Mesa softball opens with two wins

Jessica Severinsen did everything the Colorado Mesa University softball coaching staff was hoping she could Friday in her debut.

The junior transfer from Northern Iowa pitched a solid game in the Mavericks’ opener in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Tucson, leading the Mavericks to a 9-2 win over Cal State-San Bernardino. She also went 3 for 3 with a double in the win.

“Jess did a great job out of the gates and took care of business,” CMU coach Candace Abrams said. “She did exactly what we needed her to.”

Severinsen allowed seven hits and struck out three in the first game, and after allowing two runs in the first inning, she got some breathing room when Mesa scored five runs in the bottom of the second.

Severinsen came on in relief in the second game and helped the Mavericks nail down a 7-5 win over Chowan (N.C.) University.

“We came out and swung the bats well,” Abrams said. “We had some balls fall into places and took advantage of a couple of mistakes by the other teams.”

The Mavericks started freshman Cori Shreves in the second game, who had a no-hitter through three innings.

Colorado Mesa built a 7-0 lead, but Chowan started hitting Shreves, so Abrams went to Rachel Boothe to give the hitters a different look.

Boothe, normally an outfielder, did some pitching in high school and got the Mavs into the sixth inning before Abrams went to her ace, Severinsen, to close it out.

Lisa Pille went 3 for 3 in the second game for CMU, which plays West Texas A&M and No. 23 Molloy (N.Y) College today to determine which bracket they’ll play in Sunday.

West Texas A&M is among the teams receiving votes in the NFCA preseason rankings and is a South Central region opponent.

“It was a great day for our hitters,” Abrams said. “We swung the bats, and that’s all I can ask for on Day 1 with all the jitters and butterflies. They were happy to get out on the field.”

Abrams liked how the Mavericks approached the game Friday, forcing teams to try to make plays.

“We took some extra bases when people weren’t looking,” she said. “We were aggressive tonight, which was great to see.”

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