ABERDEEN, S.D. – Shifting gears from last weekend’s trip to Texas that saw three of five games canceled due to weather, Morningside’s softball team headed north to Aberdeen to participate in Presentation College’s Dome Classic. The Mustangs took care of business in both matchups of the day, heading home with a 10-2 win over York College of Nebraska and an 8-2 win over Dickinson State University of North Dakota.
Morningside, the home team for the day’s early game, tapped Alex Nelson (SO/Sioux Falls, SD) to take the rubber against York. Nelson hurled for four innings, giving up four hits, two runs, one of which was earned, with two walks and one strikeout while giving up one home run. Nelson faced 14 batters.
Morningside answered York’s first inning unearned run with four runs of their own. Ellie Cropley(FR/Sioux City, IA) led off with a single, followed by Carson Cameron (SO/Herman, NE), moving Cropley to second. Josie Baxter (FR/Lincoln, NE) grounded out to first, advancing Cropley and Cameron. Morgan Nixon (FR/Omaha, NE) went to bat for another single, scoring both Cropley and Cameron and advancing to second. Lexie Stolen (SO/Sioux City, IA) grounded to the shortstop, but reached on an error. Mackenzie Lose (JR/Indianola, IA) grounded to third advancing Nixon and Stolen, setting up a pair of RBIs for Rebecca Riley (SR/Gothenburg, NE) to claim on the next at bat.
Skipping to the bottom of the fourth, Cropley doubled with one out, Cameron singled, advancing Cropley. Cameron advanced on the play. Baxter singled, advancing Cameron and Cropley. Nixon stepped to the plate and homered, scoring another trio of Mustang runs. Lose reached first after being hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a passed ball, and stole third before the end of the inning.
Nelson was replaced for the fifth and sixth innings by Paige Lansink (SR/Manilla, IA). Lansink held York scoreless, facing just six batters, and struck out a pair across the two innings.
The Mustang half of the sixth consisted was led off by a home run by Jessica Walker. McKenna Becker (FR/Elkhorn, NE) came in and contributed a pinch hit single and scored on a Keely Steffen (SO/Moville, IA) triple, ending the game in the sixth.
Morningside scored 10 runs off of 17 hits. The Mustangs had one stolen base, one error and left seven runners on base against York.
The Mustangs’ second game for the day saw Morningside in the guest slot against the Blue Hawks of Dickinson State. The Mustangs sent Hallie Misiaszek (SR/Mitchell, SD) to the mound for all seven innings, giving up two runs on a single and a home run while striking out eight.
Morningside was held quiet until the top of the third inning, when a Cortney Joiner (JR/Carlisle, IA) single with one out got things started. Cropley coaxed a walk ahead of a Jayden Wood(SO/Gretna, NE) single. Stolen doubled, scoring Cropley and Joiner while advancing Wood.
The top of the fifth started out with a single from Wood, followed by a two-run homer for Nixon to put the Mustangs up 4-2.
Morningside was able to string together another run in the sixth, starting with Cropley on second after a single and moving over on a throwing error. Wood dropped a sacrifice to third, moving Cropley to third. Cropley then scored off of a Stolen double to left.
The Mustangs scored again in the top of the third, starting with a single from Lose. Jess Walker(SO/Plattsmouth, NE) reached first on a fielder’s choice, while moving Lose over. Steffen also reached on a fielder’s choice, this time with Lose being thrown out at third. Ashton Whited(JR/Elkhorn, NE) stepped to the plate, advancing Steffen to third and scoring Walker while taking first base and moving to second on the play. Cropley singled again, scoring Steffen and moving Whited, who then scored on a throwing error.
Morningside scored eight runs off 13 hits, leaving nine on base against Dickinson State.
“The team continues to grow each game and builds confidence while continuing to learn from each other,” said head coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann after the team’s games.
The Mustangs, now 4-0, are scheduled to be back in action on March 1st, participating in the Friends Tournament, hosted by Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. Opponents in the tournament include currently top-ranked Oklahoma City University, York College, Texas Wesleyan University, Ottawa University, and McPherson College.