the fifth. The Blue Jays were able to take a seemingly commanding lead of 12-5 into the bottom of the seventh.

This is when the Lady Spartans showed their never-die attitude. Doranna Blasyck reached on an error, and Boese doubled. Poehler doubled both of them home to make the score 12-7. Benson brought Poehler home with a single to make it 12-8. Chloe Evenson singled, and Nicole Anderson followed that with a single. Laura Tungseth singled to score a run to make the score 12-9. Walvatne reached on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning, but Evenson scored to make it 12-10 with runners on first and second. Blasyck stepped to the plate and ripped a ball down the third base line that the Blue Jay third baseman made a great pick on for the final out.

The Lady Spartans are now 8-14 for the season and 4-10 in the MCAC Southern Division. The Lady Spartans have a much-needed weekend off and resume divisional play April 26 at home against Ridgewater College. First pitch is 3 p.m.

 

Lady Spartans Struggle in Willmar

April 20, 2016

Ridgewater College took advantage of Lady Spartan miscues and swept a doubleheader Wednesday in Willmar, with M State losing 8-3 and 12-5.

"Very disappointed in the way we played today," commented head coach Steve King. "Far too many errors, far too many poor at bats and far too little energy. Ridgewater is a good team and made us pay for our mistakes. I addressed the team, and hopefully we can rebound and play up to our expectations tomorrow."

The Lady Spartans fell behind 2-0 in game one before rallying in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Kaci Walvatne, Doranna Blasyck and Amber Boese all singled to start the inning, with Boese picking up an RBI on her hit. Haley Poehler singled to score Blasyck and Boese and give the Lady Spartans a 3-2 lead.

That lead was short-lived, though, as the Lady Spartans gave up a three-spot in the bottom of the fourth for a 5-3 Ridgewater lead. Ridgewater added two in the fifth and a run in the sixth for an 8-3 lead, while the Lady Spartans couldn't get the offense going.

Kayla Pring pitched the entire game and was the losing pitcher.

Game two started much better for the Lady Spartans as they grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Walvatne singled to lead off the game. Boese stroked a one-out double to score Walvatne, and Poehler doubled to score Boese for a 2-0 lead. Amy Benson clutched up with a two-out single to score Poehler and give the Lady Spartans a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.

Unfortunately, they gave it all back and more in the bottom of the first as Ridgewater turned a couple of Lady Spartan walks and errors into five runs for a 5-3 lead. Ridgewater would take a 10-3 lead as the Lady Spartans continued to play poorly in the field and give away at bats.

The Lady Spartans did take advantage of several Ridgewater mistakes to score two more runs in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Chloe Evenson and Nicole Anderson singled and advanced to second and third on errors. Jordan Hill drove them in with a sharp single to left field to cut the lead to 10-5. Ridgewater added two in the bottom of the sixth and won the game 12-5.

Doranna Blasyck pitched the entire game for the Spartans.

The Lady Spartans play Minnesota West at home April 21. First pitch is at 3 p.m.

 

Lady Spartans Drop Two in St. Cloud

April 19, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team traveled to St. Cloud on Tuesday to take on the Cyclones of St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The Cyclones are ranked No. 4 in the National Junior College Athletic Associations Division III and are the top team in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division. The Lady Spartans lost by scores of 3-0 and 7-0.

"Our pitching was outstanding today" said Steve King, head coach of the Lady Spartans. "We just could not get the clutch hit with runners in scoring position. We competed very well with an outstanding team. They just had the clutch hits and we made a couple of mistakes in the field that really hurt us."

Kayla Pring pitched a complete game for the Lady Spartans in game one, allowing only one earned run. The Cyclones scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning on three singles and a two-out error.

The Lady Spartans never advanced a runner past second base and lost the game 3-0.

In game two Laura Tungseth pitched very well for the Lady Spartans but suffered the same fate as Pring. The Lady Spartans committed two errors in the first that led to a Cyclone 2-0 lead and two more errors in the fourth that added two more runs to the Cyclone lead to make it 4-0. The Lady Spartans couldn't get anything going offensively and lost the game 7-0.

