SALEM, Va. – Minnesota State earned the first win in the championship series, downing Angelo State 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at the James I Moyer Complex.
The Mavericks (63-7) rode another stellar performance from starter Coley Ries (40-3), who gave up just one run on three hits and fanned 11 batters. Alyssa Rickels went 3-for-3, and her two-run single in the top of the second gave MSU the lead for good. Jess Meidl went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
MSU needs just one win Monday to win its first-ever national championship in the sport. The first pitch will be at noon ET.
“It’s just another day, and tomorrow is just another game,” Mavericks head coach Lori Meyer said. “That’s how we have to look at it. If we start making this the big game, then we are going to get nervous. We have to look at it as no different than the first game of the season. This is not over. We have to come prepared tomorrow to work hard and play our style of ball.”
Angelo State (60-6) will need to pick up two wins tomorrow to win the NCAA title. The Rambelles are after their second national championship in school history (the previous one came in 2004).
Bailey Wallace collected two of the three hits for Angelo State. Madison Greenwell had a hit and Courtney Barnhill scored a run for the Rambelles. Brandy Marlett (29-5) took the loss, giving up four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
“We didn’t like the end result, but I thought it was a well played game for the most part,” Angelo State head coach Travis Scott said. “We battled and kept taking good swings. We got a lot of at-bats on [Ries] today and we saw her a lot, so we know what to expect now and hopefully tomorrow we can have different results.”
After Rickels staked MSU out to the 2-0 lead, Cori Kennedy hit a solo home run in the sixth to make it 3-0. The Mavericks tacked on two more in the top of the seventh to go up 5-0.
Angelo State made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on and no outs. An error in left allowed a runner to score, but Ries struck out the next two batters and got a pop out to end the threat, the inning and the game.