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Cougars drop two in softball home opener

The University of Minnesota, Morris softball team dropped two games Thursday to the Martin Luther Knights. The first game ended 7-6 in nine innings and the second 8-0 in five innings.

In the first game, Morris found themselves down early as the Knights were able to put up two runs in the top of the first. Then in the top of the second the Knights added one more to extend their lead to three.

The Cougars were able to get on the board in the bottom of the second. Morris knocked in two runs when Mercedes Klimek doubled to left field scoring Jordan Iverson, then Laura Lhotka singled scoring Klimek

The game stayed the same until the top of the fifth when the Knights knocked in two more runs, extending their lead to three.

The Cougars were down, but not out when they entered the bottom of the seventh trailing by three. In the inning, Molly Olson singled scoring Kelli Hamilton and Natasha Wiebold, bringing the score within one. Kelsey Draper stepped up to bat, reaching on a fielding error by the left fielder, scoring Olson. Draper was thrown out at second base ending the inning, but the score was all knotted up.

In the top of the eighth, the Knights added one more run to take the lead. While the Cougars in the bottom of the eighth scored on a Iverson homerun.

With the game still even at six, the Knights capitalized on a Cougar error and took the lead for good. Morris was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth, giving the first game to the Knights.

In the second game, it was all Martin Luther as they pounced all over Cougar pitching. In the first three innings, Martin Luther scored seven runs, including four in the fourth. In the fifth inning, the Knights were able to tack on another run, giving them an eight-run lead.

With the Knights up eight in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougar offense needed just one run to extend the game. They were not so lucky though. Morris struggled to get on base as they only were only able to get two hits all game.

The Cougar defense also struggled, as in both games they committed seven total errors.

With three games already done in conference play, the Cougars will hit the road to Mankato on Tuesday as they will play a doubleheader against Bethany Lutheran. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with the second game to follow right after