CHARLESTON, S.C.-- The University of North Dakota softball team split a weather-shifted doubleheader with host Charleston Southern Thursday afternoon to open its 2018 season. UND dropped a tough 1-0 decision in the opener on an unearned run but roared back for a 4-2 win in the nightcap, highlighted by senior Hannah Bergh's complete-game win.
"We got two solid pitching performances today from both Kaylin VanDomelen and Hannah Bergh that allowed us to get the split," UND head coach Jordan Stevens said. "We've got to improve our mentality offensively and swing more aggressively. We've got to swing with more purpose. We've got to be able to win games that our pitchers do a good job keeping them at bay."
CSU took the early lead with an unearned tally in the second inning. After an error to get a runner aboard, the Buccaneers (1-1 overall) got a stolen base and an RBI single to give them the advantage, 1-0.
VanDomelen (0-1) worked out of a one-out fifth-inning jam to keep it close. A single between a pair of walks loaded the bases with one out, but VanDomelen would strike out the side by getting a swinging third strike and a caught looking to end the threat with North Dakota down just 1-0.
North Dakota didn't get a runner aboard past the third inning, however, and CSU was able to escape with the win. VanDomelen walked and had one of North Dakota's two hits in the opener.
North Dakota would be the benefactor of an error in the second, plating a pair of runs. After leadoff walks to both Taylor Nadler and Marina Marzolino, UND would score a pair with two down as Lexi Mayhood reached on a fielding error by the Bucs' third baseman, plating both Angel Love and Dani Romero for a 2-0 UND lead.
CSU countered in the third with a hit-by-pitch and a two-run homer to tie the score at 2-2. Bergh would settle in nicely after that, allowing just a pair of singles the rest of the way, allowing her offense to grab the lead.
They would do just that in the fifth when Natalie Gerber led off with a single to the right side then VanDomelen was hit by a pitch with two down. Nadler then laced a two-run double to left field to cash in both runners and reclaim the Fighting Hawks' two-run lead.
Bergh made it hold up, finishing with four hits allowed and six strikeouts, including the final two batters for her first win of the season.
Victoria Minor, Nadler, Love and Gerber all notched hits in game two for North Dakota.
UND continues play at the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational Friday with an 8:00 a.m. first pitch against Towson before facing North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
UND softball splits on opening day
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations