Posted by: Josh Wheeler / @JoshWheeler23
St. Cloud State entered Saturday’s doubleheader after a 22-0 domination of the Minnesota State-Moorhead Dragons through both games on Thursday. Huskies offense looked to remain red hot going into a weekend where they were going to be battle tested faced with elite pitching in both Concordia St. Paul and Minnesota State Mankato. Huskies riding an impressive twelve game win streak into Saturdays matchups.
The Huskies would send their ace Trinity Junker to the circle up against Bryanna Olson for the Golden Bears. Junker, currently ranking third in the NSIC in earned run average up against the fourth spot in that category in Olson. Through the first couple innings the Huskies found themselves reaching for their first run as they were able to get a couple runners but the Golden Bears pitching and tightly knit defense were able to lock up the Huskies offense. Huskies pitcher Trinity Junker put on an impressive showing as well, striking out nine batters in the first game, which included a dominant third inning tallying three strikeouts. Eventually the Huskies figured out Olson as heavy hitters Sydney Trees and Jasmin Estrada strung together a pair of hits and ultimately they squeezed in a run on a well-laid bunt by Sophie Culhaine putting St. Cloud State up 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Golden Bears wouldn’t take long to answer back as they squeezed in a run of their own in the next frame as they were able to go up 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning. Bryanna Olson would continue on from the circle as she would shut down any chances the Huskies had in the remaining three chances to the plate after that as she finished out a complete game 7 inning performance only allowing the Huskies five hits and striking out nine in route to a victory over St. Cloud State in the first game 2-1. With the loss, St. Cloud State would see their twelve game winning streak come to an abrupt end and would look to split the series in the second game.
Moving onto the second game, the pace quickly picked up as Concordia St. Paul would open up the scoring early in the first inning as Claire Heislen would knock a leadoff double out to left center eventually advancing to third on a passed ball allowing Grace Beseman to hit a sacrifice fly to score Heislen as the Golden Bears were off to a 1-0 lead in the opening moments of the first inning. Huskies would answer back in the second as Alexandra Pinkowski would take advantage of an error and passed ball by Concordia- St. Paul eventually scored from second base on an RBI double by Lydia Kureger knotting the game at 1 a piece after 2 innings. Just as the bats were heating up for St. Cloud State, the Golden Bears kept their bats even hotter as they would respond right away in the third inning as the two teams would trade hits and runs over the next couple innings due to Lydia Kureger striking again with another hit of her own alongside Vanden Langenberg proving once again why she has been an offensive force this season pushing the Huskies ahead yet again 3-2 heading into the sixth inning where Concordia would once again find a way to tie the game.However the Huskies were not able to sustain their defense and pitching as the Huskies would give up another big hit to Grace Beseman followed by Alexus Houston who would single to right centerfield and reel in the leading run by Beseman as Concordia St. Paul would take the 4-3 lead and close down the heart of the Huskies line up in the bottom portion of the 7th.
The Huskies have a quick turnaround as they look ahead to Sunday’s doubleheader hosting Minnesota State Mankato at Selke Field at 1:00pm and 3:00pm over on 97.5 RadioX.