FORT WORTH, Texas -- Morningside College, NAIA's ninth-ranked softball team, closed out a perfect 3-0 day to begin its 2017 season, blanking all three opponents during play at the Cowtown Classic.
The Mustangs posted shutouts over Tabor, York and Bethel behind the strength of pitchers Rachel Henks, a senior, and Andrea Medinger, a junior, and Suzanne Ras. Ras, a sophomore from Bancroft, Neb., earned her first collegiate victory against Bethel.
Morningside closes its opening weekend of play on Saturday against McPherson and Bacone.
MORNINGSIDE 8, TABOR 0: Rachel Henks, a lefthander, pitched a no-hitter and struck out 10 while leading ninth-ranked Morningside to a season-opening 8-0, five-inning win over Tabor.
Allie Martinez hit an RBI double for Coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann’s Mustangs, whose club has been picked to win the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Morningside, which returns all of its position player starters from last year’s 47-10 club that set a single-season victory record, also received an RBI triple from Moriah Bohlmann in the fourth inning.
Morningside closed the game with five runs in the fifth, a frame that included Emilee Dorpinghaus’s two-run double and Bohlmann’s two-run single.
Dorpinghaus, who batted .314 with two home runs and 30 RBIs last season, was 3-for-3, scored two runs and drove in two. Bohlmann was 2-for-3 with three RBIs while both Rachel Koch and McKenzie Anderson doubled and singled.
MORNINGSIDE 13, YORK 0: Andrea Medinger pitched a no-hitter and struck out seven as Morningside posted its second win at the Cowtown Classic, a game decided in five innings.
Morningside stretched a 1-0 lead with nine runs in the third inning, a frame where 13 batters went to the plate. Six Mustangs had hits in the third, including Abby Conner, who cleared the bases with a triple and McKenzie Anderson, who poked a two-run single.
Rachel Koch’s 3-for-3 slate included a two-run single in the fourth inning. Moriah Bohlmann was 3-for-4 with an RBI single in the third inning and Conner added two hits.
MORNINGSIDE 4, BETHEL 0: Suzanne Ras pitched five shutout innings, allowing only two hits, to get the win against Bethel. Rachel Henks struck out three batters while hurling a pair of hitless innings to get a save.
The Mustangs took a 2-0 lead when Allie Martinez doubled home two runs in the top of the first inning and staged another two-run inning in the fourth when Emilee Dorpinghaus tripled and came home on a groundout by Moriah Bohlmann and McKenzie Anderson singled and scored on a single by Mara Amsberry.
Dorpinghaus had a triple and single and Martinez had a double and single to pace a nine-hit Morningside offensive attack.
SAN DIEGO STATE 7, SOUTH DAKOTA 1: A three-run first pushed San Diego State past South Dakota in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament Friday on the San Diego State campus.
Jamie Holscher and Morgan Vasa had two hits each for the Coyotes with Vasa driving home Holscher with an RBI single.
UCLA 6, SOUTH DAKOTA 0: Johanna Grauer pitched a complete game three-hit shutout as eighth-ranked UCLA blanked South Dakota.
Ally Wiegand, the losing pitcher against SDSU, went the distance against the Bruins allowing 11 hits while walking one and striking out two.
Shelby Heil had two of the Coyotes three hits.
BETHANY 4-12, NORTHWESTERN 3-4: Northwestern drop a doubleheader against Bethany (Kan.) in its season opener Friday in Lindsborg, Kan.
Bethany scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to win the first game before plating 12 runs on 14 hits in game two.
Brianna Petrauskas and Jaclyn Smith had two hits each for the Red Raiders in the first game. Northwestern led 3-0 after scoring single runs in the third, fourth and fifth getting RBI's from Smith and Jessica Sandbulte.
Kayla Tindall, who pitched four shutout innings in the first game, suffered the loss in game two allowing 10 hits in three innings.
The Red Raiders were limited to three hits and committed five errors in the second game. Petrauskas had two hits and Cheyenne Wilcke one while providing RBI's in the game were Jensen Boger, Wilcke, Katie Elliott and Payton Goettsch.