GALVESTON, Texas — Blinn College softball kicked off the first three games of the 2018 Galveston College Invitational with two wins on Saturday afternoon. After opening the tournament with a 6-0 loss to No. 5 Chipola College, the Buccaneers bounced back to beat Odessa College, 6-5, and Snead State Community College, 13-5, in five innings.
"Chipola is one of the best teams here and we didn't have the competitiveness to play them today, but we came back and scored 19 runs in the next two games," said Rick Church, Blinn head coach. "I am glad we didn't hang our heads down and had some good offensive performances today."
By going 2-1 on the day, Blinn improves its record to 3-2 overall on the season.
Chipola 6 – Blinn 0
Blinn was unable to get any runs on the board in its opening game as Chipola took advantage for a 6-0 victory.
Kassidy Rhoudes took the loss for Blinn in the circle after pitching seven innings and surrendering six runs on six hits while striking out four.
Blinn 6 – Odessa 5
Blinn had a strong and consistent offensive performance in the second game to bounce back after being shut out in the first game to beat Odessa 6-5.
Meghan Morris sealed the win in the circle after throwing a complete game including five scoreless innings.
Odessa led first after scoring one run in the bottom of the third inning, but the Buccaneers immediately answered back in the top of the fourth inning by scoring three runs.
The Buccaneers took a 2-1 lead after Gray scored on an error and Gutierrez scored on a passed ball. Garcia drove in the first run for the Buccaneers with a single for Villarreal to score.
Morris kept Odessa off the board in the fourth inning and Blinn tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Langston was the first to score for Blinn in the inning on an error followed by a two-run single by Villarreal for Gray and Gutierrez to score.
Odessa rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning for four runs to close in on Blinn 6-5, but Morris threw two scoreless innings to seal the win for Blinn.
Blinn 13 – Snead State 5
The Buccaneers offense exploded with 14 hits and 13 runs in the final game of the day as they earned a 13-5 victory after run-ruling Snead State in five innings.
Darby Jones went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs, while scoring one with a grand slam, while Gray went 3-for-4 and scored three runs in the victory. Gutierrez scored two runs and drove in two runs, while Abby Olejniczak scored two runs and Sarah Cedillo batted in two runs.
Rhoudes earned the victory in the circle after pitching four innings and surrendering five runs, while striking out two.
The Buccaneers opened the first inning with a 7-1 lead after Villarreal kicked things off with a one-run double to score Gray. Villarreal scored on a single off of Cedillo and Amy Alexander scored after Chelsea Armenderiz walked with the bases loaded. Jones finished off the inning with a grand slam to unload the bases.
The Buccaneers took a 9-1 lead in the second inning after Gutierrez batted in Gray and then scored on a fielder's choice.
Snead State managed to score three runs in the third inning and one run in the fourth inning to narrow in on Blinn, 9-5.
After two scoreless innings, the Buccaneers scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game. Olejniczak and Langston scored on singles, while an error allowed Gray and Gutierrez to score the final runs of the game.
Blinn will play two more games in the 2018 Galveston College Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 3. The Buccaneers begin with a game against Navarro College at 11:00 a.m. and then close the tournament against No. 12 Seminole State College (OK) at 3 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.