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MSU Billings women finish Tournament of Champions with split

Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:59:22-04

(MSU Billings release)

TURLOCK, Calif. – In their final day at the Tournament of Champions, the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets (12-17, 2-6 GNAC) split a pair of games against Dominican University (12-22, 3-11 PacWest) of California and Cal State, Monterey Bay (16-15, 9-10 CCAA) in Turlock, Calif. Sunday.

The ‘Jackets lost a 9-8 game to the Dominican Penguins as they made the most of their opportunities offensively but could not slow an offense that collected 14 hits. In their final game of the tournament, MSUB grabbed a 5-4 win on the back of a solid outing from Maddy Lincoln and the duo of Heather Tracy and Myrissa Prince at the top of the lineup.

Prince had a great day at the plate for the Yellowjackets as the second baseman went 4-for-7 with four RBI, two doubles and a run scored. The senior now has five doubles this season and 11 RBI. In the game against Monterey Bay, Prince stole two bases to record the first multi-steal game of her career.

Tracy picked up her eighth career triple in the game against Monterey Bay making her MSUB’s all-time leader in the category. It was the second triple of the season for the star senior. She finished the day 4-for-8 with a double, a triple, two RBI and a stolen base. Tracy finished the weekend 9-for-17 with five RBI.

Getting the start in Sunday’s second game, Lincoln collected her seventh win of the season. The sophomore had eight wins in 30 appearances as a freshman. She retired eight Otter-batters on strikes in the game, matching her season-high from a win over Simon Fraser.

Freshman Emily Martinez had a two-hit performance in the game against the Otters on Sunday. It is the first multi-hit game of her career and she also scored her first collegiate run in the game.

Amanda Barham joined Tracy as the only two ‘Jackets to get a hit in all five of the Yellowjackets’ games this weekend. The senior was 6-for-15 over the five games with two runs and two RBI. She has a career-high 30 hits this season while hitting .306.

GAME ONE: Dominican University of California 9, MSU Billings 8

In a wild game against the Dominican University of California Penguins, the Yellowjackets made the most of eight hits while capitalizing on five Dominican errors to score eight runs. However, the Penguins’ offense tallied 14 hits and 9 runs in the 9-8 win with the help of a six-run bottom of the fifth inning.

It looked like it may be a pitched duel at the start of the game as the teams combined for three hits in over the first two innings. Megan Dettling (3-4, 4.92 ERA) had seven strikeouts while allowing two runs and five hits through the first three innings.

Dominican started the scoring with a bases-loaded double in the third plating two runs. Trailing 2-0, the ‘Jackets collected just one it in the fourth before coming alive in the fifth. Allie Hughes collected the first of three-consecutive two-out hits for MSUB with a single. A Prince double cut the Dominican lead to 2-1. Tracy then drove in Prince with an RBI-single to tie the game.

The Penguins loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fifth and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice making it 3-2.

MSUB took its first lead in the top of the sixth with three runs off of two hits and an error. Cameron Cassinelli and Brittanee Fisher each worked walks to jump start the ‘Jacket offense. Barham collected an RBI-single before an error plated the second run of the inning for MSUB. Holding their first lead of the game, the Yellowjackets added one more run with Prince’s second RBI of the game to take a 5-3 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, the ‘Jackets lead was quickly erased. After Dominican loaded the bases against Haley Couch, Dettling re-entered to finish the game in the circle. The Penguins added up seven hits and six runs in the inning while adding a walk and taking a 9-5 lead.

Four defensive miscues from the Penguins nearly gave the game away in the seventh as MSUB scored three runs on one hit. Dettling led off the frame with a double and later scored on a throwing error. After another Fisher walk, an error scored Kelsee Bushell trimming the lead to 9-7. Fisher scored on one last error from the Penguins but a flyout sealed the 9-8 final score.

Dettling finished the game with nine strikeouts, it is the second time this season that she has struck out nine or more batters in a game. Prince was the only ‘Jacket with multiple hits in the game with a double and a single, she also led the team with two RBIs.

The top of the Penguins’ lineup did the majority of damage in the game as Vanessa Porto, McKenzie Schumacher and Alyssa Ramirez totaled nine hits and six runs.

GAME TWO: MSU Billings 5, California State University Monterey Bay 4

Maddy Lincoln (7-9, 4.07 ERA) took the circle to start the final game in Turlock for the Yellowjckets against the California State University, Monterey Bay Otters on Sunday. The left-hander pitched a complete game and earned the win after grinding through an Otter comeback in the top of the seventh inning.

Batting leadoff for the first time this season, Tracy started the game with a single for the ‘Jackets. A sacrifice bunt from Prince advanced the speedy Tracy to third and a throwing error allowed the first MSUB-run of the game.

In the second, Prince collected her second RBI-double of the day when she brought home Hughes on a shot down the right-field line. Hughes started the inning with a single and an Emily Martinez base hit put her in scoring position.

The Otters picked up an unearned run in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 2-1. After an error started the inning, a hit-by-pitch gave CSUMB runners on first and second with no outs. A single brought home the run to get the Otters on the board.

Answering the CSUMB run, the Yellowjackets added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Martinez and Barham collected back-to-back singles ahead of an RBI-double from Tracy making the score 3-1. Prince delivered a sacrifice bunt that plated Barham and made it 4-1 MSUB.

Following an uneventful fifth inning and a perfect top of the sixth from Lincoln, Tracy led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple. Prince followed with a hit to third base that prevented the defense from making a play as they held Tracy at third. Prince later stole second to put two ‘Jackets in scoring position. Cassinelli drove home a fifth MSUB run with a sacrifice fly and extend the lead 5-1.

The insurance run would prove to be vital as the Otter bats rallied in the top of the seventh. Lincoln started the inning with a strikeout but a Monterey Bay single followed. Lincoln sat another batter down on strikes before one more single gave CSUMB hope with two outs. Two more singles slimmed the lead to one run before Lincoln shut the door by inducing a groundout to Prince at second base.

The ‘Jackets are now 3-7 all-time against Monterey Bay. It is the first win over the Otters since 2015 for MSU Billings.

The Yellowjackets finished the weekend 2-3 after defeating San Francisco State and Monterey Bay while dropping games to Stanislaus State, No. 3 Chico State and Dominican.

NEXT:  MSUB will host their first games of the season this Friday when they welcome GNAC opponent Western Washington (9-19, 5-7 GNAC) to Avitus Group Stadium. The Yellowjackets and Vikings split four games in Bellingham, Wash. last season.