OMAHA, Neb. – It was a great day for the College of Saint Mary softball team.
First, the team celebrated Senior Day during the Flames' last home games of the year. And then CSM celebrated with a huge split over No. 10-ranked Morningside College Saturday.
Morningside won the first game 8-2, but the Flames won the second game 4-3.
"Morningside is one of the top 10 teams in the country," CSM Coach Carolyn Todd Bray said. "It is huge to get a win off them and help hold our spot in the playoff race."
The Mustangs outhit CSM 13-4 in the first game and took advantage of four home runs to win the opener.
Brittney Banks (SO/Elkhorn, Neb.) was tagged with the loss. She pitched two innings, allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one. She was relieved by Jessica Thurber (JR/Omaha, Neb.), who tossed five innings, gave up seven hits, fanned three and walked two.
Rachel Henks was the winning pitcher. She allowed four hits, walked two and struck out 10 batters.
But when Henks went out to pitch the second game, the Flames made sure the outcome wasn't the same.
Larsen led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer and Chamberlain also belted a solo home run in the same inning.
CSM added two more runs in the second inning when Baca was hit by a pitch, April Sherburne (JR/Clarksville, Iowa) reached on bunt and Emily Dickerson (SR/Council Bluffs, Iowa) delivered a clutch, two-out double to center to score two.
Other hits for the Flames came from Kimberly Merwald (SO/Omaha, Neb.) and Baca.
Henks allowed five hits in six innings. She struck out five and walked one.
Larsen earned the win on the mound for the Flames. She pitched all seven innings, gave up five hits, walked two and fanned three.
"Nicki pitched a great game," Bray said. "And we played awesome defense behind her. It really was a solid team win. It was great to see us play the good softball we are capable of playing."
CSM is now 9-7 in the GPAC and 16-16 overall. Morningside moves to 11-3, 29-8. The Flames return to action Monday at 5 p.m. in a nonconference contest against Nebraska Wesleyan University.