DAVENPORT, Iowa – Today at the Ambrose Dome, the Mount Mary University softball team split games in their doubleheader. The Blue Angels (3-3) lost game one to the host St. Ambrose Fighting Bees 7-0 then defeated the St Louis College of Pharmacy 5-4 in eight innings in the day's second contest.
The Fighting Bees took a lead in their turn in the first inning of game one with Adrianna Nester (Jr./Anaheim, Calif.) starting at pitcher for the Blue Angels. After the lead-off batter reached on a bunt-single, Haley Johnson (Jr./Germantown, Wis.) quickly erased the baserunner with a well-timed throw when Fighting Bees attempted to steal during the next at-bat. But in the same at-bat, the Blue Angels gave up an error to St. Ambrose's Christina Pembrook.
That error led to the Fighting Bees scoring an unearned run in the very next at-bat on an RBI single to center field. Two batters later, a double off the bat of Libby Munsterman gave the Fighting Bees a 2-0 lead.
St. Ambrose added three more runs in the third inning. Pembrook led the inning off with a single to center field, then after stealing second base, the pitcher for the Fighting Bees was sent home on a Munsterman single. Then SAC added to the lead two batters later when a two-out error by the Blue Angels resulted in two unearned runs crossing the plate.
The Blue Angels broke into the hit column in the top of the fourth inning when Haley Johnson ripped a one-out single passed the right side of the infield.
SAC scored two more two-out runs in the bottom of the fifth. After a walk and a dropped third strike moved the lead-off runner to third, a single followed by a triple pushed the Fighting Bees lead to seven.
The Blue Angels pressured SAC in the top of the sixth inning when Taylor Hienbuecher (Fr./Sycamore, Ill.) singled to center field with one out. Following a fielder's choice, Johnson laced a shot back up the middle moving Lauren Nylund (Fr./Muskego, Wis.) from first base into scoring position. But the Fighting Bees escaped without any runs crossing.
Nester finished with 6.0 innings competed surrendering 11 hits and seven runs, three earned runs. Nester tallied six strikeouts but moves to 0-2 in her decisions on the season.
In game two, the Blue Angels started Haley Smalley (1-1) in the circle against the St. Louis College Pharmacy Eutectics. Both teams stranded two runners in the first inning, then MMU was able to break into the scoring column in the second inning.
Sandwiched in between two strikeouts, Taylor Hienbuecher reached base on a walk. Following the base-on-balls, Smalley reached on an error to the right fielder, and with two outs Hienbuecher was able to reach home on the miscue giving MMU the 1-0 lead.
The Eutectics answered in the bottom half of the third inning. After lead-off hitter Lauren Wright reached base on an MMU error, teammate Bear Wood smacked a two-run homerun giving the Eutectics a 2-1 lead.
MMU tied the game up in the very next half inning with a familiar combination. This time, Hienbuecher reached with base hit to right center. Following a timely sacrifice bunt from Hannah Harnsberger (Jr./Hillsboro, Ore.), Haley Smalley cracked a hit to right center to score Hienbuecher and tie the game.
The Blue Angels then took the lead in the top of the fifth inning when Haley Jacquez (Jr./Oakley, Calif.) began the inning with a triple to left center field. With one out, Amelia Flint (Sr./Whitefish Bay, Wis.) reached on a bunt attempt, but Jacquez was forced to stay at third base. Nester then laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher that was thrown off target and resulted in a score, and runners at second and third.
Newcomer Karley Marcelina-Vega (Fr./Milwaukee, Wis.) forced home a run on an RBI-fielder's choice that scored Flint and gave the Blue Angels a 4-2 lead. MMU carried that lead all the way to the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Eutectics rallied with one out in the seventh. Following a single and a double, SLCP scored on a groundout hit to first base. Then with two outs, the Eutectics scored on a throwing error by the Blue Angels which tied the game up 4-4 and eventually sending the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Blue Angels played small ball to their advantage. Hienbuecher led things off with a single to right field. Then MMU moved Hienbuecher to second on a sacrifice bunt by Harnsberger and subsequently thirdbase after Smalley grounded out to third.
With speedster Lauren Nylund at the plate, Hienbuecher scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. After the Eutectics escaped the inning with just the one run scoring, the Smalley sat down the opposition 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth to get the complete game.
Smalley tallied 8.0 innings in the circle and gave up four runs, two earned runs on her way to second win of the season. The junior struck out six batters and walked four.
After today's doubleheader, the Blue Angels will prepare themselves for their trip to Tucson, Ariz. where they will play 12 games in the span of a week starting Sat. Mar. 9. Check back to MtMaryAthletics.com for the varying links for stats, video and box scores.