Morningside opened its 2014 softball campaign with 7-4 and 10-0 setbacks against NCAA Division II University of West Florida on Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla.
The sweep lifted the Argos’ record to 15-12.
Morningside dropped the opener even though it outhit the Argos by an 11-7 margin. However, the Mustangs made three errors in the field, paving the way to three unearned runs.
After Morningside left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, the Argos scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to take an early lead.
West Florida maintained its 2-0 lead until the Mustangs tied the score with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Mustangs did all of the damage with two outs and nobody on base. Elin Landgren stroked a two-out single to keep the inning alive and Taylor Daas followed with a game-tying home run.
The Argos regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, the first on a RBI single by Caroline Kaston and the second run scored on a wild pitch. The Argos padded their advantage with two more runs in the fifth and another score in the sixth.
Morningside scored in the fifth when Michelle Brockamp doubled and came home on a two-out double by Morgan Fogelman and added another run in the seventh when pinch-runner Rachel Hinners scored on a wild pitch.
Brockamp was the big hitter in the Mustangs’ lineup with a double and two singles in four at-bats. Daas had two hits with a home run and single, Rachel Koch had a double and single, and Landgren had a pair of singles. Morningside’s other hits were a double by Fogelman and a single by McKenzie Anderson.
Mustang pitcher Jordan Johnson allowed seven hits with seven walks and four strikeouts in a six-inning complete game effort.
West Florida’s Taylor Bailey got the pitching win despite yielding 10 hits in her six-inning stint. She walked two and struck out seven.
Kaston went three-for-four and Lauren Correia had a pair of doubles and two RBIs to pace the Argos’ offensive attack.
After banging out 11 hits in the opener, the Mustangs were held to one hit against Argo pitcher Rebecca Hein in a five-inning nightcap. Hein walked six and struck out two.
The Mustangs’ only hit was a leadoff single by Anderson in the second inning.
West Florida scored 10 runs on eight hits in the four innings it batted. The Argos led 3-0 after two frames and broke the game open with a six-run third that featured a two-run single by Jordan Camp.
Camp and Hannah Dowling each had two hits for the Argos, while Audrey Harner slugged a two-run home run in the second inning.
Morningside pitcher Kayla Salonen allowed eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Game One Box
Game Two Box
Morningside is picked second in the GPAC Softball Coaches' Pre-Season Poll.
The Mustangs received four of the 11 first place votes and 91 points to finish four points behind defending champion Hastings in the coaches' pre-season poll.
Morningside posted a 31-16 record last season and finished second in the GPAC with a 15-5 league mark. The Mustangs won the GPAC’s post-season tournament championship to secure a fifth consecutive appearance in the NAIA Softball National Championship tournament.
Morningside will open the 2014 season at the Friends University triangular on March 1 and 2 in Wichita, Kan.
Click here for the complete GPAC Softball Coaches’ Pre-Season Poll results.