MSUB's Rovens reaches 200-hit milestone in DH loss Saturday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

MSUB's Rovens reaches 200-hit milestone in DH loss Saturday

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Bella Rovens became just the second player in Montana State University Billings softball history to reach 200 career hits on Saturday, going 4-for-7 in the Yellowjackets’ doubleheader loss to Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent Central Washington University at Avitus Group Stadium.

Rovens entered the day with 198 career hits, and quickly reached the 200 mark with hits in her first two plate appearances. The four-year starter finished the day with 202 career hits, needing just six more to break the all-time MSUB record of 207 held by Terina Stacks (2006-09). “Bella is a tremendous leader for us,” said MSUB head coach Jessica Rayman. “She is a tone-setter and is someone we can always count on. The fact that she broke 200 hits today is awesome and I am proud of her. She works so hard and makes needed adjustments, so I am not surprised she reached this accomplishment. Her hard work has paid off and she is doing very well for us this year.”

The Yellowjackets lost to the GNAC-leading Wildcats 10-1 in six innings in the opener, before dropping a tightly contested series finale 5-3. Julia Reuble homered in each game to push her series total to four long balls, as she paced the Wildcats offensively. CWU improved to 31-7 with the wins, and the team is running away atop the GNAC standings at 18-2 in league play.

Cameron Cassinelli hit her team-leading 11th home run of the year and the 28th of her career in Game 2, and Megan Dettling went 3-for-6 at the plate in the doubleheader. Despite out-hitting CWU 21-17 on Saturday, the Yellowjackets dropped to 14-27 with the losses and are in sixth place in the GNAC standings at 8-12 in conference play. “Our pitching staff threw well for us today,” said Rayman. “We had a lot of opportunities to score in that second game, but just did not step up with runners on. For us to out-hit Central was great to see, but it was just the timely hitting that we struggled with. We feel like we put up a good battle against Central.”

Game 1 – Central Washington 10, MSU Billings 1 (6 Innings)

A five-run sixth inning proved to be the difference in an otherwise tightly contested game, as the Wildcats pulled away late to get Kiana Wood her conference-high 16th win of the year.

CWU scored in each of the first three innings, with single runs in the first and second and a pair in the third on a home run by Jacie McDaniels and an RBI-single by Savannah Egbert. Kelsey Devlin scored on an error in the second inning to get the ‘Jackets on the board, but it was the only run MSUB managed against Wood all game. The lefty scattered six hits over five innings, and walked two batters while throwing an efficient 62 pitches. Kylie Sweeney recorded the final three outs of the game for the Wildcats to finish the team’s victory.

An RBI-groundout by Egbert increased CWU’s lead to 5-1 in the top of the fifth, before the Wildcats blew the game open in the ensuing frame. A single, two errors, and a walk set the table for Reuble, who drilled a three-run home run over the left-field fence to cap off the rally and put the game out of reach.

Rovens was 3-for-3 in the opening game, and Cassinelli finished 2-for-3 at the plate. The Yellowjackets didn’t go without scoring chances, stranding eight runners in the ballgame.

Taylor Tokach started and pitched five innings for MSUB, and only five of the nine runs she allowed went into the books as earned. “Taylor did a great job of hitting her spots, and keeping them off-balance,” said Rayman. “She did well with keeping her composure and fighting for each out.”

Game 2 – Central Washington 5, MSU Billings 3

In similar fashion to Friday’s doubleheader, the nightcap proved to be a close battle after a blowout in the opening game. Reuble’s fourth home run of the series came in the second inning to make it 1-0, but Rovens evened the score with an RBI-single in the bottom of the frame.

The ‘Jackets took their first lead of the day on a bases-loaded walk by Myrissa Prince in the third, but CWU pitcher Taylor Williams got out of the one-out jam with a groundout and flyout.

McDaniels, Taelor Griffin, and Molly Nutt had consecutive RBIs in a three-run fourth, a frame that proved to be the deciding factor in the game. MSUB had a chance to respond in the bottom of the inning, but stranded the bases loaded for the second straight frame.

Wood was called upon to get the save starting in the fifth inning, and she allowed just two baserunners the rest of the game to seal the series sweep.

Egbert added a final layer of security with an RBI-single in the top of the seventh, making the score 5-2. Cassinelli gave MSUB a last ray of hope with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, but Wood retired the next three batters to end the game.

Dettling threw another complete game in the circle, striking out five and giving up five runs on seven hits with six walks in seven innings. “Meg had a good day on the mound,” said Rayman. “She has become very consistent for us lately which is exciting to see.”

The Wildcats won despite being out-hit 13-7, as they were more efficient stranding just seven runners compared to MSUB’s 13.

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