Fort Myers, Fla. – Today at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, the Mount Mary University women's softball team dropped both games in their opening day doubleheader. The Blue Angels first lost 4-2 to Bridgewater State (1-0), then 4-1 to Clark University (2-2). That gives MMU a record of 0-2 after day one of the classic.
As the Blue Angels added 13 new faces to the roster in the offseason, they began the first game of the 2017 season with all new faces starting in the first game. Hannah Harnsberger (Fr./ Hillsboro, Ore.) got the first start in the circle for the Blue Angels. An early error and walk given up by the Blue Angels, was quickly snuffed out with a quick pickoff at second base to end the opening half inning.
Harnsberger found herself in a little trouble in the second after a leadoff inside-the-park homerun gave Bridgewater State the early lead. Hitting the second batter of the inning and walking two more, the Blue Angels worked out of the tight inning just giving up one run.
Audrey Beck (Fr./ Costa Mesa, Calif.) would lay claim to the first hit for MMU in 2017 as she riffled a shot to center field in the top of the third. However, BSU would not allow the Blue Angels cross the plate until the fifth inning.
Back-to-back hits by Amelia Flint (Jr./Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and Beck set Michaela Buchholz (Fr./Germantown, Wis.) up for the successful sacrifice bunt opportunity to give MMU their first run and allowed Lisa George (Fr./Naches, Wash.) to bring in Beck the very next at-bat with a single to left field and tying things at 2-2.
The Bears added two more runs in their turn in the fifth after a wild throw on a sacrifice bunt by the Blue Angels. The extra runs gave the Bears the lead which they would not surrender after that which led to the 4-2 win for Bridgewater State.
Harnsberger was dealt the loss in game one throwing 6.0 innings, with four base by balls, five hits, four runs and two earned runs. Teammate Audrey Beck led the offense in game one going 2-of-2 at the plate with a run and a stolen base.
The "green" Blue Angels got more of their offense rolling in the second game. After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Adrianna Nester (Fr./Anaheim, Calif.), MMU came out aggressive with the bats. Lone senior Jess Runge (Freedom, Wis.) led the inning off with a single. After a fielder's choice and a strikeout, fellow upperclassmen Payton Hintz (Jr./Almond, Wis.) blasted a shot to center field scoring the runner on third base.
Two quick defensive miscues, a walk and a passed ball, gave the Cougars that run back in the top of the second inning.
The Cougars would add three more runs over the remaining innings, with only two earned runs. The Blue Angels continually tested the Cougars defense stranding six runners in the final five innings, but MMU could not chip away at the lead.
Nester record the loss pitching 4.0 innings, walking five, with two hits surrendered and two earned runs. Stephanie Norman (Noblesville, Ind.) came on for relief throwing 3.0 innings, giving up three hits, one unearned run while striking out two.
Amelia Flint led the offense going 2-of-3 at the plate with a double and a triple. Teammate Katie Arce (Fr./Cypress, Calif.) also hit 2-of-3 from the plate against the Cougars.
Following today's doubleheader, the Blue Angels will quickly rest and turnaround to play another doubleheader tomorrow morning. MMU will first play Rivier University (0-2) at 8:00 am CST, then they will take on New Jersey City College (2-0) with first pitch scheduled for 10:00 am Mon. Mar. 6. Keep an eye on mtmaryathetlics.com for updates, news and box scores following the game.