May 3, 2014
Submitted Photo by the University of Jamestown (N.D.)
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) continued their postseason run Saturday afternoon at Lyle Lawrence Field in the NAIA Softball Unaffiliated North Star Athletic Association (NSAA)/Frontier Conference Postseason Tournament. The Trojans, No. 6 seed in the tournament, upset the NSAA regular-season champions and No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 3-2. No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.), who fell 3-0 to No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) earlier in the day, ended Dakota State's postseason run in the semifinal game by the score of 5-0.
Loser's Out Game: (6) Dakota State (S.D.) 3, (2) Valley City State (N.D.) - FINAL
In the battle of two remaining teams from the NSAA conference, Dakota State slammed the Vikings with three consecutive extra-base hits. Erica Belter led off with a double. Lexy Miller drilled an RBI triple to score Belter for DSU's 1-0 lead. Elizabeth Rubalcava added an RBI double to score Miller as the Trojans widen their lead, forcing VCSU to change pitcher quickly.
The Vikings ended their hitless and scoreless innings in the fourth. Katie Cameron started the inning with a single. A pair of passed balls by DSU allowed Cameron to advance to third base. Liz Hall-Sewell hit a 2-run home run with one out to tie the game at 2-2.
Dakota State regained their lead to 3-2 as Rubalcava blast a lead-off solo home run in the bottom sixth inning. It was her second home run this season.
With a runner on third base in the top seventh inning for VCSU, the Trojans closed the game as Katie Slibowski struck out Cameron to end Vikings' season.
Rubalcava was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, single and produced two RBIs for the Trojans. Miller added a triple and an RBI. Belter had a double. Rubalcava, Miller and Belter each scored once. Brittany Hill had a single. Slibowski recorded a double.
Hall-Sewell had a home run and single with two RBIs for the VCSU. Cameron, Cejay Hilhorst, Mackenzie Hamre and Katarina Boychuk each had a hit.
Both teams had six hits in the game. DSU committed three defensive errors. The Vikings left six runners on base compared to the Trojans four runners left on base.
Slibowski (4-5) tossed a complete game for the victory in the circle for Dakota State. She gave up two runs on six hits. Slibowski struck out eight VCSU's batters.
Morgan Nalley faced three batters to start the game on the pitching mound for VCSU, allowing two runs on three hits. Samantha Nalley (7-10) recorded the loss as she tossed six innings and gave up one run on three hits. She recorded eight strikeouts.
Loser's Out Game: (4) Great Falls (Mont.) 5, (6) Dakota State (S.D.) 0 – FINAL
Dakota State faced Great Falls of the Frontier Conference for a spot in the championship game versus Dickinson State. The Argos halted Trojans' postseason run with a 5-0 shutout.
After two scoreless innings to start the game, Great Falls earned the first lead in the top third frame. Mindy Larson hit a 2-run home run with two outs for a 2-0 GF lead.
The Argos added a run in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 3-0. Keeley Van Blaricom led off with a double and advanced to third on Brittney Robbins' single. Kelli O'Brien hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Van Blaricom to give GF a three-run lead over the Trojans.
O'Brien hit a solo home run to kick off the seventh inning as Great Falls' lead grew to 4-0. The Argos made it 5-0 after Larson's RBI single.
Dakota State avoided a no-hitter by Great Falls as Slibowski recorded a single in the bottom seventh inning. The Trojans were unable to score in the final inning as the Argos secured a spot in the championship game.
DSU ended their season with an overall record of 12-32 and was the top NSAA member in the postseason conference tournament.
Larson was 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run, single and registered three RBIs for the Argos. Van Blaircom added two doubles. Brittany Franklin had a double and single. O'Brien had a hit and earned two RBIs. Brittany Franklin had two singles.
GF had eight hits in the game compared to DSU one hit. The Trojans left six runners on base, while the Argos had four runners left on base.
Ellie Kristensen (3-9) tossed six-plus innings in losing effort for Dakota State. She gave up four runs on six hits. Shai-Lee Hill worked in the seventh inning in relief, allowing one run on two hits.
Kirstie Thomas (6-4) earned a complete game win for Great Falls. She allowed one hit. Thomas gave up five walks and recorded seven strikeouts.
It was the final collegiate career softball game for two Dakota State's seniors Slibowski and Lori Harshbarger.
The NAIA Softball Unaffiliated NSAA/Frontier Conference Tournament concludes with a championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon between two Frontier teams – Dickinson State (38-13) and Great Falls (17-16).
2014 NAIA North Star Athletic Association/Frontier Softball Championship – hosted by University of Jamestown – Lyle Lawrence Field – Jamestown, N.D. (Times are Central Time)
Friday, May 2, 2014
Game 1: No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 9, Dakota State (S.D.) 0 - FINAL/5 innings
Game 2: No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 13, No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D) 9 - FINAL
Game 3: No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.) 3, No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 0 - FINAL
Game 4 (Loser's Out Game): No. 6 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 7, No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D.) 2 - FINAL Presentation (S.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 5: No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 6, No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 2 - FINAL - Jamestown (N.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 6 (Winner's Bracket): No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.) 3, No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 0
Saturday, May 3, 2014 (All games will be on Field 11)
Game 7 (Winner's Bracket): No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 3, No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.) 0 – FINAL
Game 8 (Loser's Out Game): No. 6 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 3,. No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 2 – FINAL – Valley City State (N.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 9 (Loser's Out Game): No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.) 5, No. 6 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 0 – FINAL – Dakota State (S.D.) eliminated from postseason
Sunday, May 4, 2014 (All games will be on Field 11)
Game 10: No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) (38-13) vs. No. 4 seed Great Falls (Mont.) – 1 p.m. (Championship Game)
Game 11: Game 10 winner vs. Game 10 winner – 3 p.m. (If necessary if Dickinson State suffers first loss in Game 10) Winner advances to 2014 NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round on May 12-14
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director