LINCOLN, Neb. – The College of Saint Mary softball team suffered two losses to Nebraska Wesleyan University Monday evening. The Prairie Wolves won the nonconference games by scores of 6-3 and 4-2.
"I felt like we lacked energy today and didn't play with the passion we normally have," CSM Coach Carolyn Todd Bray said. "The bad news is that we were handed two losses because of it. But, on a positive note, we used these nonconference games as a way to get some non-starters some at bats and also play some athletes at different positions.
"So there were some good things that came out of today."
The Flames actually jumped ahead early and went ahead 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but the Prairie Wolves chipped away at that deficit and got one run in the bottom of the first, one in the second inning, three in the fourth and one more in the sixth.
"Nebraska Wesleyan outhit us 9-8 and we made a couple costly errors in the field," Bray said.
Whitney Chamberlain (SO/Peoria, Ariz.) and Ashley Trendle (FR/Chicago, Ill.) led the Flames with two hits each, while Nicki Larsen (JR/Waverly, Neb.), Brittney Banks (SO/Elkhorn, Neb.), Brenna Kirchhoff (SO/Omaha, Neb.) and April Sherburne (JR/Clarksville, Iowa) all had one each. One of Trendle's hits was a double and Banks' hit was a triple.
Banks suffered the loss. She pitched four innings, allowing six hits, walking two and striking out one. Jessica Thurber (JR/Omaha, Neb.) relieved Banks in the fifth and pitched two innings. She gave up three hits.
Larsen was tagged with the loss in the nightcap. She pitched the complete game, allowing 10 hits, walking one and fanning four.
Larsen and Chamberlain paced CSM with two hits each, while Emily Dickerson (SR/Council Bluffs, Iowa), Banks, Isabella Shull (FR/Turin, Iowa), Kylie Brabec (JR/Schuyler, Neb.), Heather McCoy (SR/Bennington, Neb.) and Cassie Dauber (SO/Firth, Neb.) all chipped in with one each.
"In the sixth inning we had three pinch hitters get on base with singles – Shull, Brabec and Dauber," Bray said. "It was great to see people that have been working hard in practice every day step up and take advantage of their opportunities at the plate. Unfortunately, we were only able to get one run out of that and couldn't capitalize more in that situation."
The Flames are now 16-18 on the season and return to conference play Wednesday at Concordia University.
"Our top priority at this point is still to get into the conference tournament," Bray said. "And even though we lost these nonconference games, I still think we were able to take some good things away from today."