TEMPLE, Texas -- Facing a trio of the nation’s top teams, the Blinn College softball team outslugged, outpitched and outran its way to three victories Friday at the Temple Tournament.
The unranked Buccaneers run-ruled sixth-ranked Butler Community College 11-1 and 13th-ranked McLennan Community College 10-0, then beat third-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO) 4-1.
“Looking at the schedule today, you would have thought these were the tougher games we’d play all season, but the scores didn’t turn out that way,” Blinn (12-3) coach Rick Church said. “To score 25 runs and only give up two was a good day for us.”
In their win over Butler, a pair of five-run innings and six Butler errors led to the easy victory. Against McLennan, the Bucs pounded four home runs by sophomores Sydney Wellmann and Allie Piro, freshman Alli Spivey, and a grand slam courtesy of freshman Jaiden Rawls. In the circle, freshman pitcher Mariah Gibson tossed a one-hitter shutout and struck out four.
Rawls, who started against Butler and NEO, nearly matched that performance vs. NEO—she gave up one run on two hits.
Church said there were no nerves for the two young pitchers.
“When they’ve played at the level they have in high school and travel ball, they’re able to keep it pretty level-headed in these games,” Church said.
And how were they so successful?
“They are changing speeds on their dropballs and curveballs, along with moving their hard pitches around,” Church said. “They are keeping batters out of rhythm where they can’t settle in and get good swings.”
Even without leadoff hitter Carla Noel, who’s out with a hand injury, the Bucs offense poured 25 runs on 26 hits, whether from home runs, soft knocks by Delilah Pacheco or Taylor Guidry, or by capitalizing on the defensive errors.
Spivey and Pacheco each had five hits on the day and Wellmann combined for an eight-RBI day while Rawls drove in another seven runs. Against McLennan, sophomore Peyton Webb was 4-for-4 with two runs scored.
“A lot of people hit the ball well,” Church said.