ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Mount Mary University softball team swept host Beloit College today at the Sportscore Complex. The Blue Angels (2-2) defeated the Bucaneers 5-3 in the first game, then 6-3 in game two.
Haley Smalley (Jr./Columbus, Ind.) took the circle today for the Blue Angels in game one. The junior hurler surrendered her only earned run of the day in inning number one. after BC's lead-off reached via a walk, a steal set the Bucs up for a run during the following at-bat when a single to left field score the game's opening mark.
MMU responded in the next half inning when Hannah Harnsberger (So./Hillsboro, Ore.) scored Aislinn Strusz (Fr./Aurora, Ill.) on a ground-single up the middle of the infield. Beloit responded the very next frame when a lead-off error by the Blue Angels led to a run scoring on a two-out groundout.
Haley Jacquez (Jr./Oakley, Calif.) began MMU's half of the third inning with a well-placed bunt single. Following a steal, a walk and an error by the Bucs, the Blue Angels received their first lead of the game when Aislinn Strusz smacked a single to right field that scored runners from second and third.
After Beloit tied thing up in the bottom of the third on another unearned run, the teams went scoreless until the top of the sixth. Amelia Flint (Sr./Whitefish Bay, Wis.) crushed a one-out ground-rule double in the sixth then was sent home via a Karley Marcelina-Vega single the very next at-bat.
The Blue Angels then added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. After the first two batters were retired, Haley Johnson (Jr./Germantown, Wis.) laced a single to right field. Johnson scored when Adrianna Nester (Jr./Anaheim, Calif.) smacked the game's only triple giving MMU the 5-3 lead.
Smalley closed out the complete game going 7.0 innings surrendering one earned run off seven hits. Smalley is now 1-1 on the season.
Out of the nine total batters in the first game for the Blue Angels, seven tallied a hit. Strusz led with a pair of RBIs.
In game two, the Blue Angels pounced on the opposition quickly. After reaching on back-to-back errors by the Bucs, MMU scored two runs when Strusz laced an RBI single. With Strusz at second and Flint at third base, the Blue Angels scored two runs when BC committed two errors in the same play. MMU added one more unearned run to enter the bottom of the first inning up four runs.
Harnsberger started game two in the circle for the Blue Angels. The young pitcher gave up a double to lead off the first inning. That runner came around to score along with the batter after the Blue Angels committed a pair of errors in the same play. The botched single turned cut the lead in half for MMU, but the Blue Angels were then able to keep their opponent scoreless for the next 10 batters.
In the bottom of the third the Bucs added their third and final run of the day when a two-out single scored a runner from second base.
It was not until the top of the seventh inning that either team scored another run. The Blue Angels scored their first run after three infield singles. The last of those three gave Haley Johnson the RBI and MMU a 5-3 lead. The very next batter, Taylor Hienbuecher (Fr./Sycamore, Ill.) reached on a bunt turned fielder's choice that scored Strusz from third.
Adrianna Nester took over pitching duties in the seventh inning to finish. After giving up a lead-off walk and then single, Nester retired the next three batters in order including one strikeout.
Harnsberger went 6.0 innings surrendering three runs, one earned run off six hits. Harnsberger struck out a pair and had no walks.
Strusz led the offense for the Blue Angels in game two going 2-of-4 from the plate with an RBI.
The Blue Angels return to action tomorrow when they take on host St. Ambrose and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Iowa. Game one for Sat. Mar. 2 will begin at 12:00 pm. Links for live coverage of the event can be found at MtMaryAthletics.com.