GALVESTON, Texas – Blinn College softball was able to get plenty of offense in its second game at the Galveston College Invitational as the Buccaneers outlasted Wallace State Community College 18-15 Friday afternoon.
The Buccaneers didn't have as much luck with the offense in the first and third games of the day. Blinn lost the season opener to Tyler Junior College 11-2 and then finished the day with a 9-1 loss to Snead State Community College in five innings. The Buccaneers now hold a 1-2 record after the first day of the season.
Tyler 11 – Blinn 2
Tyler got off to a fast start by scoring nine runs in the first five innings and Blinn was unable to keep up in an 11-2 loss to open the season.
Tyler was able to score the first nine runs with a single run in the first, five runs in the third and three more in the fifth inning. Blinn did show signs of life in the bottom of the fifth when Gray led off the bottom half with a single and made her way to third after a wild pitch and stealing third base.
Sawyer brought in the first Buccaneer run with a double to left to get within 9-1. Abbie Olejniczak came in to run for Sawyer and eventually scored on a Tyler error to get within 9-2. That would be the final run scored by Blinn as Tyler tacked on two more in the seventh inning to roll to the nine-run victory.
Blinn 18 – Wallace 15
After scoring only two runs in its opening game, Blinn bounced back offensively and pounded out 18 runs to beat Wallace 18-15 in a slugfest.
Calli Birch brought in three runs on a 4-for-4 game to lead the way. Shelby Achille nailed two doubles and a single and brought in a pair to add to the offense. Emily Noah and Garcia each had two RBIs in the win.
Blinn got off to a fast start when Garcia led off with a single and later scored on an RBI double by Noah to left for a 1-0 lead. Two runs scored after a single from Achille to center to give the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead after a half inning. Blinn added a run in the second inning when Birch led off with a single and later scored on a single by Garcia to center for a 4-0 lead. Wallace fought right back in the bottom of the second with six runs to take a 6-4 lead.
Achille kept the hot bat going with a leadoff double in the third and she eventually scored on a two-out single by Birch to get Blinn with 6-5. Wallace extended its lead in the bottom of the third with three runs to take a 9-5 lead.
Blinn refused to quit and got to work in the fourth inning by loading the bases after singles by Garcia and Edwards and then Gabriela Gomez reached on an error. Blinn brought in three runs after errors on consecutive plays by Wallace to get within 9-8. Alivia Villareal tied the game at 9-9 with an RBI single to center and then Makalah Norman followed with an RBI single to center as well for a 10-9 lead. Birch drove in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center to score Villareal for a 11-9 lead. Wallace countered with three runs in the fifth to take back a lead at 12-11.
Birch helped to tie the game in the top of the sixth by reaching with a one-out single and then scoring on a Wallace error to make the score 12-12.
Blinn went after some much-needed insurance runs in the seventh as Achille was able to reach on an error and Gray came in to pinch-run. Gray scored after a double by Villareal to right for a 13-12 lead. Birch, Olejniczak and Garcia hit consecutive RBI singles to give the Buccaneers a 16-12 lead. Olejniczak scored the 17th run after a fielder's choice hit by Edwards and then Garcia scored on an error on the next play to give Blinn an 18-12 lead.
Wallace didn't go down easily as it scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh but Achille was able to get the final out and pick up her first win of the season.
Snead 9 – Blinn 1
Blinn's offense struggled against Snead in only picking up six hits and one run in a 9-1 loss in five innings to close opening day.
Noah led the way offensively with a double and single while Birch added a pair of singles in the loss. Hitt and Gray picked up the other two hits for the Buccaneers.
Snead opened with three runs in the opening inning but the Buccaneers battled right back in the second. Noah started the second with a double and Olejniczak was called upon as a pinch runner. Olejniczak later scored on a Birch single to center to get Blinn within 3-1. Unfortunately, that would be the final run scored as Snead scored four in the bottom of the second and two more in the fourth to end the game early in five.
Blinn will have two more games in the Galveston College Invitation on Saturday, Jan. 28. The Buccaneers will open the day against Baton Rouge Community College at 11 a.m. and then face Chipola College at 3 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.