Elin Landgren broke the NAIA record for most times hit by a pitch in a career to help Morningside clinch at least a share of the GPAC softball championship.

Rachel Henks

Elin Landgren

Elin Landgren, a senior catcher from Des Moines, Iowa, broke the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) softball national record for most times hit by a pitch in a career during the 10th-ranked Mustangs’ Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) doubleheader sweep of Dakota Wesleyan University on Thursday in Sioux City.

Landgren was hit by a pitch for the 72nd time in her career when Dakota Wesleyan’s Lorissa Loeppky hit her in the leg with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Mustangs’ 3-0 victory in the nightcap. Landgren, who has been hit by a pitch 21 times this season, had shared the previous NAIA national record with Lindsey Krippel of Olivet Nazarene University, who was hit 71 times during her career from 2013-16.

Morningside, which won the first game 10-3, clinched at least a share of the GPAC championship with its sweep of the Tigers. The Mustangs climbed to 33-8 overall and 15-3 in the GPAC for a two-game lead over runner-up Concordia University (13-5) with two games remaining. Morningside will wrap up its GPAC schedule with a Saturday home doubleheader against Midland University, while Concordia will complete its GPAC slate with a Saturday twin bill at Dordt College.

Abby Conner

Emilee Dorpinghaus

Morningside won its second consecutive GPAC regular season crown and its seventh GPAC title during the Jessica Jones-Sitzmann coaching era.

Morningside ace Rachel Henks was the winning pitcher in each game to improve her season’s record to 28-6.

Henks pitched a one-hitter with four walks and nine strikeouts in the opener before she came back strong with a two-hit shutout with no walks and five strikeouts in the nightcap.

Dakota Wesleyan made the most of its one hit in the first game when Amber Budmark blasted a three-run home run to give the Tigers a short lived 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The Mustangs answered in the bottom of the first when Allie Martinez slugged a two-out bases loaded clearing double off the left field fence to tie the score at three.

Morningside scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 5-3 lead. Abby Conner slugged a two-out double to plate the go-ahead run and then scored when Rachel Koch lined a single to right field.

McKenzie Anderson

Moriah Bohlmann

The Mustangs padded their lead to 7-3 with two more runs in the third. Emilee Dorpinghaus ignited the action with a leadoff double. Martinez delivered a RBI single to drive in Dorpinghaus and she eventually scored the second run of the inning on the combination of a single by Mara Amsberry and an error by the leftfielder.

Morningside used the long ball to break the game open in the bottom of the sixth when Conner blasted a two-run home run and Dorpinghaus slugged a solo shot to put the Mustangs in front 10-3.

Conner went three-for-three with a home run, double and three RBIs and Dorpinghaus went three-for-four with a home run and double to pace a 12-hit Morningside offensive attack. Martinez also had a multiple hit performance with a double, single and four RBIs.

Morningside took a 1-0 lead without the aid of a hit in the first inning of the nightcap. The Mustangs loaded the bases when Tracey Edwards and Koch both walked and Loeppky hit Dorpinghaus with a pitch. Edwards scored when Moriah Bohlmann hit a sacrifice fly that the Tigers’ second baseman ran down in foul territory.

The Mustangs increased their lead to 2-0 in the second inning when McKenzie Anderson doubled and scored on a two-out infield single by Edwards.

Loeppky blanked the Mustangs over the next three innings before Bohlmann led off the sixth inning with a home run to cap the scoring.

Loeppky limited the Mustangs to just five hits. She walked three, hit three batters and struck out five.

Bohlmann had a home run and single and Anderson had a double and single to account for four of the Mustangs’ hits. The other was a single by Edwards.