ST. GEORGE – Dixie State found itself on the south end of the “Clash of the Titans” in PacWest softball Friday at Karl Brooks Field.
The Red Storm hosted Cal-Baptist, both teams coming in nationally-ranked. The two teams also sat atop the PacWest with 15-3 records. But the first two games of the series were two-run wins by the Lady Lancers, giving them at least momentary hold on first place in the league.
Cal Baptist 2, Dixie State 0
The pitching battle between the conference’s two top pitchers did not disappoint. While CBU put up two runs against DSU starter Aryn Feickert, both runs were unearned. With both teams scoreless going into the fifth, Feickert retired the first two batters. The third batter reached on a throwing error. First baseman Erin Burkhart then homered to left field to put the only runs on the scoreboard.
Ashley Coleman got the win for CBU and moved to 14-2. She only allowed three hits in the game and struck out three. Feickert struck out 10, but the Dixie State bats could not get her the run support needed for the win.
Cal Baptist 7, Dixie State 5
This game started differently. CBU jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two at-bats.
“When you make mistakes against good teams, you are going to lose,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “We had a fielding error, then a walk. Then they line it to Brooklyn (Beardshear). She usually makes that play. And then they get the grand slam. You cannot allow good teams to get base runners.”
The Storm gave Lancer batters two walks to start the second inning also. Those two batters would score on a double later in the inning.
The Storm got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the second when Janessa Bassett singled to right field, scoring Josey Hartman and Dani Bartholf.
In the fourth inning, the Storm added a run on Hartman’s single to center field. Kristie Johnson, who began the inning with a single, scored to pull the Storm to 6-3.
The Lancers added a run in the top of the next inning. DSU scored again in the sixth. Beardshear reached on a fielding error. Kaitlyn Delange came in as a pinch runner. After a strikeout for out one, Arista Honey drew a walk. Hartman reentered the game to run for Honey. Janessa Bassett then rocked a hit that went to the fence in right field. Delange scored. Hartman started toward second, but then raced back to first because it appeared that the right fielder was under the catch. As she returned to the bag, Bassett passed her rounding first. That resulted in the second out and the Lancers got out of the inning with the next batter.
“I have never seen that happen in my years coaching here,” said Simkins. “It was just an odd circumstance. The right fielder appeared to be under the ball so Josie did not want to be doubled up. Janessa is so fast and she was looking to get as many bases as she can.”
In the seventh, Jessica Gonzalez started the inning with a single to right field. Autumn Woodfall grounded out to the pitcher, advancing Gonzalez to second. Mallory Paulson then singled down the right field line to score Gonzalez. The last two batters grounded out and struck out to end the game.
Kayla Hatch got the win for CBU to move to 13-2. Beardshear fell to 8-3 with the loss. The Storm out-hit CBU 12-10. Bassett, Gonzalez, Paulson and Beardshear each had two hits apiece. The Storm drop to 15-5 in the PacWest and 27-9 overall. Cal Baptist improves to 17-3 in conference play and 34-6 overall.
The two teams resume their series Saturday with another doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for noon.
PLNU 8, DSU 3
PLNU 7, DSU 5
No. 13 Dixie State saw its 10-game winning streak halted Friday as the Storm dropped both ends of a Pacific West Conference doubleheader at Point Loma Nazarene, 8-3 and 7-5, at Carroll B. Land Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The losses dropped DSU to 28-8 overall, 16-6 in PacWest play.
Dixie State will look to salvage a series split and dodge potential bad weather as the Storm and Sea Lions will wrap up the set with another doubleheader Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. (PDT).
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