TUCSON, Ariz. – Today at the Tucson Invitational, the Mount Mary University softball team lost their two games. Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Blue Angels 2-1 in game one, then St. Scholastica won a late 7-6 game against MMU.
The Blue Angels attacked early at the plate against the Golden Gusties. Haley Jacquez (Jr./Oakley, Calif.) got the MMU offense going with a one-out single, then moved up all the way to third after a throwing error on the play. Sitting in scoring position with now two outs, Taylor Hienbuecher (Fr./Sycamore, Ill.) cracked another single for the Blue Angels which sent home Jacquez and gave MMU the early 1-0 lead.
Adrianna Nester (Jr./Anaheim, Calif.) received the start in the circle in game one for the Blue Angels. Nester held the opposition hitless until the second inning, but then stranded the only baserunner for Gustavus Adolphus retiring the next two batters.
Nester continued to keep the Golden Gusties offense at bay during the third inning, but GA led off the fourth inning with a single to left center field. The Gusties immediately sent the baserunner for on a stolen base attempt that moved Aly Freeman to second base. The next two batters were putout, but then Marissa Marsolek hit a clutch two-out double that tied the game 1-1.
An error gave the Golden Gusties a leadoff runner, and again they moved their runner up to scoring position via the stolen base. After a swinging-bunt moved the runner to third for Gustavus Adolphus a single to center field gave the Golden Gusties a 2-1 lead.
MMU went "three up, three down" on offense from the second to sixth inning, but had another surge in the seventh. After a groundout, Aislinn Strusz (Fr./Aurora, Ill.) struck a shot to left center that gave the Blue Angels their first baserunner since the opening frame. However, the Blue Angels would strand their final baserunner to end the game 2-1.
Nester went 6.0 innings and got the loss in the decision. She surrendered two runs, one earned run off five hits.
In the second game of the day for the Blue Angels, the bats were active early. After a leadoff strikeout by MMU, the Blue Angels bounced back against St. Scholastica with five consecutive hits. Haley Jacquez started the streak with a single, after two more singles Strusz laced a shot to right field to score Jacquez from third. Then Haley Smalley (Jr./Columbus, Ind.) stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double to left field.
Hannah Harnsberger (Jr./Hillsboro, Ore.) started at pitcher for MMU in the second contest. The Saints scored their first run in the bottom half of inning number one with on a steal play. With runners at first and third, the Saints forced the Blue Angels to make a quick decision, the result of the play was both runners reaching their destination safely for a 4-1 score after one inning.
The Saints added one more run in the third inning when a leadoff error by the Blue Angels led to a sacrifice fly by St. Scholastica to cut the lead down to two. St. Scholastica tacked on one more run in the fourth after a one-out double was brought home by a hard single up the middle.
MMU added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Haley Jacquez walked and moved to second base on a Saints fielding error. Hienbuecher ripped a double to left field to score Jacquez from second and push the score to 5-3.
St. Scholastica responded in their turn in the fifth inning. After the leadoff runner reached via error, a bunt single moved the runner into scoring position. A subsequent single scored the runner from second and set up the Saints with another first and third setup on the base paths. Again the Saints sent both runners on the steal attempt to force a decision, both runners were safe which tied the game 5-5. A walk and another single by St. Scholastica gave them a 6-5 lead after five.
The Blue Angels came back to tie the game in the sixth inning when Haley Smalley led the inning off with a walk, then MMU moved her over with a sacrifice bunt. Newcomer Karley Marcelina-Vega (Fr./Milwaukee, Wis.) smashed a shot up the middle to score Smalley and tie things at 6-6.
Tied until the bottom of the seventh, the Saints rallied with a one-out single, then a hit-by pitch and subsequent infield single loaded the bases. An error charged to Marcelina-Vega moved the walk-off run home and gave the Saints the 7-6 win.
Smalley came in relief for MMU in the circle and got hit with the loss in the decision going 2.2 innings and surrendering four runs, two earned runs off six hits. Harnsberger went 3.2 surrendering three runs, one earned run, off seven hits.
Hienbuecher led the offense for MMU in the second game going 3-of-4 at the plate with a double. Teammate Haley Smalley paced run scoring for MMU with a game high three RBIs.
The Blue Angels will now get ready for the remainder of their schedule back in the Midwest. Their next contest is scheduled for Fri. Mar. 29 at 3:00 pm at MacMurray College. Check back to MtMaryAthletics.com for updates and news.