Griz Softball Drops Both Games in Season Opener


The Montana Griz softball team ended a long day on the road with a 0-2 start to its inaugural season. Montana traveled to Las Cruces, N.M. to compete in the six-team Hotel Encanto Classic.

Montana lost 8-0 to New Mexico State in the first game of the day, and 8-5 to Texas Tech in the second.

“We played hard and played pretty clean defensively,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “We just made some mental mistakes on the base paths and allowed to many big innings, to win either ball game.”

In the first game, against New Mexico State, the Griz gave up five runs, on three home runs, in the first inning and were unable to bridge the gap. The Aggies added three more runs in the game, scoring one in the second inning, one in the fourth inning and one in the sixth.

The Aggies out-hit the Grizzlies 11-6, and neither team had an error in the game.

Ashlyn Lyons went 2-3 against New Mexico, and MaKenna McGill, Bethany Olea, Lexie Brenneis and Delene Colburn, all tallied one hit for the Griz.

Carli Riordan, who allowed two runs in 4.2 innings pitched in Montana’s first game, said as a team they need to play more relaxed.

“We did the things we knew, and we never gave up,” Riordan said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to do to be able to win at this level.”

In the second game, Montana scored first after Texas Tech walked three consecutive batters. In the second Mercedes Bourgeau tripled down the right field line, and scored when Dani Walker grounded out to second base.

But after gaining a 2-0 lead, the Grizzlies gave up the next eight runs, without scoring.

“We need to be able to make the right defensive decisions when we have the ball in our hands,” Pinkerton said. “There were just a bunch of little mistakes, that will improve the more we are able to play with each other.”

Montana’s best offensive inning of the day came in the top of the seventh against Texas Tech. The Griz were able to tally three runs against the Red Raiders, by putting the ball in play and using their speed

“We were doing a good job putting pressure on them by putting the ball in play,” Pinkerton said. “We didn’t strike out a lot, and we put the ball in play and drew walks.”

“We were doing what we were capable of doing, and as the rest of the year goes on, I think we are only going to get better at it.”

Lyons tallied two hits for Montana in the second game, as well as grabbing 1 RBI. McGill and Walker also tallied RBI’s for the Grizzlies.

Montana will play only one game tomorrow, facing the University of Texas-San Antonio at 9:30 a.m.