MSU falls short in final game

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Minot State University softball fell by just one run in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship game Sunday.

Minnesota State-Mankato broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs on an RBI single from senior Lauryn Morris. Mankato held on for a 2-1 win and the team’s second consecutive NSIC tournament title.

The Mavericks (38-10) secured the NSIC’s automatic bid for the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Beavers (40-9) will find out if they earned an at-large berth when the regional brackets are announced at 9:30 a.m. today on MSU was ranked No. 6 in the Central Region before the conference tournament. Eight teams advance from each region.

“I’m really proud how this team fought back throughout the past two days in the tournament,” MSU coach Bill Triplett said in a press release. “We played a great tournament and were just a couple outs away from winning it all. This has been such a great group of kids to coach and I am really pleased with how we played.”

MSU freshman Brittany Thorson tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. It was Thorson’s first career homer.

Mankato took its first lead with a run in the third inning. MSU senior Tiffany Friesen (13-5) gave up 10 hits in the loss. Morris was one of three Mavericks to finish with two hits.

MSU advanced to the final in its first season as a member of the NSIC. The Beavers won a semifinal matchup over Minnesota-Duluth earlier in the day.

Senior Mandy Greenberg (24-4) struck out eight batters and held the Bulldogs to six hits in the 2-1 win. Friesen hit her team-leading 15th home run to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Duluth managed a run in the bottom of the inning and Friesen preserved the lead with her second save of the tournament and fifth of the season.

Greenberg, junior outfielder Jen Dixon and sophomore first baseman Melissa Bell earned All-Tournament Team honors for the Beavers.

– Daily News Staff