ALVIN, Texas Clutch hitting by Cassidy Dahlstrom and Sydney Wellmann helped give Blinn softball coach Rick Church his 700th-career coaching victory Wednesday.
The Buccaneers defeated the Alvin Lady Dolphins 2-1 in a 10-inning affair and 5-3.
“A lot of people have helped reach this milestone,” Church said. “From the teams back at Arizona Western, to the teams here at Blinn and assistant coach Jami Ingram, who’s been here since 2005.”
Church has coached for 17 seasons, two at Arizona Western and the past 15 at Blinn. In his career he’s averaging 41 wins per season, and his 2003 Buccaneer team posted a 53-11 record and placed second at the national tournament. Church has amassed 626 wins in his time at Blinn, a program record.
Dalhstrom and Wellmann did their part to ensure that Church wouldn’t have to wait another day to reach his latest milestone.
Down 1-0 in the top of the seventh in Game 1, Dahlstrom sent an 0-2 pitch to leftfield to score Allie Piro. Blinn’s offense had struggled to manufacture much of anything at the plate. Up until the sixth inning, the Bucs didn’t have a base runner reach beyond second base.
“Cassidy came through with a clutch, clutch pinch hit there,” Church said.
Dalhstrom, pinch hitting for Mackinsey Yoes, was 1-for-1 with an RBI.
Blinn threatened in the top of the eighth when sophomore Peyton Webb reached third with two outs, but Alvin escaped the jam when Jaiden Rawls flied out to center field.
Starting pitcher Mariah Gibson didn’t give the Lady Dolphins much to work with at the plate after they scored a run in the third. Of Alvin’s eight hits in the game, none were for extra bases.
Gibson went the distance and struck out four and walked two in 10 innings of work.
In the top of the 10, Wellmann sealed the Bucs’ come-from-behind win—and pushed Church’s win total to 699—with a double to center that scored Webb.
Wellmann was 2-for-5 with an RBI and Webb was 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Blinn used the late-game momentum picked up in Game 1 to pull ahead early in Game 2.
A first-inning Rawls double scored Wellmann and Webb to make it a 2-0 game. The Bucs made it 5-0 in the top of the third on RBI this from Wellmann and Taylor Guidry, as well as a bases-loaded walk by Piro.
Rawls turned in another solid pitching performance for the Bucs, allowing three runs—two earned—and six hits in seven innings of work.
“Our pitchers are getting a little better each outing,” Church said. “They’re putting us in a good position to finish strong in the second half of conference.”