Morningside opened play in the NAIA Softball World Series with a 5-2 loss against Webber International. Photo / Gene Knudsen
Webber International pitcher Erika Bellinger shut down the Morningside offense when the Mustangs lost 5-2 in Friday’s NAIA Softball World Series opener at Morningside’s Elizabeth and Irving F. Jensen Softball Complex.
The loss snapped an eight-game losing streak for the 15th-ranked Mustangs (47-9) and dropped them into the loser’s bracket, where they will face third-ranked St. Gregory’s in a Saturday contest slated for 1 p.m. Webber International (31-14) will face second-ranked and two-time defending NAIA National Champion Auburn Montgomery on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Bellinger tamed the Mustangs with a five-hitter, struck out six, and didn’t walk a batter while improving her season’s record to 12-3.
Rachel Koch supplied much of Morningside’s offense and drove in both of the team’s runs with a RBI single in the third inning and a solo home run in the sixth.
Webber International led wire-to-wire after it scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. It took the Warriors just three batters to score when Alyssa Householder reached on a one-out single and Brandi Hazen followed with a laser home run over the center field fence.
The Mustangs bunched together three consecutive two out hits to break Bellinger’s shutout bid in the top of the third inning when singles by Mara Amsberry, Elin Landgren, and Koch produced a run.
Webber International answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a squeeze bunt by Laura Borders and a RBI double by Bellinger.
The Warriors increased their lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI double by Householder.
Koch homered with one out in the top of the sixth to complete the game’s scoring.
Koch went two-for-three with a home run. The Mustangs’ other hits were singles by Bohlmann, Landgren, and Emilee Dorpinghaus.
Householder and Shanelly Brown each had two hits for the Warriors.
Mustang starter Aubrey Voboril (21-3) allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts over the first four innings. Rachel Henks walked one and struck out two in two innings of hitless and scoreless relief.