SFU softball falls to Montana State Billings University in complete-game shutout in game one of home-opener doubleheader

Game two: the Clan comes back 7–5 after finding their offensive stride between games

The game was delayed two hours due to snow. (Photo courtesy of SFU Athletics)

After a two-hour game delay which saw the SFU Clan out shoveling snow off the field, the team seemed understandably tired when the game finally began. Once SFU’s pitcher, Alia Stachoski, hit the first batter from Montana State University Billings (MSUB) with a pitch, it was mostly downhill from there for the Clan.

The Clan showed some strong defence throughout the first game, with Hailey Gearey making some clutch contributions. In the second inning, she caught a line drive to help push her team along. She also helped make the fourth inning quick, with help from catcher Katherine Murnaghan, by tagging out MSUB’s Shayla Felix on her return to third from a steal attempt.

On the pitching side, Stachoski’s change-up messed with a few of the MSUB Yellowjackets, contributing to three strikeouts, but it didn’t take long for the visitors to have Stachoski’s number, knocking three homers (Myrissa Prince, Megan Dettling, and Heather Tracy) over the fence. It was the top of the sixth inning and the Clan quickly brought in Kyra Watson to pitch.

Unfortunately, the change didn’t trigger some much-needed momentum for the Clan, as the first batter Watson faced, Dettling, opened things right up with another over-the-fence home run. Though things were dire and SFU had yet to crack the scoreboard, it didn’t feel truly hopeless until later in the sixth inning, when MSUB’s Kelsee Bushell smacked another ball over the fence with bases loaded.

After that, the game ended with the Clan’s search for some offensive momentum pushed into game two.

The second game went much better for the Clan, who managed to keep a stable defence with pitcher Jessica Tate and scored some runs early in the game to break out of their funk. Both Taylor Lundrigan and Alex Ogg managed to double in the first inning, pushing an offensive momentum that resulted in two runs. In the second, the Clan followed with another couple of runs, this time thanks to Victoria Saunders’ sacrificial fly.

It took MSUB two innings to catch up to SFU, tying the game at four in the fourth, but SFU came out back on top in the fifth, following a Chelsea Hotner two-run double and Dallas Tilley’s single to bring Hotner home. At this point, the Clan was up 7–4.

The Yellowjackets worked to catch SFU again, but fell short, only managing one run in the sixth to leave the final score at 7–5.

SFU coach Mike Renney commented that “taking it on the chin in the first game was potentially a sign of the week catching up with them,” but added, “I was nonetheless very proud to see how they bounded back [in] game two [to] get the split.” Renney further noted that “in years past, one [lop]sided loss was often followed by another” so it was great to see the Clan really get to work in the second game.

The Clan is 1–1 for the weekend so far, and plays another doubleheader against MSUB today, with the first game starting at noon. Although the team has been tired, they managed to rally yesterday evening, and Renney agrees that “today will certainly test our fitness and resolve.”