The Lady Spartans travel to Willmar to play Ridgewater College at 3 p.m Wednesday, April 20. They return home to host Minnesota West Community and Technical College at 3 p.m.Thursday, April 21.

 

Lady Spartans Drop Two at Home

April 16, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team had a tough time scoring runs Saturday and dropped a double-header to nationally ranked Rochester Community and Technical College by the scores of 7-2 and 10-1.

"We competed well today but didn't hit the ball at all. We had base runners on but never got the clutch hit," said Steve King, Lady Spartans head coach. "We pitched well, but we were a little unlucky on a couple of balls that were bloop hits or just fair. That's the way the game goes."

In game one, Kayla Pring pitched very well, and the score was 0-0 after three complete innings. RCTC put four on the board in the fourth inning, but the Lady Spartans came back with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Ally Jensen singled and scored on a Haley Poehler fielder's choice to make the score 4-1.

RCTC would put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth, as they scored to make the score 7-1. The Lady Spartans scored a single run in the bottom of the fifth when Kaci Walvatne singled and scored on a Doranna Blasyck single to make the score 7-2.

In game two, the Lady Spartans received a very strong pitching performance from freshman Laura Tungseth but couldn't get the clutch hit needed early in the game to keep it close. The game was 1-0 after three innings, but RCTC kept adding to the lead and won the game 10-1.

The Lady Spartans are now 7-9 overall and 3-5 in the Southern Division. The Lady Spartans travel to Willmar to play Ridgewater College on Monday.

 

Lady Spartans Split at Home

April 15, 2016

The Lady Spartans softball team played Riverland Community College Blue Devils on Friday and split a home doubleheader, winning game one 8-0 in five innings and losing game two 8-5.

"Overall we played pretty well today," said head coach Steve King. "We had good energy and really played well in the field. Pring pitched an absolute gem in game one. In game two they just had more timely hits and made more plays. They were two good games."

Game one was all Lady Spartans as they rode the one-hit, 10-strike-out performance of freshman Kayla Pring. Pring struck out 10 of the 16batters she faced, and only one ball left the infield. Offensively, the Lady Spartans scored six runs in the first inning as Kaci Walvatne and Doranna Blasyck led off the inning with singles. The Lady Spartans scored three runs by the way of bases-loaded walks and a fielder's choice. Sophomore Cloe Evenson cleared the bases with a clutch three-run double to give the Lady Spartans a 6-0 lead.

Pring cruised and the Lady Spartans added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Jordan Hill and a two-run home run off the bat of Walvatne for an 8-0 lead. In college there is an eight-run rule, so the game was over after Pring set the Blue Devils down in order in the top of the fifth.

In game two, the Lady Spartans just couldn't come up with the clutch hit early to put the game away. They did take a first inning lead when Amber Boeses singled, stole second and scored on a single by Ally Jensen. In the second, Laura Tungseth tripled down the right field line and scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.

Pring was pitching for the Lady Spartans again and cruised early but ran into trouble in the third, allowing two runs and a 2-2 tie.

The Lady Spartans came right back in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs. Amy Benson and Haley Poehler had back-to-back doubles, and Poehler scored on a wild pitch. Laura Tungseth, who walked and stole second and moved to third on aggressive base running, scored on a Nicole Anderson infield hit to give the Lady Spartans a 5-2 lead.

The Blue Devils plated two in the top of the fourth to make the score 5-4. Pring finally ran out of gas in the fifth as the Blue Devils plated four runs to take an 8-5 lead. The Lady Spartans had some base runners late but were unable to score and lost the game 8-5.

The Lady Spartans are 7-7 on the season and 3-3 in the Southern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. They travel to Ridgewater College in Willmar on Monday, St. Cloud Community and Technical College on Tuesday and play Minnesota West at home Thursday.

 

Lady Spartans Split on the Road

April 11, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team traveled to a very cold and windy Worthington on Saturday for an MCAC Southern Division contest and split with the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Blue Jays, winning game one 5-2 and dropping game two by a score of 8-7.

