LOS ANGELES, Calif. --- The University of North Dakota women's softball team improved to 2-1 in the Loyala Marymount Marina International Hotel Showcase today after being edged 4-3 by host LMU and routing Great West Conference rival Utah Valley 8-2.
Sophomore Brittany Baker led the Sioux with two home runs on the day, her fourth in five games and team-leading sixth of the season.
"Overall we had a pretty good day," head coach Sami Strinz said. "The LMU game was a hard fought battle. We had a couple costly mistakes that made the difference in the game. Brittany Baker hit a monster of a shot for us."
"The second game went really well for us. We had good defense and did another good job swinging the bats. Brittany hit another monster shot and so did Caralyn. We had a great team effort."
The Sioux will close out the tournament and their spring break trip tomorrow afternoon with a single game against Bethune-Cookman at 1 p.m. Central Time.
LMU 4, UND 3
Solid pitching and a mixture of small-ball combined with the long-ball matched the Sioux inning-for-inning with LMU, but a single sixth-inning run was enough for the Lions to sneak by for the 4-3 win.
UND had seven batters reach in the game off five hits and two walks. Four of those hits were singles which the Sioux attempted to maximize their opportunities with five sacrifices in the game.
Emma Gronseth (Forest Grove, Ore.) and Michelle Frank (Chaska, Minn.) combined to allow two earned runs (four total) off 10 hits and three walks, picking up six strikeouts.
Cami Bennett (Grants Pass, Ore.) led off the first inning with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Caralyn Chewning (Willamina, Ore.). Chewning would reach first and Bennett would advance to third on a throwing error by the Lions.
Attempting a double steal, Bennett would score from third while Chewning was thrown out at second as the Sioux took an early 1-0 lead.
LMU would tie the game taking advantage of an illegal pitch after loading the bases with two hits and one walk.
The 1-1 score held until the fourth inning when Baker hit her first two-RBI home run of the day. The Sioux went up 3-1 as Chewning led off the inning with a single before Bakers blast to center field.
Again the Lions were able to match UND scoring two runs in their half of the inning. LMU pushed two across home off a pair of hits and one Sioux error.
The Lions would score the eventual game-winning run in the sixth inning with a lead-off bunt single, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI double by Sam Fischer.
UND 8, UVU 2
UVU took a 2-0 lead after the Sioux nearly got out of a third-inning jam unscathed. The Wolverines led off the inning with two singles and loaded the bases on a defensive error on a sacrifice bunt. Chewning recorded the next two outs not allowing a run, but a two-out single drove in two.
The Sioux quickly answered to take their first lead of the game with three runs in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of home runs. Chewning hit a solo-shot and Baker hit her second of the day, again a two-run bomb to center field.
UND would add two runs in the fourth inning taking advantage of Wolverines mistakes. Amanda Johnson would lead off the inning with a walk, Bennett would reach on an error and Kayelee Schoeny (Redlands, Calif.) picked up an RBI with the innings only hit, a single to center field. Chewning would later pick up her second RBI of the game with a sacrifice-fly to left field.
With the momentum clearly on the side of the Sioux, they would add to their lead in the sixth inning as Schoeny picked up her first triple of the season and collected two more RBI. Chewning followed with a single to right field to score Schoeny and match her with her third RBI of the game.
The Wolverines would pick up a walk and a single in the seventh inning but Chewning would record a strikeout and a pop out to pick up the win pitching the complete game.
Chewning finished the game allowing zero earned runs (two total) off seven hits and two walks to pick up her first collegiate win.