Morningside will face Midland in the winner’s bracket final of the GPAC Softball Championship tournament.
Morningside drubbed Dordt 10-0 in five innings and held on for an 8-6 victory over Hastings to advance to Friday’s winner’s bracket final of the GPAC Softball Championship tournament in Hastings, Neb.
Morningside, the GPAC’s regular season champion, will take a 28-11 record into a 4 p.m. game against Midland in Friday’s winner’s bracket final of the double elimination tourney. The Mustangs have won the GPAC’s post-season tournament each of the last four years.
Morningside slugged five home runs in the win against Dordt. Four of them came in an eight-run fourth inning, including two by Michelle Brockamp, which matched her season’s total going into the contest. Brockamp led off the fourth inning with a home run before she blasted a two-run shot later in the inning to complete the scoring. The Mustangs’ other home runs in the inning were a two-run blast by Morgan Fogelman and a three-run shot by winning pitcher Jordan Johnson.
The Mustangs scored their first two runs in the bottom of the first inning when Taylor Daas led off with a home run and Kristina Neumann walked and eventually scored on a single by Kayla Salonen.
Morningside shelled Dordt starter Haley Fligge with nine hits. Brockamp led the way with her two home runs, while Daas also had a pair of hits with a home run and single.
Johnson twirled an abbreviated one-hit shutout to raise her record to 18-5. She walked two and struck out eight. Dordt’s only hit was a fourth inning single by Erica White.
The Mustangs came back from an early 4-0 first inning deficit in its win against Hastings in the winner’s bracket semifinals. Morningside halved its deficit to 4-2 on RBI singles by Fogelman and Daas in the second inning before it scored four more times in the third to take a 6-4 lead. The Mustangs tied the score at 4-4 on a two-run home run by Kayla Salonen and took the lead when Fogelman singled to drive in Elin Landgren and an error by the left fielder allowed McKenzie Anderson to score as well.
Morningside also scored runs on Hastings errors in the fifth and sixth innings to increase its lead to 8-4 and then held on when the Broncos rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh and left the bases loaded when Marina Stickley grounded out to end the game.
Johnson gave the Mustangs a complete game pitching performance after throwing all five innings in their opening game win. She scattered seven hits around five walks and 11 strikeouts.
Morningside collected 11 hits against Hastings pitcher McKenzie Welchert, who walked one and struck out two.
Fogelman had two hits and three RBIs and Salonen had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs to pace the Mustangs’ offensive attack. Daas and Brockamp each added a pair of singles.