"This is always a very difficult trip for us," said Steve King, head coach of the Lady Spartans. "We leave very early, travel four hours for a noon game and expect them to hop out of the vans and play great softball. That's difficult to do even on a warm sunny day. The playing conditions were difficult, and it was a battle to stay warm and compete. To the credit of the players, we did very well in game one. In game two we lacked the energy, gave away at bats and missed several defensive plays. Always good to win a game, but we had an opportunity to win two and didn't get the job done."

In game one, the Lady Spartan bats started slow but, thanks to the pitching of Kayla Pring, the Blue Jays struggled at the plate also. The score was tied at 0-0 entering the top of the fifth before the Lady Spartans broke through. Jordan Hill had a great at bat and worked a walk, Kaci Walvatne did her job to perfection with a very nice sacrifice bunt to move Hill into scoring position. With two outs, Amber Boese lifted a fly ball double down the left field line that landed fair by an inch, and Hill scored the first run of the game. Ally Jensen clutched up and roped a two-out single to score Boese, and the Lady Spartans had a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Spartans scored a single run in the top of the sixth. Kayla Pring led off the inning with a double. Laura Tungseth laid down a nice bunt that the Blue Jays couldn't handle to put runners on first and third. Tungseth stole second, Jordan Hill was hit by a pitch, and Doranna Blasyck walked to score Pring for a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Jays scored two in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 3-2, but Amy Benson and Kayla Pring put the game out of reach. Benson led off the inning with a double. Pring stepped to the plate and jacked a high, towering home run to left center that cleared the fence by plenty, for a two runs and a 5-2 Lady Spartan lead. Pring pitched perfect bottom of the seventh for the 5-3 Lady Spartan win.

In game two, the Lady Spartan just were not as sharp defensively but still had an opportunity to win the game. Pring took the ball and pitched well for most of the game but was forced to throw too many pitches and took the loss.

The Lady Spartans did score two in the top of the first on a Blasyck single, Boese walked and Jensen singled, scoring Blasyck. Boese was able to score on a wild pitch, and the Lady Spartans had an early 2-0 lead.

The Blue Jays scored two in the first, one in the third, and two in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead before the Lady Spartan offense rallied. Walvatne led off the top of the fifth with a sharp single. Blasyck hit a rope down the third base line for a triple to score Walvatne. Boese walked and stole second to put runners on second and third. Jensen knocked in both runners with a double and scored on a Chloe Evenson single. That gave the Lady Spartans a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.

Unfortunately, this is where a couple of defensive mistakes hurt the Lady Spartans as the Blue Jays plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-6 lead and added another unearned run in the bottom of the sixth for a 8-6 lead.

The Lady Spartans didn't quit. Amy Benson lead off the top of the seventh with a single and advanced to second on an error. With two outs, Nicole Anderson hit a solid single up the middle that the Blue Jays had trouble handling to score Benson and make it an 8-7 game. Anderson advanced all the way to third on the play and stood 60 feet away from home plate and a tie score, but unfortunately the Lady Spartans couldn't get her across home plate and lost the game.

The Lady Spartans are now 6-4 on the season and 2-2 in the MCAC Southern Division.

The Spartans will be at home this weekend to play Riverland at 3 p.m. Friday, April 15, and noon Saturday, April 16, to play nationally-ranked Rochester.

 

Lady Spartans Split at Home

April 6, 2016

The M State Fergus Falls Lady Spartan softball team played a home double header Tuesday against the Anoka Ramsey Community and Technical College Golden Rams and came away with a split. The Golden Rams took game one 6-0, and the Lady Spartans won the nightcap 2-1.

"We have to be happy with the split since we trailed for 13 of the 14 innings today," said coach Steve King. "In the first game they scored all six runs with two outs. We just couldn't close the innings out. In game two, I give our players credit for staying competitive on a tough day to play. We just made more plays in the late innings than they did. Doranna Blasyck pitched a great game to give us a chance to win."

In game one the Golden Rams scored two runs in the first, third and seventh inning, all with two outs, for the 6-0 win over the Lady Spartans. Kayla Pring pitched very well for the Lady Spartans, but the defense made several key errors that allowed extra baserunners, and the Golden Rams took advantage with some clutch hitting. The Lady Spartans had base runners on, including bases loaded in the fifth, but could not get the clutch two-out hits needed to plate any runs.

