(MSU Billings release)
GOLDEN, Colo. – Sunday was the first time this season the Montana State University Billings softball team (8-8) failed to pick up at least one win in a double header as they suffered a pair of losses at the hands of the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers (6-6) in Golden, Colo. The first game resulted in a 7-1 win for Mines before a 7-2 Oredigger win in the afternoon game.
Cameron Cassinelli led the MSUB offense with all three runs batted in during the 14 innings of play. The senior is now tied for the most RBI in a Yellowjacket career with 136 runners scored over her four seasons. The first baseman finished the day 3-for-6 with a triple.
Heather Tracy’s hit streak was extended with hits in both games on Sunday. The senior picked up a single during the first game of the day and hit her seventh career triple in the second game. Her seven triples are tied for the all-time lead among MSUB-hitters.
GAME ONE: Colorado Mines 7, MSU Billings 1
Pitcher Claire Stringfellow (3-3, 1.38 ERA) was dominant for the Orediggers in Game One as the left-hander didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning on a Tracy bunt. Allie Hughes drew a walk the first time through the order but the sophomore induced nine groundouts through the first four innings of work. She finished the complete-game performance allowing three hits and one run with two strikeouts.
Mines scored three runs in the bottom of the third to open up a 4-0 lead with Megan Dettling (2-2, 4.44 ERA) in the circle. A double from catcher Megan Dickson brought home two for the Orediggers and she later scored when Pua Fujinaga got caught in a run-down and eventually returned safely to first base allowing Dickson to steal home.
The Yellowjackets’ missed a key scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth inning after Hughes drew her second walk of the ballgame. After a fielder’s choice and a Mines error the ‘Jackets had Myrissa Prince and Kelsee Bushell on second and third with one out. Unfortunately the MSUB threat would pass after a fly out and a groundout ended the inning.
In the sixth, the ‘Jackets scratched across their only run of the game after Tracy reached on a hit-by-pitch. Dettling then hit into a fielder’s choice in which Tracy was forced out at second. A Brittanee Fisher groundout advanced Dettling to second and a wild pitch moved her to third. Cameron Cassinelli then drove in the ‘Jacket pitcher with a single up the middle of the Mines defense.
In the bottom of the inning Mines made the most of singles and aggressive base running to extend their lead. With just three singles, the CSM offense scored three runs while stealing two bases and drawing two walks to pull out to a 7-1 lead.
Dettling completed the game in the circle, finishing the game with five earned runs on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
GAME TWO: Colorado Mines 7, MSU Billings 2
Tracy jump started the offense in the top of the first inning with a one-out triple down the right field line. It is the seventh triple in Tracy’s career and ties her for the most by any Yellowjacket. Cassinelli delivered the first run of the game with a single that spotted Maddy Lincoln (5-4, 3.31 ERA) a 1-0 lead as she entered the circle in the bottom of the first.
Lincoln found early trouble in the bottom of the first after the first two batters of the inning reached on a single and an error but the left-hander worked out of the jam. She made an excellent snag on a high hopping ball up the middle to get the lead-runner out at third for the second out of the inning.
In the second the ‘Jackets had another scoring opportunity after singles from Prince and Bushell. Shayla Felix moved the pair of runners up with a sacrifice bunt that had runners in scoring position with one out. Mines’ Maddie Rodgers (2-1, 1.58 ERA) worked out of the jam to keep it a one run game.
The teams would combine for one hit in the third inning before the Orediggers blew the game open with a five-run bottom of the fourth. A leadoff triple resulted in a quick CSM run with an RBI-single. A double followed by an error and a single scored two more runs for Mines. Two more runs scored with Lincoln in the circle before freshman Haley Couch relieved the left-hander with the Orediggers leading 5-1. Couch ended the inning with a pair of groundouts to halt the rally.
Cassinelli drove in the second Yellowjacket run of the game with an RBI-triple in the top of the fifth inning that plated Dettling who reached on a single earlier in the inning.
The Colorado Mines offense continued to swing the bats well in the latter half of the fifth as they started with a solo home run from Katie Leiker to earn a 6-2 lead. The scoring continued with a manufactured run created by two singles and a stolen base making it 7-2.
Dettling pitched the final inning of the second game and struck out two batters.
The Yellowjackets will be off next weekend before heading to Burnaby, B.C. to start Great Northwest Athletic Conference play against the Simon Fraser Clan (3-0) on March 3-4.