CLERMONT, Fla. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College softball program lost to Minnesota State University – Mankato, 7-2, on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks, who are ranked number one in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 poll, fall to 6-2 on the year. The Mavericks, who won the 2017 Division II national championship, improve to 5-5.
A four-run fourth inning was the difference in the game as Minnesota State took advantage of three errors to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
A homer to left center by Amber Kral started the inning for the Mavericks. A single by Hannah Hastings followed the long ball and a pinch-runner came in and scored on an error two batters later, before yet another error made it 3-1. Haylee Bridges scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball.
The Mavericks tied the game in the third inning on a RBI single by McKenzie Paap. Saint Anselm cut the lead in half in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) but Minnesota State scored two more in the bottom of the fifth to regain a five-run advantage.
Julia Bastian got the win for the Mavericks, going six full innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk. She also had a strikeout. Mackenzie Ward picked up the save with one inning of relief.
Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) suffered the loss for Saint Anselm in the circle. She allowed two runs on four hits and had a pair of strikeouts. Sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) pitched an inning in relief for the Hawks while freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) went two innings.
Saint Anselm plays LIU Post in a double-header on Sunday, Mar. 3, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Kissimmee, Fla. The Hawks defeated the Pioneers in last season's NCAA Super Regionals.