Minnesota State University Mavericks Upend Angelo State in Game One of NCAA Softball National Championship Finals

Written by Bob on May 28th, 2017

COLEY RIES pitched six scoreless innings in leading Minnesota State to a 5-1 victory over Angelo State in the NCAA Division II Softball National Championship game, Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Salem, Virginia. Contributed Photo

SALEM, V.A. – Second-seeded Minnesota State upended first-seeded Angelo State, 5-1, in game one of the NCAA Championship Finals Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota State moves to 63-7 on the season and takes a 1-0 lead in the best of three series. Angelo State falls to 60-6 on the season and suffers its first loss of the NCAA postseason. Both teams will return to the field tomorrow for game two at 11:00 a.m. (CST) with an if necessary game three to follow.

Senior pitcher Coley Ries (40-3) earned her 40th win of the season with 11 strikeouts in a complete game. She tossed six scoreless innings before Angelo State tallied its first run of the game in the seventh inning. Junior Brandy Marlett (29-5) takes the loss with four strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched. Senior Kennedy Urbany also appeared in the circle to walk a batter in the sixth inning.

Following a scoreless opening first frame in which both teams left a runner on base, Minnesota State got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Junior Alyssa Rickels connected on a single down the left field line to send seniors Dana Mogren and Samantha Buhmann across for the games first runs. Rickels has registered at least one hit in every game of the NCAA Championships.

Ries settled into the game striking out six of the first 10 Rambelles she faced. Minnesota State threatened to add to its lead in the fourth frame getting two runners on base following a Rickels hit and a sophomore McKenzie Paap walk but both would be stranded after a fly out to center field.

Minnesota State added an insurance run in the sixth inning after sophomore Cori Kennedy connected on her sixth home run of the season with a solo shot over the left field fence to make the score 3-0. The hit snapped a two game hitless streak.

Angelo State attempted to rally getting a runner on base in the bottom half but the Minnesota State defense remained strong holding off the Rambelle.

The Mavericks put the game out of reach in the seventh frame as freshman Carly Esselman drilled a single up the middle to score junior Jess Meidl and freshman Caitlin Stone.

The Rambelles would not go away quietly scoring a run in the bottom half after a fielding error to make the score 5-1. However, the Maverick defense went on to work itself out of the jam to preserve the 5-1 win.

Minnesota State totaled nine hits as a team while Angelo State posted three. Rickels set the pace with a game-best three hits and two RBI. Meidl contributed two hits while freshman Carly Esselman added two RBI to round out the top performers.

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