TUCSON, Ariz. – After having two days straight rained out, the Mount Mary University softball team resumed play today at the Tucson Invitational. The Blue Angels loss their first contest 6-3 against Bethany Lutheran, then George Fox University defeated MMU 19-5 in the day's finale.
Both teams came out of the gates ready to play softball after the two-day rain delay. The Blue Angels attacked early in the first inning as Adrianna Nester got MMU's offense roaring with a one-out double to right center.
The Blue Angels used that double to load the bases with just one out. Halley Smalley (Jr./Columbus, Ind.) then scored the games first run of the game with an RBI groundout to the pitcher. Then freshman Aislinn Strusz (Aurora, Ill.) followed that up with a two out single to right center to score two more runs and move the score to 3-0.
Nester started as pitcher in game one, but Bethany Lutheran came out just as aggressive as the Blue Angels in their opening frame. The Vikings hit safely with their leadoff batter, then after the lead runner was sent home on a single, BLC tied the game with a two-RBI double. The very next batter the Vikings hit another double to take an early 5-3 lead.
Haley Jacquez (Jr./Oakley, Calif.) cracked a one-out single in the third inning, but the Blue Angels stranded that opportunity with back-to-back fielder's choices.
The Vikings then added to their lead in the fifth inning when Haylee Sobero started the frame with her second double of the contest. The Blue Angels recorded the next out, but two errors in a row by MMU's defense led to Sobero crossing the plate making the score 6-3.
Strusz began the Blue Angels seventh inning with her second single of the day. Despite hard contact, the Blue Angels stranded Strusz to end the game 6-3.
Both Strusz and Jacquez finished the contest with multi-hit games to lead the Blue Angels offense.
Nester received the loss in the decision and is now 0-4 on the season. Nester completed 6.0 innings giving up six runs, five earned runs off eight hits.
In game two the Blue Angels took on George Fox University. The Bruins took an early lead with a 15-run first inning. GFU scored their runs on 12 hits and no errors by the Blue Angels. The leadoff runner for the Bruins batted three times in the opening frame.
The Bruins added three unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning. Then Blue Angels were able to add some of their own offense in the top half of the fourth inning when Taylor Hienbuecher (Fr./Sycamore, Ill.) laced a one-out single to center field. After a walk moved Hienbuecher into scoring position, the Blue Angels scored two runs on an error by the GFU center fielder.
MMU was able to add three runs in the top half of the fifth inning. Lauren Nylund (Fr./Muskego, Wis.) hit the lone single in the fifth frame for the Blue Angels. Nylund would come around to score un earned on a fielding error by the Bruins second basemen, then two more Blue Angels crossed the plate the next batter on a fielding error by the shortstop.
Nylund led the offense for the Blue Angels recording two of MMU's four hits in the contest.
Smalley was dealt the loss in the decision and is now 3-4 on the season. Hannah Harnsberger (Jr./Hillsboro, Ore.) came to pitch in relief for 2.0 innings giving up one unearned run on two hits.
The Blue Angels conclude their time at the Tucson Invite tomorrow with two late evening games tomorrow. MMU will first take on Gustavus Adolphus Fri. Mar. 15 at 6:00 PM MST, then the Blue Angels will conclude their invite with a rematch against St. Scholastica following game one. Check for updates at MtMaryAthletics.com.