Both teams had trouble scoring runs in the second game. Anoka Ramsey grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, and that lead stood until the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Spartan defense played very well and made some key plays, helping Blasyck and keeping the game close.

The Lady Spartans finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth. Former Otter Amber Boese, who was intentionally walked twice in the first game with runners in scoring position, led off the inning with a double. Amy Benson was intentionally walked, and Blasyck had a great at-bat and drew a walk to load the bases. Sophomore Chloe Evenson finally delivered the clutch hit the Lady Spartans needed with a bloop single to center to score Boese. With one out and the bases still loaded, another former Otter, Nicole Anderson, lifted a fly ball to left that was deep enough to score Benson from third and give the Lady Spartans a 2-1 lead.

Blasyck pitched a perfect top of the seventh for the Lady Spartans' 2-1 victory.

These were the opening games for the Lady Spartans in the Southern Division of the very competitive Minnesota College Athletic Conference. The Lady Spartans are 1-1 in division play and 5-3 overall. They travel to Willmar to play nationally ranked Ridgewater College on Friday and to Worthington on Saturday to play Minnesota West Community College.

 

Lady Spartans Split with NDSCS

March 31, 2016

The M State Lady Spartan softball team traveled to Wahpeton on Wednesday for a doubleheader with the North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats and earned a split, winning game one 12-10 and losing the second by a score of 9-0.

"In game one we had great energy and really had some good at-bats," said coach Steve King. "Kayla Pring pitched well but couldn't locate in the fifth and sixth innings, so we brought in Laura Tungseth, and she did a great job of closing the door. It's disappointing that we were not ready for inning number one in game two, and that set the tone for the game. We committed four errors that inning and never gave ourselves a chance. We didn't have very good at bats, and it was a sloppy game for us all around. Hopefully as we mature as a team we will learn how to play both ends of the double headers."

In game one the Wildcats jumped to a first inning 3-0 lead, but the Lady Spartans had a big inning in the top of the third, scoring seven runs. Chloe Evenson, Jordan Hill and Haley Poehler started the inning with singles to load the bases. Doranna Blasyck reached on an error, scoring a run. Amber Boese hit a rocket double to score two runs, Allyson Jensen singled to score another run, Amy Benson drilled a double down the left field line to score Boese and Jensen. Pring doubled to score Benson, and the Lady Spartans had a 7-3 lead.

In the fifth inning, the Lady Spartans put another crooked number on the board, scoring five more runs. Sophomore Amy Benson led off the inning with her first collegiate home run to make the score 8-3. The Lady Spartans took advantage of some Wildcat errors to score three runs, and Boese singled to plate the final run of the inning for a Lady Spartan 12-3 lead.

The Wildcats got three in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 12-6 lead. Tungseth relieved starting pitcher Pring with a couple of runners on in the sixth. The Wildcats scored four runs that inning to make it 12-10 in favor of the Lady Spartans.

The Lady Spartans did not score in the top half of the seventh. The Wildcats had the winning run at the plate with two out, but a nice fielding play by Boese at third closed the door, and the Lady Spartans had a hard-fought victory.

Pring picked up the win, and Tungseth recorded the save. Boese, Jensen and Benson each had three RBI.

In game two, the Lady Spartans were not ready to play the first couple of innings of the game. Tungseth started the game, but her defense let her down with four errors in the first that led to six Wildcat runs. The Lady Spartans never got the bats going and were unable to produce any sustained offensive threat, losing 9-0.

Tungseth suffered her first loss of the season.

The Lady Spartans are now 4-2 on the season and open Southern Division play in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference in Cambridge against Anoka Ramsey Community and Technical College on Tuesday, April 5.

 

Lady Spartan Softball Opens Season 3-1

March 28, 2016

M State Lady Spartan softball opened the season with an indoor tournament in Rochester and had a successful weekend, winning three games while losing one. This was the first action of the year for the Lady Spartans as they gear up to play in the highly competitive Southern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. All four of the teams they played were from the MCAC Northern Division.

