WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Carleton College softball squad lifted the lid on the 2014 campaign by splitting a pair of non-conference games, defeating University of Wisconsin-Superior, 8-1, before falling to Bemidji State University—a NCAA Division II program—by an 8-7 tally in extra innings.
In the opener, Keelin Davis (So./Woodinville, Wash./Woodinville) powered the Knights to the 8-1 triumph with her arm and bat. She went the distance to pick up the victory, scattering four hits and striking out eight, which tied the second-highest total of her career. At the plate, Davis went 3-for-4 with a career-best four RBI as she delivered two-run singles in the first and sixth innings.
Micaela LaRose (Jr./Waconia, Minn./Holy Family) added three hits, while Katrina Harper (Sr./Columbia Heights, Minn.) and Nicole Magats (So./La Grange, Ill./Lyons Township) also had multi-hit games for Carleton.
Early on, the day’s second contest versus Bemidji State looked to be going the Knights’ way as well. Carleton grabbed a 4-0 lead in the third as Harper singled home the first run, Cassie Clarke (Fy./Edina, Minn./Edina) delivered a two-run double, and LaRose followed with another RBI double.
After the Beavers got a two-run homer in the fourth, the Knights extended the lead to 7-2 with three tallies in the top of the fifth, including two-out run-scoring singles by Kaitlin Bagley (Sr./Duluth, Minn./Denfeld) and Holly Buttrey (Sr./East Thetford, Vt./Thetford Academy).
Bemidji State would not go away, though, scoring twice in the sixth and three more times in the seventh to force extra innings.
The Knights had their chances but left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings. Overall, Carleton stranded 13 base runners in the contest, 10 of them in scoring position.
The Beavers scratched out the winning tally in the bottom of the ninth, when Angie Roberts raced home on a wild pitch.
“A solid start to the season,” said Carleton head coach Amy Erickson. “We definitely have some room to grow, but we really came ready to play today.”
The Knights will play next on Sunday, March 2 as they face two IIAC opponents: University of Dubuque and Luther College.