The University of Minnesota, Morris softball team played eight spring break games, competing at the National Training Center Spring Games in Clermont, Fla.
On Mar. 13 the Cougars opened the trip with a 5-1 loss to Oswego State and a 10-4 loss to Macalester. A day later on Mar. 14 they dropped a close 8-6 decision to Wisconsin Lutheran and fell 5-0 to Messiah. The Cougars finished the trip with an 11-10 loss to Lawrence, a 15-4 loss to Rhode Island, a 13-3 loss to Indiana Tech, and a 6-4 loss to Salve Regina.
At the end of the week, Diane Blommel sits as the Cougars' leader at the plate, hitting above the .500 mark, and is the only player with a hit total in double-digits. She is also the team RBI and runs leader, notching over 10 in each category.
In their sunshine state opener, the Cougars watched as Oswego State used a four-run third inning to take the game 5-1. Morris logged just one hit, while finishing with five strikeouts.
After one bad inning cost them in the opener, the Cougars closed the day losing 10-4 to the Scots.
Wis. Lutheran 8
To start off the next day, the Cougars jumped out to an early 5-0 lead over Wisconsin Lutheran, doing their damage in the first two innings. However, over the next two frames the Warriors battled back to erase the deficit and take a 6-5 lead of their own. The Cougars then scored once in the top of the sixth to tie it back up at 6-6, but the Warriors plated two in the bottom of the inning for the 8-6 win.
Three Messiah pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter in taking down Morris 5-0. The Cougars' Kelli Hamilton got the start and allowed four runs - all earned - in suffering the loss. Kristy Hoge tallied the Cougars' lone hit.
3/16 Lawrence L, 10-11
3/16 Rhode Island L, 4-15
3/17 Indiana Tech L, 3-13
3/17 Salve Regina L, 4-6
The second half began with a heartbreaking setback, as the Cougars lost 11-10 in the bottom of the seventh to Lawrence on Mar. 16. After a four-run top of the seventh from the Cougars to tie the game, Lawrence strung two hits together for one run in the bottom of the inning for the win. Blommel led the Cougars with a 3-for-3, three-run, five RBI day, while four other players charted multiple hits in the game.
Rhode Island 15
Later that day, the Cougars could not find the same magic, as they fell 15-4 to Rhode Island. Morris scored first with a run in the bottom of the first, and sat tied 4-4 after two innings of play. However, that would be it for the Cougars as RIC added one in the third, six in the fourth, and four more in the sixth to round out the victory. Rhode Island banged out 20 total hits in the game, against just six for Morris. Blommel and Kelsey Draper each had two hits in the loss.
Indiana Tech 13
To start off their final day at the National Training Center, the Cougars were matched up with Indiana Tech, a team that entered the day with 24 games already under their belt. The Cougars did take the lead first, scoring in the second when Blommel singled home Ashley Splonskowski for the early 1-0 advantage. But after two scoreless innings, Indiana Tech answered with a four-run fifth, and followed it up with nine runs over the final two frames for the lopsided win.
Salve Regina 6
In their Florida-Sun-Finale the Cougars again took the first lead, but let one big inning do them in with their 8-4 loss to Salve Regina. Morris crossed the plate first in the top of the second, but Salve Regina came back in the bottom of the inning to score all eight of their runs. That would be all they would need, as the Cougars held them off the board for the rest of the game, but could not put enough hits together to erase the lead. Morris did log a three-run fifth, to make it 8-4, but that was as close as they would get and neither team scored over the final two innings.