Blinn Softball Defeats McLennan In Doubleheader Opener, 5-4
BRENHAM, Texas — The Blinn College softball team split a doubleheader with McLennan Community College at Hohlt Park Monday.
The Buccaneers opened the day with a 5-4 comeback win, then McLennan bounced back with a 12-7 win in eight innings.
With the split, the Buccaneers are now 18-16 overall.
“Overall, I am happy with the first game, but a little disappointed in the second,” head coach Rick Church said. “I am very encouraged by both outings by the pitchers.”
Blinn 5 – McLennan 4
The Buccaneers rallied for a 5-4 win to open the doubleheader.
Chloe Woodward, Mikaela Lopez, and Italie Speziale-Potter each drove in one run, while Renna Toomey scored two runs to lead the offense. In addition, Keely Castillo, Amy Hitt, and Bailee Stanzione each scored one run.
“I was just trying to put the ball in the gap so my teammate could score, and it felt really great to get the walk-off win,” Woodward said. “We started hitting off that pitcher, got base hits, and little by little we came back. Our defense was also really big in the game and we didn’t have any errors, so were able to really help our pitcher.”
Toomey sealed the win in the circle after surrendering four runs on seven hits in seven innings. She recorded four strikeouts and allowed just two walks.
“Renna pitched probably one of her best games of the season,” Church said. “She threw a change-up for strikes to keep them off-balance and threw her other pitches from the exact spots that we needed her to throw against their very good hitting team. She stayed composed and we stayed engaged competitively in the game, which gave us a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh.”
Trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Buccaneers rallied back for three runs to walk off with the win. Castillo led off the inning with a double, Toomey drew a walk, and Samantha Rodriguez moved them into scoring position with a fielder’s choice. Lopez drove in the first run of the inning with a fielder’s choice, then Toomey scored on a McLennan error to tie the game. Speziale kept things rolling with a single, then Woodward hit a walk-off single for the win.
Earlier in the game, Blinn took a 2-0 lead after scoring one run in each of the third and fourth innings. Hitt scored the first run on an error and Speziale-Potter walked with the bases loaded.
McLennan hit a grand slam to take a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning and held it until the seventh inning.
McLennan 12 – Blinn 7
McLennan bounced back with a 12-7 extra-inning victory in eight innings to conclude the doubleheader.
Woodward went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, while Rodriguez went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs. Castillo also drove in two runs for the Buccaneers.
“Nevada pitched well enough to keep us in the game and we tipped the balance in their favor by the mistakes on defense,” Church said.
McLennan scored the first run in the top of the first inning, but the Buccaneers took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Woodward and Shaelyn Sanders opened the inning with back-to-back singles and Emily Murphy moved them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Then, Castillo drove in two runs with a double and Rodriguez followed with a one-run double.
McLennan took back the lead after scoring four runs in the third inning. However, the Buccaneers tied the game 5-5 in the fourth inning when Rodriguez scored on an error and Lopez scored on Woodward’s sacrifice fly.
McLennan pulled back ahead 7-5 in the sixth inning, but the Buccaneers fought to even the game in the bottom of the seventh. Woodward and Murphy each hit singles, while Castillo loaded the bases on an error to kick off the inning. Then, Rodriguez hit a one-run single and Murphy scored on a fielder’s choice to tie the game 7-7, and send it to extra innings.
In the eighth inning, McLennan scored five runs to break away from Blinn for good and take the win.
Next, the Buccaneers will host Coastal Bend College for a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 28, starting at 1 p.m. at Hohlt Park. The doubleheader will feature Sophomore Day.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.