AZUSA, Calif. – The Dixie State softball team was shut down offensively in a 2-0 loss to Central Washington in the opening game of the NCAA West subregional Thursday. Dixie State, one of the top offensive powers in the nation, could not utilize that to its advantage.
“We had trouble stringing hits together,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “We faced good pitching today, but not unhittable pitching. We had too many fly balls. Thirteen of our 21 outs were through the air.”
Aryn Feickert pitched the complete game for the Trailblazers. Central Washington got one run in the bottom of the first and that run would hold up for the Wildcats. Feickert only allowed four hits and would allow another run in the fifth inning, but for the most part kept runners off the base paths.
“Feickert had a good game from the circle,” said Simkins. “We had good defensive play also. A couple of hiccups, but nothing we should not be able to overcome. We need to make quicker adjustments to the pitching.”
Twice the Trailblazers would get runners in scoring position with only one out gone. In the third inning, Josey Hartman and Janessa Bassett got on with a single and hit by pitch. Shelby Yung then hit a rocket line drive to the pitcher. The hit was dropped and likely would have loaded the bases but the possibility of the catch drove the runners back to their bases and Hartman was easily thrown out at third for the second out. CWU pitcher Kiana Wood then got her only strikeout of the game to end the inning.
In the fifth, DSU loaded the bases. After a groundout, Hartman and Bassett again got on, this time with Hartman getting hit by pitch and Bassett drawing a walk. Yung then grounded out to second but moved the runners to second and third. Wood intentionally walked Jessica Gonzalez to load the bases. But the inning ended on a pop fly to left field with the next batter.
Wood improved to 19-6 with the win. She struck out one, but allowed only two hits on the day. Feickert fell to 20-5 with the loss.
Dixie State falls into the elimination bracket and will face UC-San Diego in the first elimination game. UCSD lost the later game to Azusa Pacific 2-0. If DSU wins, it will likely play its second elimination game immediately afterward against the loser of Central Washington and Azusa Pacific.
The first game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
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