DSU softball: Red Storm stave off elimination

ST. GEORGE – Senior pitcher Kate Coffey tossed her seventh complete game of the season to keep the season alive for Dixie State. Siera Phillips had an RBI single and an errant throw sparked a two-run fifth, giving the host Red Storm a 3-1 victory over Sonoma State in an elimination game Saturday afternoon at Karl Brooks Field.

Dixie State advances to Championship Sunday beginning at noon to face Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Storm will need to win two games while the Toros, through to Sunday in the winner’s breacket, will only have to win once for a spot in the Super Regional. CSUDH defeated the Red Storm, 9-3 in Saturday’s opening game.

Siera Phillips, DSU softball playoffs, Sonoma State at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, May 11, 2013 | Photo courtesy Dixie State athletics
Siera Phillips, DSU softball playoffs, Sonoma State at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, May 11, 2013 | Photo courtesy Dixie State athletics

Coffey allowed eight hits and struck out three while allowing a single run. She was able to strand nine SSU runners by inducing inning-ending groundballs and flyouts.

“When I have runners on, I don’t let that phase me,” Coffey said. “I acknowledge the runners, but I stay with my mindset – get ahead, stay ahead and let me defense work behind me.”

Dixie State gave Coffey a 3-0 lead with Phillips’ RBI single in the fourth, scoring Courtney Hine, and two runs in the fifth off Samantha Lipperd. DSU had the bases loaded with a Marla Reiter double, a fielder’s choice by Kristie Johnson and a Nicole Chavez bunt single. During a pinch-hit at-bat by Sheila Gelter, SSU attempted to pick off Chavez at first. The throw tracked off line, allowing Reiter to score. Gelter added a sacrifice fly later in the plate appearance.

Sonoma State put the tying run on base twice in the final inning. Coffey induced a ground ball comebacker for the second out before getting the Seawolves’ leading home run hitter, Ali Palermo, on a groundout to third to end the game.

Lipperd took the loss – scattering three runs on five hits. The talented pitcher ended with a 23-12 record on the year.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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