Game 1: Mesabi Range 6 - M State 5

The Lady Spartans fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the first to a very solid Mesabi Range team but battled back and had an opportunity to win the game. Haley Poehler, a freshman from Ada, scored the first run of the season for the Lady Spartans as she drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by Nicole Anderson to make the score 2-1. The Lady Spartans evened the score at 2-2 when Kaci Walvatne singled, stole second and scored on an Amber Boese single. The Lady Spartans took a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth on a two-run home run by freshman Allyson Jensen.

Lady Spartan pitcher Kayla Pring, a freshman from Morris, did a great job pitching, but the Lady Spartans committed two errors in the bottom of the fifth that led to three Mesabi Range runs and a 5-5 tie. Mesabi pushed across another run in the bottom of the sixth for a 6-5 lead. The Lady Spartans had a couple of base runners on in the top of the seventh but couldn't push across a run and lost the game 6-5.

Pring went the distance and took the loss. Boese had two hits in the game, and Jensen led the team with two RBI.

Game 2: M State 10 - Itasca CC 7

The Lady Spartans grabbed an early 1-0 lead as Walvatne singled and scored on a double by West Central Area freshman Doranna Blasyck in the first inning. Itasca tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning, but the Lady Spartans answered right back on and RBI single by Jensen that plated Boese and a 2-1 lead.

Itasca scored the next four runs and took a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Spartans scored a single run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3, but Itasca answered that with a single run in the top of the sixth for the 6-3 lead.

The Lady Spartan bats exploded in the bottom of the sixth with six hits and seven runs. Boese had a two-run double, Jensen followed that with a run-scoring single, sophomore Amy Benson singled in a run and Walvatne cleaned up with two-run double for the 10-6 Lady Spartan lead. Itasca added one in the top of the seventh, but the Lady Spartans earned their first victory of the year 10-7.

Doranna Blasyck pitched the first five innings of the game and threw very well. Hillcrest graduate Laura Tungseth picked up her first collegiate win, finishing the final two innings and doing a great job closing the game out. Walvatne, Jensen and Boese each had two RBI.

Game 3: M State 8 - Vermillion CC 6

Lady Spartan pitcher Kayla Pring and the Lady Spartans earned a hard-fought victory Saturday morning over a hard-hitting Vermillion Community College squad. The Lady Spartans grabbed a 4-0 first-inning lead as their first three batters reached on two errors and a walk. Jensen made that hurt with a two-run double. Poehler and Benson each had RBI groundouts, and the Lady Spartans had a 4-0 lead. Vermillion cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the third, but Pohler had an RBI double and Benson picked up an RBI single to give the Lady Spartans a 6-2 lead after three innings. The Lady Spartans added two more in the fourth on an RBI single by Jensen, and Poehler picked up her third RBI of the game with a single for an 8-2 Lady Spartan lead.

Pring battled down the stretch as Vermillion picked up two runs in the fifth and had solo home runs in the sixth and seventh, but it wasn't enough as Pring picked up her first collegiate victory. Poehler was two for three and three RBI.

Game 4: M State Fergus Falls 16 - Hibbing CC 1

The day ended with the Lady Spartans getting a seven RBI game from Fergus Falls High School graduate Amber Boese and a strong pitching performance from Laura Tungseth. The Lady Spartans also took advantage of some wild pitches and errors by Hibbing to cruise to a 16-1 win.

Boese got the Lady Spartans started with a first-inning RBI single. Jensen followed with a two-run single for a 3-0 first-inning Lady Spartan lead. In the second inning, Boese unloaded a three-run shot that cleared the left center field fence by plenty and a 6-1 Lady Spartan lead.

The Lady Spartans really took advantage of some errors and walks in the bottom of the fourth to score 10 runs. Boese had a three-run double, and Jensen followed with an RBI single for a 16-1 lead. Tungseth closed the door on Hibbing in the top of the fifth, and the Lady Spartans were able to get out of Rochester early with a five-inning win.

Tungseth pitched a solid complete game for her second win of the weekend. Boese had seven RBI, and Jensen added three RBI.

The Lady Spartans are now 3-1 on the young season. They will play in Wahpeton against the Wildcats of North Dakota State College of Science on Wednesday, March 30. Game times are 3 pm and 5 pm.

Last modified: May 6th, 2016 at 11:26am