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Miami softball picks up four wins

By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer

The Miami University softball team took home four wins in a five-game home-opening run this weekend.

The RedHawks split the Miami Invitational 2-2 before sweeping the University of North Dakota in a two-game series Monday.

"For the Invitational, we finished at .500 but we're disappointed," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "Robert Morris has one of the top pitchers in the region, but Dayton is the one game we have to take at home, since they're just up the road and we managed to take them to 8 innings. One thing that these games do is put us in a lot of situations, which helps us get prepared for conference play."

After opening the Miami Invitational with a 5-3 win against Oakland University Thursday, the 'Hawks (13-9) fell 1-0 to Robert Morris University Friday.

Miami's offense generated two hits and one walk total against RMU. Junior Amber Logemann pitched 6 innings and gave up one earned run in five hits.

The RedHawk hitters avenged Friday's loss in a 5-inning 14-3 victory Saturday against Detroit University. MU tallied 14 hits against three different pitchers and scored 11 runs in the first three innings, including a three-run home run by senior catcher Shanyn McIntyre.

The Titans put up a run in the bottom of the third, but the 'Hawks responded in the fifth by bringing home junior outfielder Taylor Shuey, senior outfielder Bree Lipscomb and junior infielder Hailey Reed.

Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Fredericks totaled one earned run on five hits and five stikeouts in 5 innings to pick up her first win of the season.

Sunday's matchup with University of Dayton became a pitcher's duel, as neither team produced much offense until seventh inning. The Red and White squandered their chance to score in the third when two runners were caught stealing.

The Flyers broke the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh, and the RedHawks countered with a RBI triple from McIntyre. However, Dayton's four unearned runs in the eighth sealed a 5-2 victory for the Flyers to conclude the Invitational.

Freshman catcher Rylee Whispel kicked off Monday's double-header with University of North Dakota after scoring in the first inning. UND responded with a solo shot in the following inning and three runs in the fifth. MU sophomore second baseman Eryn McCarver added an RBI in the bottom of the inning to chip away at the deficit.

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McIntyre's two-run homer in the sixth knotted the contest at 4-4. In the seventh inning, freshman third baseman Kat Lee picked up a walk with the bases loaded to clinch a 5-4 win for the 'Hawks.

Like the first game, the Red and White were first on the board after an RBI double from McCarver. Shuey brought in two runners off a single. North Dakota retaliated with two runs of their own in the next inning, but a RBI from junior outfielder Tanya Busby gave Miami the 4-2 win.

"North Dakota is a great team that hits well," Crowell said. "Our pitching staff did a good job of holding them down. They put up something like 30 runs over the weekend. Our defense played well, and that goes hand-in-hand with our pitching. Our pitching is getting better, but I'm gambling a bit with stealing bases and creating runs to get our offense going. I'm pleased with our hitting, but I'm looking forward to when we put it all together."

McIntyre also reflected on the team's performance.

"We have to give it up to the hard workers on this team that keep on grinding," she said. "Some of the games in the Invitational didn't go our way, but we can't give up. These are two good wins [against UND] for us and we look forward to carrying our mojo into Thursday."

The RedHawks host the University of Louisville in a single game Thursday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. in Oxford.