Same story, different day.
Minot State’s Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference softball game against Wayne State on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium was eerily similar to the Beavers conference opener – a doubleheader – just two days prior.
MSU fell behind early and couldn’t rally as the Beavers fell 9-2 and 12-2 to drop to 0-4 in conference play.
“I wish it was the other way around,” MSU coach Bill Triplett said. “This weekend the other team jumped on us all four times and its tough to come back. We are going to have be somehow be a little better in the first couple of innings, going forward.”
The Wildcats scored three first-inning runs in Game 1 and plated a first-inning run in Game 2 as well.
“That’s something we’ve really been working on is playing with a lead,” Wayne State coach Shelli Manson said.
MSU junior pitcher Clarissa Ramirez got the start in the first game and she struggled.
Ramirez – who was coming off two relief outings on Thursday that saw her yield just two hits and no runs in 4.1 innings of work – surrendered 10 hits and six runs in 3.1 innings pitched.
WSU freshman designated hitter Abbie Hix tagged Ramirez for two homers – a two-run shot in the first and another two-run blast in the third inning.
And she wasn’t the only Wildcat to log a solid opening game.
Senior outfielder Lexie Loos and junior first baseman Melanie Alyea recorded five and three hits, respectively.
“We hit really well,” Manson said. “We stayed disciplined and that’s what we’ve really been working on.”
Junior second baseman Rachel Burdette was the lone bright spot for the Beavers, cranking out three hits one of which was a dinger, her second in as many games.
“She’s a great hitter and she has a great swing and she knows how to hit,” Triplett said. “I expect a lot out of her this season.”
Burdette, however, didn’t have the strongest of games in the nightcap, going hitless in four at bats.
And neither did many of the Beavers.
Junior Alyssa Cornejo got the nod in the circle and she was less-than stellaer.
Cornejo – while still trying to rehab an injured throwing shoulder – went 4.2 innings, giving up nine hits and six earned runs.
“(Cornejo) is hurting, so we took her out in the second game,” Triplett said. “I think if we get some warmer weather and have some time off, she’ll bounce back. She can be really good some days and we just hope she can get healthy.”
Cornejo also didn’t get much help from her teammates.
The Beavers only logged six hits in Game 2 as sophomore outfielder Kyla Larson led the way with two hits, which included her first career homer.
Senior catcher Katelyn Wobken led the way for the Wildcats with two hits and three runs batted in. Loos and senior second baseman Morgan Hoeg both knocked in two runs apiece.
Four straight losses at home isn’t what the Beavers envisioned in their first wave of conference play, but the players are confident they can right the ship.
“Coach pretty much told us to keep our heads and keep them in the game,” Burdette said. “Stay cool, things will get better and we’ll get better as the season goes through.”
The first chance to do so is Tuesday at Minnesota Crookston.
John Denega covers Minot High athletics, Minot State basketball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @JohnDenega_MDN.