BELMONT, Calif. – The Dixie State softball team eked out two hard-fought victories, 1-0 and 6-0, over the Lady Argonauts of Notre Dame de Namur Wednesday in PacWest Conference play at NDNU.
It was the Dixie defense and pitching that won the day as the Storm shutout NDNU in both games.
In the first game, starting pitcher Aryn Feickert had a dominating performance. Pitching the complete game, she allowed only two hits, walked one and struck out eight to move to 11-3 on the year. The defense behind her had no errors.
“We knew coming in that they were not a dominant hitting team,” said Dixie State coach Randy Simkins. “They got a couple of girls that can really hit the ball, but there are some holes in their lineup offensively.”
Feickert said staying ahead in the count was big for her.
“I was able to get ahead on a majority of the batters,” she said. “You should never underestimate any batter, but the coaches do a good job with us preparing for their players’ weaknesses. When you are up in the count, you can be more aggressive.”
The Storm’s sole run came in the first after the first two DSU players were retired. Jessica Gonzalez got on base with a walk. Autumn Woodfall singled, advancing Gonzalez to second. Brooklyn Beardshear then reached on an error, loading the bases. Dani Bartholf then singled to get the RBI before the inning ended on Mallory Paulson’s fly out to right field.
In the second game, the Storm put up two runs in the first two innings. But the Argonaut defense tightened and the score would remain 2-0 until the top of the seventh.
Woodfall began the seventh by reaching on a fielding error by the left fielder. Kaitlyn Delange came in as a pinch runner for Woodfall. Gonzalez then hit a two-run shot out of the park. A Paulson single was sandwiched by a ground out and fly out. Kristie Johnson doubled and scored Paulson from first base. Johnson then advanced to third on a passed ball. Cheetah Bassett then singled to score Johnson before Bartholf ended the inning with a ground out to third base.
Beardshear pitched a complete game. She moved to 5-2, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out four. Once again, the fielding behind the pitcher was perfect.
“Brooklyn also pitched very well,” said Simkins. “(NDNU) never really threatened all day.”
Notre Dame only got one base runner as far as second base. And that runner was there for one at-bat. Only 10 batters reached base in both games (14 innings).
With the two wins, the Storm move to 19-7 overall and 7-3 in the PacWest. The Lady Argonauts fall to 5-12, 4-8 in conference play. The two teams will continue play Thursday with the first game beginning at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
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