Mavericks Split First Day of Washburn Invite – Minnesota State University

Box Score 1 | Box Score 2 TOPEKA, Kan. – The Minnesota State softball team (6-2) split its first two games at the Washburn Invite on Friday. The Mavericks took down Newman (6-6), 7-0. In that game, catcher Ella Schulz went 2-3 and had four RBIs. MSU lost in its rematch against Emporia State, 3-2. The Mavericks couldn’t quite pull off a comeback, leaving two runners on base in the top of the seventh.
Game 1 vs Newman: Minnesota State 7, Newman 0
W: Oetzmann (2-1) L: Dewitt (0-1)
Minnesota State threatened in the bottom of the first, with runners on first and third with two outs, but the Jets got out of the inning with a pop up to the infield.

There were no other baserunners until the bottom of the third after Kylie Sullivan was hit by a pitch. Ellie Tallman singled to left field, and after Gianna Lara reached on a walk, the bases were loaded for MSU.

Freshman Courtney Kessler singled to right, which scored Sullivan. Tallman was thrown out trying to score. Cheyenne Behrends reached after getting hit by a pitch, loading the bases yet again. Izzy Hycnar walked, driving in the second run of the inning.

After a pitching change for Newman, another walk drove in another run, setting up a huge, bases-clearing double from Schulz, which put Minnesota State up 6-0.

The Mavericks were able to get out of a sticky situation, as Newman had runners on first and third, but Maddie Oetzmann got the third out of the inning with a groundout to third.

Behrends singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning for the Mavericks. After stealing second and third, Behrends scored on an RBI single from Schulz.

MSU was able to close out Newman by a final score of 7-0.

The Mavericks had six hits and were propelled by the huge third inning. Schulz had a career day, going 2-3 at the plate, driving in a career-high four RBIs. Tallman also had two hits against the Jets.

Oetzmann pitched six innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits. She finished with four strikeouts and earned her second win of the season and her career. Sophia Del Vecchio came in for the top of the seventh and struck out one batter.


Game 2 vs Emporia State: Minnesota State 2, Emporia State 3

W: Rabe (2-1) L: Armbruster (3-1) S: Harrison (1)

The Mavericks struck first again, with two-straight doubles to right field from Lara and then Kessler put Minnesota State up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.

MSU left two on base in the top of the second inning after Maddie Helin was hit by a pitch and Marina Carter reached on a throwing error. Sullivan grounded out to shortstop with runners on second and third to end the inning.

Hornets’ Haley Garnett rocked a pitch from McKayla Armbruster over the fence in center field to tie the game, 1-1, to lead off the bottom of the second inning.

Emporia State threatened again in the bottom of the third, putting runners on first and third with two outs. Armbruster was able to get a grounder to short and Hycnar made the play, ending the inning.

Minnesota State left two more on base in the top of the fourth. Hycnar singled through the right side and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Carter singled on a bunt, but Hycnar had to stay put at third because the bunt was knocked towards third base. Sullivan flew out to right field to end the top half of the inning.

The Hornets would load the bases in the bottom of the fifth with just one out thanks to two infield singles and a hit-by-pitch. After Armbruster struck out the following batter, Emporia State’s Avery Brewer hit a two-run single to put the Hornets up 3-1. After a walked batter, Armbruster struck out the final out of the inning, but the damage had been done.

After a clean sixth inning from both teams, the Mavericks put runners on first and second with no outs after Carter reached on an error and Sullivan singled to right. A Lara walk would load the bases. Kessler, with a full count, drove the ball to right field, where it was caught; It was deep enough, however, to score Carter from third, making the score 2-3. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, Behrends had a first pitch groundout to end the game.

Kessler went 2-3 against Emporia State, driving in both runs for the Mavericks. Lara reached base all three times, with a single, a double and a walk. Four other Mavericks had hits against the Hornets, however Minnesota State left nine runners on base.

Armbruster pitched six innings, gave up three runs on seven hits and walked one batter. She gave up her first home run of the young 2024 season, but still finished with seven strikeouts.

The Hornets ended with seven hits as a team. The homer from Garnett was her third of the season. Brewer’s RBI single gives her seven on the season.

“We left too many runners on base, missed too many scoring opportunities,” said Mavericks head coach Lori Meyer. “It comes down to timely hitting; ESU had that and unfortunately we didn’t. I did like our fight in the seventh, we just came up a little short. I’m really proud of how Armbruster competed today; this was Emporia State’s third time seeing her already this season, which is challenging.”

Looking ahead, Meyer emphasized a growth mindset, saying “We have to learn from today and continue to apply those learning moments into tomorrow’s games. Tomorrow is another tough day against quality opponents.”

The Mavericks are back in action tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 23, to continue the Washburn Invite. Minnesota State will first take on Southwest Baptist (9-4) at noon. The Mavericks will play Missouri Western (3-3) at 4:00 p.m.

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