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Cougars take two from Saints

The University of Minnesota, Morris softball team scored early and often against the Presentation College Saints Wednesday, April 18, as they took game one 12-3. In the second game of the doubleheader the Cougars trailed early, but came back to win 11-3 after a big fourth inning.

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Starting the first game on the mound, Mariah Essig struck out six and gave up only three hits as she recorded her fifth win of the season.

The Cougars gave up a run in the first, but put up three in the bottom of the inning, taking the lead on a two-RBI single off the bat of Molly Olson.

In the bottom of the third, Morris put up another crooked number by capitalizing on a pair of Saints errors to take a 7-1 lead.

In the third the Saints put together a rally, scoring two runs as the catcher Michelle Stratton, hit a two-RBI double and brought the score to within four. In the bottom of the inning the Cougars answered as Natasha Weibold doubled to score Kristy Hoge and increase the lead to 8-3.

Essig was able to hold off the Saints in the final two innings and with a four-run inning in the bottom of the fourth the Cougars were able to beat the Saints 12-3 in five innings.

In the first game Wiebold and Olson led the Cougars in hits, each going 3-for-3, while Olson also led the Cougars in RBIs with three. With six strikeouts Essig improved her season total to 60 (third in the UMAC).

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In the second game of the day Kelsey Draper took the mound, but was quickly relieved by Kelli Hamilton in the second inning. Hamilton went on to finish the game with five scoreless innings while allowing only two hits.

The Cougars started out slow offensively in the second game, but erupted in the fourth, scoring eight runs on seven hits. Olson started out the inning with a double and went on to score as Jordan Iverson beat out an infield single. Draper reached on an error and Iverson came around to score to tie the game up at 3-3. With a Laura Lhotka double that scored Draper, Morris took the lead for good at 4-3. The Cougars went on to score five more runs in the inning to increase their lead to 9-3.

Morris went on to take the second game of the day 11-3 in six innings as the Cougars pieced together a run in each of the final innings and Hamilton was able to close the door and improve her record to 5-6.

The top of the Cougar lineup, led by Mercedes Klimek, Olson, and Iverson, each recorded two hits and two RBIs and combined for five runs scored.

Olson led the Cougars on the day with five hits and improved her team leading batting average to .460.