Mountie softball opens season with first day split at Shaw Softball Challenge
Senior Caitlin Klobosits stuck out 13 batters over six innings and freshman Ashley Inman drove in four runs to lead Mansfield to a 6-4 win over West Liberty (WV) in the opening game of the Shaw Softball Challenge in Raleigh, N.C. Friday afternoon.
The Mountaineers booted away their second game of the day in a 6-2 setback to Barton (NC).
In the opener against West Liberty, Mansfield got a strong performance on the mound from Caitlin Klobosits. The senior lefty dominated the game throughout the early innings, striking out five hitters in the first two innings alone including striking out the side in order in the second inning. Klobosits, who struck out five batters in a row over a three inning span, had fanned eight over the first four innings and didn't allow a hit until there was one out in the top of the fifth.
Mansfield broke up a 0-0 tie with three runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Stephanie Simmeth was hit by a pitch and moved to second when Chara Dixon reached on a fielder's choice. Kate Pratt then singled to load the bases before freshman Ashley Inman drilled a single to right field to plate all three base runners.
The Mountaineers added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kaitlyn Harris led off the inning with a double down the left field line followed by a single by Chrissy Lauer. Taylor Stupski then singled up the middle to score Harris while Lauer advanced to second. Simmeth walked to load the bases. One out later, Pratt drew a walk to bring in Lauer before Inman drove in M. Miller who had come in to run for Stupski giving Mansfield a 6-0 lead.
West Liberty chipped away at the score, getting single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth and added a pair of runs in the seventh before Emily Crandell came in relief to close out the game.
Mansfield had nine hits to West Liberty's five and played error free ball in their first game of the season. Kate Pratt went 2-2 with a double and RBI while Kaitlyn Harris also went 2-2 from the plate. Ashley Inman drove in four runs in her first collegiate game.
Klobosits picked up the win allowing four hits over six innings while striking out 13 batters, the second most in a game during her career, and walking three. Crandell picked up the save allowing a hit and recording a strikeout in working the seventh.
Sara Emerich went the first four innings to take the loss for West Liberty with Angela Johnson throwing two innings of no-hit ball in relief. Maggie Starr and Felicia Hulslander each drove in a run.
After playing flawless ball in the opener, Mansfield committed five errors in dropping a 6-2 loss to Barton (NC) in their second game of the day.
Barton got two runs in the top of the first with two outs off two Mountaineers errors. But the Mountaineer tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when Simmeth led off with a walk and later scored on a two-run home run over the center field fence by Pratt.
Barton got three more runs in the second inning helped by a Mansfield throwing error and added a solo run on a home run by Amanda Schatz in the fifth.
Pratt, who started on the mound and took the loss, went 3-3 in the game driving in both Mansfield runs. Courtney Bauder had the Mountaineers only other hit in the game.
Pratt struck out three and walked one in two innings while freshman Ashley Inman had a strong outing in her first collegiate pitching performance allowing just one hit in three innings while striking out three and walking none. Liz Pieniazek fanned three in two hitless innings to close out the game.
Mansfield will play West Virginia State and Concord tomorrow at Raleigh.