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Sam Hanson makes contact for a two RBI single with this hit in the second game against Martin Luther on Wednesday afternoon.

Cougars earn split in home opener

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The University of Minnesota, Morris Cougars softball (8-12, 3-3 UMAC) split its home opening doubleheader on Wednesday with Martin Luther (9-7, 4-3 UMAC). Morris lost game one 8-5 in an extra inning affair, going ten innings. In the second game, UMM held on a charging Knights squad to win 5-4.

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Sam Hanson had five RBIs in the double header, including a homerun. Mackenzie Weatherly earned her second win of the year, throwing all seven innings in game two, allowing three earned runs.

Martin Luther 8, UM-Morris 5

The first game of the doubleheader was just as dramatic as the score would indicate. The Cougars jumped out to a two run first inning. Gina Downie led off the game with a triple and scored on a Jess Gordon single through the right side. Gordon ended up crossing the plate on a two out single by Molly Olson.

The Cougars maintained that lead until the top of the sixth when the Knights hit a two run homer and capitalized on a Cougar error to score four runs and take the lead late in the game. Martin Luther tried to put the game away with a run in the top of the seventh to take a three run lead heading to the bottom of the seventh.

Sam Hanson came up big for the Cougars in their last at bats, hitting a three run homer to right center, tying the game at five. The game stayed tied through the eighth and ninth forcing the two teams to adopt the international rule, thus placing a runner on second to start each inning.

Martin Luther used the opportunity well, scoring three runs, all unearned, and taking an 8-5 lead. Morris went down quietly in their at bats in the tenth, falling 8-5.

UM-Morris 5, Martin Luther 4

Minnesota Morris and Martin Luther failed to score early in the second game, and the game was tied when the Cougars came to bat in the bottom of the third. Back to back bunts by Alex Anderson and Gina Downie started the inning. Cassie Sowada drew a one out walk to load the bases. Anderson stole home and then Hanson delivered a two run single, putting UMM up 3-0. Meagan Anderson added a sac fly to score Hanson and then Jess Gordon singled home Molly Olson to make it 5-0 after three.

Martin Luther attempted to come back scoring a run in the fourth and the sixth to cut the lead to 5-2 after five and a half. Morris threatened in the bottom of the sixth but could not push across an insurance run. The Knights put together a rally in the top of the seventh, scoring a pair of runs with one out. The Knights ended the inning popping up to Hoge at third with runners on first and second, securing the 5-4 win for the Cougars.

Next up for the Cougars is a roadtrip to Minneapolis for two doubleheaders this weekend. The Cougars play North Central on Friday, April 11, and University of Northwestern on Saturday, April 12 before hosting three doubleheaders next Wednesday through Friday, April 16-18.

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