ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Softball was in action at the West St. Paul Dome on Thursday in split-double header of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference games. The Rams lost to Bethany Lutheran College 13-1 before being knocked off 16-6 by Crown College.
North Central (1-7, 0-3 UMAC) fell behind early against Bethany Lutheran (Mankato, Minn.) and never recovered in a loss to the Vikings. North Central managed just three hits and commited four errors that allowed 10 earned runs. North Central put up their only tally in the top of the second inning when freshman Amanda Roth (Neenah, Wis./Neenah) led off with a ground rule double to left. She moved up to third on a passed ball and when sophomore Holly Pieper (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) reached on a walk that was also a passed ball, Roth scored from third.
Roth ended up 1-2 at the plate while Holly Pieper was 1-1 with a walk, reaching base in both her plate appearances. Freshmen Abbey Erzberger (Brookfield, Wis./Heritage Christian) and Samantha Bergum (Forest Lake, Minn./Forest Lake) completed the Rams first ground ball double-play of the season in the third inning.
Game two pitted the Rams against Crown College (St. Bonifacius, Minn.) and the Storm jumped on the Rams right out of the gate. The Storm posted five runs on six hits in the first inning and NCU could not respond in their part of the first frame. The wheels came off on defense for NCU in the top of the second as five errors allowed seven unearned runs as part of a nine run at bat for Crown despite just one hit in the inning.
North Central started to claw back in their part of the second beginning with Amanda Roth leading off with a single to left. Holly Pieper followed with a double down the third base line that moved Roth to third. Samantha Bergum then singled to right field to score Roth and move Pieper to third. Freshman Mary Nelson (Milwaukee, Wis./Grace Christian) then grounded into a double-play but Pieper was able to score and get NCU to within 14-2 after two innings.
The Rams retired the Storm without incident in the third before getting another run back in their part of the inning. Abbey Erzberger cracked a one-out single on a hard ball hit to the shortstop who was playing deep in the hole. Erzberger moved up on a passed ball and an RBI ground out by freshman Kylee Bommersbach (Sartell, Minn./Sartell) plated a run to make it 14-3.
Crown went down in order in the fourth and the Rams got another run back. Amanda Roth led off with a stand up triple to deep, left center and an infield single from Holly Pieper easily drove in Roth but the Rams still trailed 14-4 through four innings.
Crown got another pair of runs, one unearned in the fifth before the Rams last rally came up short of keeping the game alive. Kylee Bommersbach drew a two-out walk and junior Megan Myers (Cannon Falls, Minn./Randolf) singled down the left field line that gave NCU runners at the corners. Amanda Roth then drove in both Bommersbach and Myers with a double to left field. But that would be all NCU could get in a 16-6 loss.
Amanda Roth was 3-3 at the plate including a double and a triple and pitched five innings allowing 6 earned runs on 7 hits. Holly Pieper was 2-3 with an RBI double.
North Central will be back in action at the West St. Paul Dome on Friday in another UMAC split-double header. The Rams play the University of Minnesota Morris (Morris, Minn.) at 8:30 a.m. before taking on Martin Luther College at 12:30 p.m.