CLERMONT, Fla. — Mount Vernon Nazarene University softball used good pitching to open its season with a pair of wins on its Spring trip to Florida on Monday, defeating Ave Maria (1-0), 1-0, and No. 16 Southeastern (4-2), 4-2.
In the opener, MVNU (2-0) got a complete-game shutout from pitcher Anna Boué to defeat the Gyrenes of Ave Maria (8-3). Boué conceded just two hits in the gem, and had four strikeouts and no walks.
MVNU scored its only run in the second inning, as Boué’s younger sister, Sarah Boué, worked a one-out walk. Freshman catcher Savannah Richards then drove in her first collegiate run and the Cougars’ first of the season with a double to center field.
Ave Maria never threatened from that point forward, as Boué allowed one hit over the final six innings.
The Cougars struck early in Game 2 against NAIA Division No. 16 Southeastern University (9-5), batting around to bring in four runs in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Maddie Johnston started things off with a single, Samantha Collier was walked and starting pitcher Jennifer Kurelic helped her own cause by bashing a double to score Johnston.
A pitching change from the Fire could not slow down the Cougars, as Meghan May doubled to bring in two more runs. Freshman Courtney Knepper drove in final run with an RBI single to left field.
Although Southeastern tacked on two runs in the game, Kurelic had a quality start from the circle to hold them at bay. The junior from Lewis Center and Olentangy Orange High School threw a complete game, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The win over 16th-ranked Southeastern was the first known win for MVNU over an NAIA Top-25 opponent, and first over a team receiving votes since it defeated Taylor 3-1 on April 14, 2017.
MVNU is scheduled to play today with another pair of games in Clermont, Fla., beginning at 9 a.m. against Point Park University (1-3) and Davenport University (7-2) at 11:30 a.m.