The Golden Eagles fall to 12-20.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—It was the home opener on Wednesday afternoon for the University of Minnesota Crookston softball team as they hosted the Bulldogs from Minnesota-Duluth for a doubleheader.
The Bulldogs used outstanding starting pitching and timely hits to sweep the Golden Eagles in NSIC play.
With the two losses, the Golden Eagles fall to 12-20 on the season and 1-7 in NSIC play, while the Bulldogs improve to 15-12 overall and 6-2 in conference play.
In game one of the conference doubleheader, the Bulldogs would get on the board in the top half of the first inning as Lauren Oberle singled to drive in the first run of the ball game.
It wouldn’t take long for the Golden Eagles to answer, as Rocky Bjorge (Sr., 1B/3B, Prior Lake, Minn) would take a fastball and hit it over the centerfield fence for her second home run of the season.
The game would stay tied at one until the fourth inning. With two outs and two runners on in the top of the fifth inning, Jordyn Thomas would take a high fastball and hit a laser over the right field fence for a three-run home run, to put the Bulldogs up 4-1.
The Bulldogs would add an insurance run on another Oberle single to put the Bulldogs up 5-1.
Much like they have in recent games, the Golden Eagles wouldn’t make it easy on their opponents to get the final three outs of the inning.
The bottom of the order for the Golden Eagles would load the bases with zero outs to chase the Bulldogs starter Sam Pederson.
Breanna Swint would come into the game to try and close the game out for her team. Swint would get Bjorge to strike out and then Maggie Morales (Sr., 3B, Tuscon, Ariz.) would line in to an unassisted double play that would end the game.
Paige Pitlick (Jr., P/1B, Jordan, Minn.) would get the start in the circle and was outstanding. Pitlick went 6.2 innings while allowing five runs on seven hits and striking out five Bulldog hitters. Three of the five Bulldog runs were unearned.
The Golden Eagles had six hits in the game, including one a piece from the 1-2-3 hitters in the lineup in Haley Strachan (Sr., OF, Phoenix, Ariz.), Malia Pula (Jr., UT, Gilroy, Calif.) and Bjorge. Mika Rodriguez (Jr., SS, Laveen, Ariz.), Sam Proctor (Jr., C, Champlin, Minn.) and Jordan Peterson (So., UT, Lakeville, Minn.) also had one hit each for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles left nine runners on base and committed two errors defensively.
In game two, the Bulldogs showed why they made the national tournament last season, by defeating the Golden Eagles 12-1 in five innings.
The Bulldogs scored the first five runs of the game, including scoring four in the third inning and added another run on a solo home run from Jayme Langbehn, who had two RBI’s on the day.
The Golden Eagles would get one back on a Strachan bunt and an error on the Bulldog third baseman, that allowed Bjorge to score all the way from first base.
The Bulldogs would score seven runs in the fifth inning off of Golden Eagle freshman Darian Pancirov (Fr., P/1B, Las Vegas, Nev.) to take a 12-1 lead.
The Bulldogs would shut the door in the bottom of the fifth to win the game on a run rule.
Taylor Graven (So., P, Greene, Iowa) got the start and gave up five runs on five hits, while striking out five and giving up just one walk. Graven picked up the loss to drop her to 5-4 on the season. Pancirov came in for relief of Graven in the fifth inning and allowed seven runs on three hits and gave up three walks in one inning.
The Golden Eagles had just one hit on the day and that came courtesy of Bjorge, who singled in the fourth inning. Minnesota Crookston left four runners on base.
Minnesota Crookston is back in action this Saturday and Sunday, when they host Northern State and Minnesota State University Moorhead. Both games are scheduled to be doubleheaders. Saturday’s games with the Wolves is scheduled for 1/3 p.m. First pitch against the Dragons is set for 12/2 p.m., on Sunday afternoon.