Minnesota Crookston moves to 13-23.

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston softball team picked up a split Sat., April 6 against Northern State University as they set the program record for wins in a season with a 4-3 victory over the Wolves. The Golden Eagles played a highly contested game in the second tilt of the day, but fell 3-0 to Northern State.

    The Golden Eagles won the first game of the day as Rocky Bjorge (Sr., 1B/3B, Prior Lake, Minn.) laced a single to left center with two outs to plate Malia Pula (Jr., UT, Gilroy, Calif.) as Minnesota Crookston walked off with the 4-3 win in game two.

    Minnesota Crookston moves to 13-23 (2-10 NSIC) as they set the school record for wins, breaking the 12 wins set during the 2017 season. Northern State sits at 12-22 (4-8 NSIC) after the split Saturday.

Game One

    The Golden Eagles took their 13th win of the season with Bjorge’s walk off single to drive in Pula. The opportunity was set up by Pula’s single to left field to drive in Jordan Peterson (So., C/UT, Lakeville, Minn.) to knot up the game 3-3 in the seventh inning.

    Paige Pitlick (Jr., RHP, Jordan, Minn.) moved to 6-13 with the win after allowing just two earned runs on nine hits with one strikeout and two walks.

    Minnesota Crookston was led by Bjorge, who was 2-of-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Pula was 2-of-4 with one RBI and a run scored. Leah Macias (Fr., OF, West Covina, Calif.) went 1-of-3 with one run scored. Mika Rodriguez (Jr., SS/2B, Laveen, Ariz.) finished 1-of-3, while Haley Strachan (Sr., OF, Phoenix, Ariz.) went 1-of-3 with one RBI.

    The loss went to Makenzie Merritt in relief, as she allowed two runs in 1.1 innings of relief, with one strikeout. Andrea Cherney got the start and gave up two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 5.1 innings of work.

    Northern State was led by Rachel Reinke, went 2-of-4, as did Kennady Thompson. Makenzie Rutter finished 1-of-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

    The Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard first as Strachan singled to left field to drive in Leah Macias in the third frame.

    The Wolves took the lead over 2-1 in the fourth when Rutter belted a two run home run to drive in herself and Emma Terveer.

    Northern State pushed their lead out to 3-1 in the fifth when Jamie Fisher hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Shayla Steinley.

    The Golden Eagles cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth when Bjorge hit a solo shot for her third home run of the season.

    The score remained at 3-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. Peterson opened up the stanza as she was hit by a pitch. After Northern State secured two outs, Pula delivered a two-out single to left field to drive in Peterson, as the Golden Eagles tied up the score 3-3. After Pula moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, Bjorge continued a great game with a single to left center to drive in Pula as Minnesota Crookston walked off with the win.

Game Two

    Minnesota Crookston struggled to get their bats going as they were limited to just two hits in a 3-0 loss to the Wolves.

    Taylor Graven (So., RHP, Greene, Iowa) started the game and went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Mikayla Jones (Sr., RHP, Huxley, Iowa) was dominant in 3.1 innings of relief, with no runs allowed with one strikeout and a walk.

    Fisher got the win for Northern State after pitching the two-hit shutout with a strikeout and two walks.

    The Golden Eagles utilized hits from Rodriguez and Strachan in the second game.

    The Wolves were guided by Jen Martin, who was 2-of-3 with one RBI, while Rutter was 2-of-3 with a run scored.

    Northern State broke the scoreless tie in the third when Reinke doubled to left center to drive in Julia Sullwold. Later in the third, Martin singled through the left side to plate Reinke to extend the advantage to 2-0.

    Northern State pushed their lead to 3-0 in the fourth as Sara Bendt hit a sacrifice fly to plate Rutter.

    The Golden Eagles would be unable to come back from the deficit as they fell 3-0.

    Minnesota Crookston will take on University of Mary Wed., April 10 at 2 and 4 p.m., in Bismarck, N.D.