April 6, 2014
MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) and Mayville State (N.D.) kicked off the inaugural North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Softball conference season Sunday afternoon on beautiful day at Thue Softball Complex. The Trojans came-from-behind to win the first game of the doubleheader 5-4, but fell short in the second game. The Comets exploded for 10 run in the seventh inning for a 12-6 victory, gaining a doubleheader split.
Game 1 – Dakota State (S.D.) 5, Mayville State (N.D.) 4 – FINAL
Dakota State earned their third straight victory after erasing a 4-3 deficit with two runs scored in the bottom sixth inning for their first-ever NSAA conference victory.
The Comets gained the first lead of the game in the opening inning. Courtney Priddle led off with a single. She advanced to second base after Jaime Scott hit a sacrifice bunt. Felicia Gonzales added another single to advance Priddle to third base. Katrina Newman recorded an RBI fielder's choice to score Priddle for 1-0 MSU lead.
After two straight hits (Gonzales with a double and Katrina Newman with a single) with one out for the Comets in the top third inning, Alexxa Sanabria smashed a 3-run home run to extend their lead to 4-0.
DSU answered back with three runs scored in the bottom third frame. Katie Slibowski was hit-by-pitch with one out. Elizabeth Rubalcava recorded a single to advance Slibowski to second base. Brittany Hill was hit-by-pitch to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans.
Trojan Samantha Mitchell hit a 2-RBI double to score Slibowski and Rubalcava to cut MSU's lead to 4-2 (Brittany Hill was out stretching during the same play). Mitchell scored after MSU committed a defensive error to trim their deficit to 4-3.
Stephanie Sandoval reached on base after MSU suffered another defensive miscue to lead off the bottom sixth inning. Rachel Hughes blasted an RBI double to score Sandoval to tie the game at 4-4. Kelli Heiser reached safely on fielder's choice while Hughes was safe at third base after MSU missed a tag-out.
Mayville State had a bases loaded with two outs in the top seventh inning. DSU ended the game as Hughes struck out MSU Samantha Swimley, giving the Trojans' first NSAA victory.
Hughes was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Trojans with a double, single and an RBI. Mitchell added a double and two RBIs. Shai-Lee Hill had an RBI. Erica Belter, Rubalcava and Heiser each added a single. Slibowski, Rubalcava, Mitchell, Sandoval and Hughes each had a run scored. Belter swiped one base.
Sanabria had a home run and recorded three RBIs for the Comets. Gonzales recorded a double and two singles. Priddle, Newman, Gurgian and Swimley each had two hits.
Ellie Kristensen started on the pitching mound for Dakota State. She pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on 11 hits. Hughes (3-4) recorded the victory as she worked for 1 2/3 innings in relief, giving up a hit.
Gonzales (1-4) recorded the loss as she pitched six innings for Mayville State. She gave up five runs (three unearned on six hits.
MSU outhit DSU 12-6 in the game. The Comets left 10 runners on base compared to the Trojans' six runners left on base.
Game 2 – Mayville State (N.D.) 12, Dakota State (S.D.) 6 – FINAL
The Comets exploded for 10 runs in the final inning to erase a four-run deficit for the victory in the second game of the doubleheader.
Dakota State grabbed the first lead of the game in the opening inning. Slibowski hit a single with one out. Rubalcava added a single and advanced Slibowski to second, but a wild throw by MSU during the same play allowed Slibowski to score for a 1-0 DSU lead.
MSU scored twice in the top second inning to overtake the lead from the Trojans. Newman advanced to third base after two consecutive sacrifice bunts by Rachel Koopman and Megan Cole. Swimley recorded an RBI double to score Newman to knot the game at 1-1. Gonzales added an RBI single to score Swimley to gain a 2-1 advantage for the Comets.
After recording the first two outs in the bottom fifth inning, Dakota State scored three runs to regain their lead back. Slibowski hit a single. Rubalcava reached on base by a walk and advanced Slibowski to second base. Brittany Hill hit a 2-RBI double to score Slibowski and Rubalcava to give DSU a 3-2 lead.
Mitchell smashed an RBI triple to score Brittany Hill to extend Trojans' lead to 4-2 in the bottom fifth.
The Trojans continue to pile up more runs in the bottom sixth frame. Heiser reached on base-on-balls to lead off the inning for DSU. Chelsey John recorded a bunt single to advance Kristensen (pinch runner for Heiser) to second base. With Kristensen on third base and John on second base after Bretton Lien's ground out, a wild pitch by MSU allowed Kristensen to score for 5-2 DSU lead (John advanced to third base).
Shai-Lee Hill, pinch hitter for Belter, hit an RBI single to score John as the Trojans' lead grew to 6-2.
Mayville State mounted a furious comeback in the final inning. Nina Gurgian kicked off the inning with a double. Priddle hit a 2-run home run to cut their deficit to 6-4.
DSU's defense earned the first out of the seventh inning, but the Comets scored eight consecutive runs for a 12-6 lead. During the scoring run, the Comets had six hits (four singles by Newman-twice, Koopman, Swimley, Gonzales and a double by Gurigan) while DSU committed two defensive errors and gave up two walks.
Brittany Hill hit a double to deep left-center to start the bottom seventh inning for DSU. Heiser added a walk with two outs, but the Trojans were unable to make a comeback as they left two runners on base.
Brittany Hill had two doubles and two RBIs for the Trojans. Slibowski added two hits and scored twice. Heiser and Slibowski each had with two singles. Mitchell had a triple and an RBI. Shai-Lee Hill, Rubalcava and John each had a hit. Belter and Rubalcava each recorded a stolen base.
Priddle had a home run and two RBIs for the Comets. Gurgian had two doubles, a single and produced three RBIs. Swimley added a double, two singles and three RBIs. Newman recorded four singles. Gonzales and Koopman each had two hits.
Slibowski started the game on the pitching mound for the Trojans. She pitched six-plus innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits. Lori Harshbarger (1-3) recorded the loss as she worked for one out in relief. She gave up three unearned runs on two hits. Hughes tossed the final two outs in the top seventh inning, allowing five runs (two unearned) on four hits.
Newman (1-1) pitched a complete game victory for Mayville State. She gave up six runs (one unearned) on 10 hits. She recorded six strikeouts.
The Comets outhit the Trojans 16-10 in the game. DSU committed six defensive errors compared to the Comets one defensive miscue.
MSU left 12 runners on base. DSU had eight runners left on base.
Dakota State's currently overall record is 5-16 (DSU must forfeit their first five victories this season).
Mayville State is 3-9 overall record. Both DSU and MSU are 1-1 in the NSAA conference.
Dakota State and Mayville State will conclude their NSAA four-game series on Monday afternoon at Thue Softball Complex. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director