(MSU Billings release)
ST. GEORGE, Utah – Brittanee Fisher hit a two run home run and a two run double in the same inning, helping the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets earn a 10-2 win over Metropolitan State University Denver in the final game of the Courtyard Classic Tournament, hosted by Dixie State University Saturday afternoon. Fisher hit her 18th career homer in the bottom of the third and the Yellowjackets batted around the order and scored seven runs to take a commanding lead. MSU Billings went 2-3 in the tournament but moved to 6-4 overall in non-conference softball games over the past two weeks.
Starting pitcher Maddy Lincoln (3-1) picked up the win for MSU Billings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits, walked two, and struck out three. Darby McGhee (0-3) took the loss for the Roadrunners, lasting 2.0 innings and allowing three earned runs on three hits with two walks.
“We definitely came out ready to go today,” said head coach Jessica Rayman after the game. “Yesterday was a tough loss and we came out a bit slow so to see our team bounce back today was really exciting. Maddy threw awesome for us today. It felt good to get her a win after she pitched well against Dixie State but wasn’t rewarded. I really want to see her continue to be consistent all year. We were able to give her some run support as well so she could kind of sit back and pitch her game.”
The Yellowjackets (6-4) return home after two weeks of travel before heading to Denver Saturday, February 16 for a doubleheader against Metro State Denver at Regency Athletic Complex. MSUB begins the Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule on March 2 against Western Washington and hosts a home game for the first time on March 16.
Sidney Pollard hit a double to the bottom of the left field fence in the bottom of the first inning to score a run and put MSUB in front 1-0. The big third inning for the Yellowjackets began when Pollard walked and Fisher homered to centerfield, which extended the lead to 3-0. The ‘Jackets were assisted by two hit batters, a fielding error, and a walk. Then Rylan Austin singled to centerfield, scoring Madison Kelly from third base.
Fisher came to the plate for the second time in the inning and slammed a double down the right field line to score Cailee Morgan and Payton Reynolds. Hughes became the 10th player to hit in the half inning and struck out swinging to end the third.
MSU Denver scored two runs on three hits in the top of the fourth but Lincoln got McGhee to fly out to right field, stranding two runners on base and keeping the score at 8-2.
MSUB loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth and Morgan laced a single past the pitcher to score Skyler Jenkins from third. With Kelly on third, Austin hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give MSUB a 10-2 lead.
Needing a run to avoid a run-rule shortened affair, Metro State Denver’s JJ Sheppard was hit by a Lincoln pitch with two outs. Celyn Whitt singled down the third base line to keep the Roadrunners alive but Lincoln struck out Laney Sheppard who was looking to end the game after four and a half innings.
Brittanee Fisher was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the day for MSU Billings and went 2-for-3 with one run scored. Austin had a pair of RBI’s and went 1-for-2. Kelly and Jenkins had one hit apiece and scored two runs each.
The Yellowjackets carried over their strong defensive play from Friday and ended with 10 runs on seven hits, zero errors. Metropolitan State Denver scored two runs on seven hits with three errors.
“We wanted to take the momentum early and run with it,” Rayman said. “Lately we have been putting ourselves in a hole early but we didn’t do that today. One thing about this team is that they continue to fight and learn every game. Our freshmen have really stepped up and all around, I have been really proud of everybody so far. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish the rest of the season.”