ST. GEORGE – After losing for the first time in 24 games the No. 5 nationally-ranked Dixie State softball team swept visiting Colorado Mesa in Thursday afternoon’s doubleheader. Both games were shortened by the mercy rule as the Red Storm’s offense was at full speed, posting 11-2 and 9-0 scores.
Catcher Marla Reiter added two home runs to her team-leading total of seven. She drove in three runs on the day and scored four times.
“I have been seeing the ball better this year,” said Reiter. “That is an area I have improved.”
Reiter also caught both games from the team’s two ace pitchers. Michelle Duncan stayed undefeated at 17-0 with a win in the first game and Aryn Feickert took game two to move to 13-4. Both pitched complete games.
“It is difficult catching both in a doubleheader,” said Reiter. “They have such different styles. Michelle is an intense, low-ball pitcher while Aryn is more loose and a high-ball pitcher. I really enjoy catching both.”
Reiter had the two homers, scored four runs and drove in three more on the afternoon. DSU also got long balls from Chavez, Brooklyn Beardshear and Josey Hartman.
Janessa Bassett was on base all day with a 4 for 4 game in the first contest with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. She walked in three plate appearances in game two with a stolen base, one run and one RBI.
In the first game, Duncan gave up a two-run first inning to CMU. Dixie clawed back quickly, matching the run total in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single from Courtney Hine and a sacrifice fly by Autumn Woodfall.
Reiter’s first home run came in the third inning. Nicole Chavez added a two-run shot in the fourth for a 6-2 lead.
Later in the fourth, Brooklyn Beardshear singled in Kristie Johnson and Autumn Woodfall doubled Beardshear around later. DSU added three more on base hits by Courtney Sherwin and Janessa Bassett, giving the Red Storm a hefty 11-2 advantage after four.
Duncan retired the batting order in the fifth to clinch the win.
In the second inning of game two, the Red Storm loaded the bases on an error and two walks. Bassett earned an RBI with a bases-loaded walk to begin the scoring. Chavez then singled to left scoring Josey Hartman and Mallory Paulson. Beardshear drove in Bassett with a single to the left side to give DSU a 4-0 lead.
Reiter added her second homer in the third, a solo shot over the left-field fence, for a 5-0 advantage. Hartman finished the scoring in the third with a two-run shot to left field. After three, the Storm held a 7-0 advantage.
Beardshear completed the scoring for the day adding her sixth home run of the season with Kristie Johnson on base to make it 9-0 after four innings.
“Our offense can get hits against any pitcher,” said Chavez. “We feel there is no pitcher that can shut us all down.”
CMU loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Feickert got out of the jam with a strikeout to preserve the victory.
Dixie State heads on the road to face No. 13 nationally-ranked Cal Baptist on April 3 for a doubleheader at 6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT in Riverside. The Lancers are two games back in the PacWest at 19-3 and sport a 30-6 overall record.
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