Miami University softball continued its winning ways this past weekend in Murray, Kentucky, going a perfect 5-0 at the inaugural Velvet Milkman Invitational. After two blowout wins over Bellarmine, and another against tournament host Murray State, the RedHawks finished the weekend with two strong wins against Loyola Chicago.
Head Coach Kirin Kumar said the team saw a lot of good things in Murray.
“It was a good matchup because these were some very similar teams to us,” Kumar said. “We’re trying new things, moving the lineup around, and seeing who steps up.”
The RedHawks got things going in Murray against the Bellarmine University Knights, a team that had struggled coming in, going 1-9 to open its season. The Knights jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off an RBI single by sophomore infielder Megan Konermann, but RedHawks sophomore infielder Maggie Murphy quickly responded with an RBI single of her own to make it 1-1.
Miami took over in the bottom of the second, putting six runners on base before recording an out. A wild pitch brought in graduate student infielder Adrianna Barlow, and RBI singles by sophomore infielder Chole Parks and graduate student catcher Allie Cummins made it 4-1 RedHawks. A fielder’s choice brought in junior infielder Karli Spaid to give Miami a 5-1 lead before consecutive strikeouts ended the inning.
The third inning wasn’t much better for the Knights, who went scoreless in the top of the inning before the RedHawks continued pouring it on. A bases loaded walk, a two RBI double off the bat of junior outfielder Kate Kobayashi, and a two-run homer by Murphy made it 11-1 Miami in a blink. Freshman pinch hitter Reagan Bartholomew added an RBI single.
A Cummins RBI double in the bottom of the fourth made it 13-1 RedHawks, giving Miami a mercy rule win in the fifth.
Miami carried its momentum into a showdown with the tournament hosting Murray State Racers, who entered the game 5-5 on the season. The RedHawks started hot in this one. An RBI single by senior infielder Holly Blaska and a two RBI double by Barlow gave the RedHawks an early 3-0 lead.
The Racers responded in the bottom of the first, an RBI single and sac fly bringing them within one. Both teams went scoreless in the second, with RedHawks graduate student Riley Coyne’s RBI single in the third ending the drought. An RBI single by Spaid made it 5-2 RedHawks, but the Racers responded with an RBI double to make it 5-3.
Another scoring drought commenced through the sixth inning, but the RedHawks began to pull away. A homer by Cummins, an RBI double by Murphy, and another RBI double by Bartholomew made it 8-3 RedHawks. Miami would add four more runs in the seventh, with a Cummins sac fly, a two RBI double by Murphy, and an RBI single by Blaska delivering the RedHawks the win 12-3.
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Miami kept rolling on Saturday, beginning with a rematch against Bellarmine. The RedHawks dominated this one from start to finish, although the scoring was more scattered.
Senior outfielder Maddi Banks got the scoring started in the second inning with an RBI single. Homers by Spaid in the third and Blaska in the fourth gave the RedHawks a 3-0 lead. The fourth inning also featured an RBI single by Parks to make it 4-0.
Miami saw the bulk of its scoring in the fifth inning, with a Murphy sac fly, an RBI single by Barlow, and an RBI triple from Banks bringing the score to 7-0. A Spaid two-run homer in the sixth inning made it 9-0, with Bellarmine adding a run on a wild pitch for a final score of 9-1.
A new opponent awaited the RedHawks in their second game on Saturday: the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. The Ramblers came into the matchup 3-7 but jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a sacrifice groundout.
Miami responded with an RBI double by Spaid in the second inning, tying the game at 1-1. The third inning saw the RedHawks takeover once again, bringing in four runs before a two-run homer by Spaid capped things off at 7-1. The Ramblers would add two more runs, a homer in the fifth inning and another sacrifice groundout in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough as Miami came out with a 7-3 victory.
Only one game remained on the weekend for the RedHawks: a rematch with Loyola Chicago.
This would be Miami’s closest game of the weekend, as both teams struggled to get anything going for much of this one. The first score of the game wouldn’t come until the sixth inning, when Kobayashi connected on an RBI single to give the RedHawks 1-0 lead. An RBI double by Blaska made it 2-0 RedHawks, a score that would not change for the rest of the game.
The RedHawks will try to extend their eight game winning streak at the DeMarini Invitational this weekend in Palo Alto, CA, beginning on March 3rd against the California Golden Bears.