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Cougar softball team sweeps Bethany Lutheran

Behind five hits and five RBI from Mercedes Klimek, the University of Minnesota, Morris softball team got back on track in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) play Tuesday, sweeping a doubleheader at Bethany Lutheran by scores of 7-2 and 7-3.

Klimek went 5-for-8 at the plate, scoring three runs, but driving in five with a homerun and double. She led an offensive explosion that saw six players chart multiple hits on the day, with their 20 hits over the two games a season best for a doubleheader.

Included in that mix was Jordan Iverson with a hit in each game, getting back on track after her five-game hitting streak came to an end their last time out. She has now hit safely in seven of the last eight games.

Also their 14 runs scored is second only to the 16 they scored last week in their sweep over Presentation.

Morris gets back over the .500 mark in the conference with the two wins, taking down the last unbeaten in the process. The Cougars also avenge their sweep at the hands of the Vikings last season, the only sweep UMM suffered all year.

Bethany Lutheran did manage nine hits in each game, but Cougar starters Mariah Essig and Kelli Hamilton scattered them throughout each game as each won their second game of the season.

Essig struck out six batters in the game-one win, while Hamilton charted a career-high five in game two. Each pitched a complete seven innings allowing just two earned runs.

In game one, the Cougars carried a one-run lead through the first four innings, before blowing it open with six in the fifth. Six hits in the inning led to the six runs, with the big blast coming on a grand slam from Klimek.

In the second game, a 1-1 score after two, became a 3-3 tie after the third. Then in the third, Klimek again started the rally, driving home Heather Brown on her two-out double down the line. One batter later, Molly Olson knocked out the Cougars' second homerun of the day, and UMM was in charge 6-3, on their way to the win.

At 3-2 in the UMAC, the Cougars are in a log jam in the league standings, with three teams holding identical records. After a couple days off, they hit the road again to Northwestern and Crown for a pair of doubleheaders on April 13 and