March 19, 2014
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Dakota State University (S.D.) softball team returned back to the Midwest region Wednesday afternoon after their 12-game stretch in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Briar Cliff (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference swept a doubleheader with the Trojans by the scores of 3-1 and 10-1 at the Bishop Mueller Field on the campus of Briar Cliff University.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 7-7. Briar Cliff improved their overall record to 6-4.
Game 1: Briar Cliff (Iowa) 3, Dakota State (S.D.) 1 - FINAL
Both teams were scoreless in the first two innings.
Ashley Del Alto led off the bottom third frame with a solo home run as the Chargers earned the first lead of the game at 1-0.
Dakota State was unable to convert their scoring opportunities in the top fourth inning as they left runners in a bases loaded situation.
After recording the first two outs of the bottom fourth frame, Celena Vasquez hit a double for Briar Cliff. Elizabeth Bye reached on base by DSU's defensive miscue. The Chargers added two more runs caused by another Trojans' defensive error, extending BCU's lead to 3-0.
Stephanie Sandoval hit a single to lead off the top fifth inning for DSU. Lexy Miller recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Sandoval to second base. Katie Slibowski hit an RBI double with two outs to score Sandoval, giving DSU their first run of the game and cut Briar Cliff's lead to 3-1.
The Trojans left one runner on base in the final inning as they fell short to the Chargers by two runs.
Slibowski was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Trojans. She had a double, a single and produced an RBI. Mitchell was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk. Erica Belter, Kelli Heiser and Sandoval each had a hit.
Del Alto had a home run and an RBI for the Chargers. Vasquez added a double. Brooke Lyman and Emma Verge each had a single.
Lori Harshbarger (1-2) recorded the loss on the pitching mound for Dakota State. She tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (two unearned) on four hits. Ellie Kristensen pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings in relief.
Bailey Hendrix (1-1) earned a complete game victory for Briar Cliff. She gave up one run on seven hits.
DSU outhit the Chargers 7-4 in the game. The Trojans left eight runners on base compared to BCU three runners left on base.
Game 2: Briar Cliff (Iowa) 10, Dakota State (S.D.) 1 – FINAL/6 innings
The Chargers won the second game of the doubleheader as they scored at least a run in every inning.
Laura Sosa started the bottom first inning by reaching second base due to DSU's defensive error. She advanced to third base after Lyman's sacrifice bunt. Verge hit an RBI ground out to score Sosa to give BCU a 1-0 lead.
The Trojans answered back in the top second inning to knot the game at 1-1, thanks to Mitchell's solo home run over the left field. It was her fourth home run this season for Mitchell.
Sosa's RBI single helped the Chargers regained their lead to 2-1 in the bottom second inning.
Leading 7-1 in the bottom sixth inning with two outs, BCU's Kylie Romero hit a 3-run home run to end the game due to mercy run rule.
Mitchell was 1-for-2 at the plate with a home run and an RBI for Dakota State. Miller and Rubalcava each added a single.
Kristensen swiped two bases for the Trojans. Miller added a stolen base.
Romero had a home run, a double and recorded three RBIs for the Chargers. Sosa, Vasquez, Danielle Ishii and Elizabeth Bye each had two hits. Vasquez had two RBIs. Del Alton and Jane Hartigan each produced a single.
Kristensen (1-1) tossed three-plus innings in losing effort for the Trojans. She gave up five runs (one unearned) on six hits. Slibowski pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing five runs on six hits.
Bye (1-1) picked up the victory for the Chargers. She worked for six innings and allowed one run on three hits.
BCU outhit DSU 12-3 in the game.
Dakota State will attempt to end their losing skid on Friday and Saturday as they compete in the two-day Sterling (Kan.) Tournament against members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). The Trojans will play two games on Friday, versus Friends (Kan.) – No. 24 in the first regular-season NAIA Softball Coaches' national poll – at 12 p.m. and Bethany (Kan.) at 4 p.m. Those games will be held at the Lyons Softball Field.
On Saturday, DSU is scheduled to play three games at the Sterling Softball Field. The Trojans face McPherson (Kan.) at 11 a.m. and conclude the tournament with a doubleheader with the host-team Sterling at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director