No. 11 Blinn beats No. 13 Temple in home opener, 8-3

BRENHAM, Texas — The No. 11 Blinn College softball team (3-4) split a doubleheader with No. 13 Temple College at Hohlt Park on Tuesday.

In Blinn's home opener, the Buccaneers fell to the Leopards, 8-3, in the first game, before downing Temple, 8-3, to finish off the day.

"We had a good response to the loss by jumping on the first pitcher we faced in the second game," said Rick Church, Blinn head coach. "We did what we were supposed to against the first pitcher, but we had a chance to run-rule them and didn't. We need to get more gritty and competitive to put teams away when we have them on the ropes."

Temple 8 – Blinn 3

Although Blinn outhit Temple, the Leopards were able to outlast Blinn, 8-3, to open the doubleheader.

Mackenzie Crews went 4-for-4 and drove in one run, while Marley Mahoney drove in two runs and scored one run to lead the Buccaneers' offense. In addition, Amy Hitt and Samantha Rodriguez each scored one run, while Blinn's offense outhit Temple, 11-10.

Renna Toomey started for the Buccaneers and gave up five earned runs and six hits, while striking out three, in 5 1/3 innings.

Blinn led 3-1 in the second inning after Crews hit a single for Mahoney to score in the first inning and Mahoney drove in two runs with a double for Hitt and Rodriguez to score. The Leopards scored their first run in the top of the second inning.

Temple added two runs in the top of the third inning to even the score 3-3. The game remained tied until the Leopards scored three runs in the sixth inning to lead 6-3. Temple scored the final two runs of the game in the seventh inning.

Blinn 8 – Temple 3

Mahoney and Bailey Zibelin combined for four RBIs to help lead the Buccaneers to an 8-3 victory over Temple.

Mahoney and Zibelin each tallied three hits for two RBIs and one run apiece, while Mayela Fernandez recorded three hits for one RBI and one run.

"Since we were on our home field, we knew what we needed to do and strung a lot of hits together and executed a lot better than we did in the first game," Mahoney said. "We have a lot of good hitters that can hit the ball out, but also play small ball, so it is a good combination."

Alysa Torres sealed the win for the Buccaneers in the circle after throwing a complete game.

"I wanted to do a good job for my team and my curveball was on today," Torres said. "Having the run support helped my confidence, so it is good that we can put up runs like that. It was great playing at home and getting a win in front of all the people who came out to support us."

In seven innings, Torres surrendered seven hits and three runs, while striking out one.

"Alysa did a great job and we are looking to have more starts like this from her this season," Church said.

Blinn's offense jumped on Temple early, scoring three runs in the first inning. After Mahoney drew a walk and Fernandez singled, Zibelin brought them home with a two-run double. Smith scored Blinn's third run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Emily Murphy.

Temple hit a solo home run in the second inning, but Blinn answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a run as Clarissa Hagler scored on a single by Fernandez.

Blinn scored four runs in the third inning to pull ahead 8-1. Zibelin  and Murphy both scored on errors, and Mahoney followed with a two-run single for Chloe Woodward and Hagler to score.

Temple added one run in the sixth and seventh innings before falling to Blinn.

Next, the Buccaneers will compete in the Galveston College Invitational on Friday, Feb. 7. Blinn will face off against No. 13 Temple at 10 a.m., Connors State College at 12:30 p.m. and Bossier Parish Community College at 5:30 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.