Waldorf and Belleuve Universities met for the fifth straight game Friday morning in the opening round of the North Star Athletic Association Softball Postseason Tournament at North Star Complex. The Bruins put together a combined seven runs in fifth and sixth inning to pull away past the Warriors 7-1.
Top-seed BU won their tenth straight game and moved on in the winner’s bracket against the winner of No. 5 seed Mayville State (N.D.)/No. 4 seed Viterbo (Wis.) at 5 p.m. (CT)/4 p.m. (MT). Eighth-seeded WU plays the loser of MSU/VU at 3 p.m. (CT)/2 p.m. (MT).
The first four innings saw a pitcher’s duel between WU’s Kaylie Brindley and BU’s Kelli Fisher where there were no runs scored. Hannah Carter led off the Bruins with a triple in the first inning but was unable to score. Kennedy Vinchattle had a double in the top third inning.
Bellevue took the first lead of the game in the bottom fifth inning. Emily Miller, who came in to pinch hit for Michaela Miller with one out, reached on base by a walk. Hannah Carter followed up with a double to advance Emily Miller to third base. BU took a 1-0 lead when WU committed a defensive error to allow Emily Miller to score.
After two straight walks to Kaitlyn Kinman and Erin Sharpe, the Bruins continued their scoring surge as the Warriors committed another defensive miscue. BU plated two more runs to extend their lead to 3-0.
Vinchattle led off the top sixth inning with a solo home run as the Warriors cut Bruins’ lead to 3-1.
Bellevue exploded for four runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Alex Tooley started the offensive explosion with a single. Emily Gigax hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Sarah Zeleny (pinch runner for Tooley) to third base. BU made it 4-1 after Emily Miller hit an RBI double to score Zeleny.
The Bruins continued their offensive outburst as Carter hit an RBI single to score Michaela Miller, extending BU’s lead to 5-1 in the bottom sixth.
Katie Goney reached on base by a walk in the bottom sixth for BU (Carter remained at second base). Sharpe recorded her fourth walk of the game to set up a bases loaded situation with two outs. Maddie Siedlik hit a 2-RBI single to bring in two runs as BU’s lead grew to 7-1.
Waldorf left two runners on base when the game ended, securing the win for Bellevue.
Carter was stellar at the plate, going 3-for-4 for the Bruins. She had a triple, double and single. She drove in a run and scored twice. Sayde Woten and Emily Miller each had a double. Siedlik had a single and two RBIs. Goney and Tooley each had a hit.
Vinchattle was 2-of-3 at the plate with a home run, double and an RBI for the Warriors. Hattie Hupke, Madison Mason and Brindley each tallied a single.
Bellevue recorded eight hits in the game compared to Waldorf five hits. Each team committed two defensive errors. The Bruins had eight runners left on base while the Warriors left seven runners on base.
Fisher (W, 28-4) tossed a complete game in the pitching circle for the Bruins. She allowed one run on five hits and recorded eight strikeouts.
Brindley (L, 9-14) recorded the loss after working for 5 1/3 innings for the Warriors. She gave up five runs (three unearned) on seven hits. She struck out six BU’s batters. McKenna Marcinkowski pitched 2/3 innings in relief, giving up two runs on one hit.
No. 23 Bellevue University (46-12) wins 7-1 over Waldorf University (15-28) during today’s North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Tournament opener at Dickinson, N.D.
Kennedy Vinchattle hits her 18th home run of the season to tie Waldorf’s single-season home run record, set in 2007 by Teresa Christ.
Waldorf continues the conference tournament, facing the loser of Mayville State University (20-24) and Viterbo University (21-29) in a 3 p.m. (MST) elimination game.
In other games #2 Jamestown (N.D.) 6, #7 Presentation (S.D.) 0 – FINAL