March 10, 2017
Photo credits by Scott Voigt
TUCSON, Ariz. – Dakota State (S.D.) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the nightcap of the Tucson (Ariz.) Softball Invitational Friday evening versus Arizona Christian. The Firestorm outscored the Trojans 8-3 after the first inning and held on to an 8-6 victory.
DSU lost their fourth straight game and dipped their overall record to 9-11. ACU, receiving votes in the NAIA Softball Coaches' Preseason Coaches' Top 25 national poll, improved to 12-11 overall record.
The Trojans plated three runs in the top first inning. Kailee McFadden led the game with a double. Kayla Schmell followed up with a single and advanced McFadden to third base. On the same play, McFadden scored DSU's first run of the game caused by Firestorm's defensive error for a 1-0 lead.
Jasmin Lucero smashed a 2-run home run with two outs to give Dakota State a 3-0 lead in the top first frame.
Arizona Christian exploded for five runs in the bottom second inning to overtake a 5-3 lead. Jenna Castilleja recorded an RBI single, while Sianna Gomez added a 2-RBI single in the inning. Cheyann Michael and Chelsea Havill each hit back-to-back RBI singles.
DSU answered back with two runs in the top third inning. McFadden reached on base caused by ACU's defensive miscue. Nicole Stewart blasted a 2-run home run as the Trojans knotted the game at 5-5.
The Firestorm scored three runs to regain their lead to 8-5, highlighted by Gomez's 2-RBI single in the bottom half of the third inning.
Dakota State scored once in the top fourth inning to cut Arizona Christian's lead to 8-6. Emma Marsh led off the inning with a walk. Kelly Drake recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Marsh to second base. Marsh went to third base after the Firestorm's pitcher committed a wild pitch.
Megan Zephier hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Marsh to reduce the Trojans' deficit down to two runs in the top fourth.
Both teams could not score in the final two-and-half innings of the game, securing the victory for ACU.
Stewart and Lucero each had a home run and drove in two runs for Dakota State. McFadden and Schmell each added two hits. Tatum Ronke and Peyton Brokiewicz each had a single. Ronke swiped one base. Zephier registered an RBI.
Gomez led the Firestorm with two singles, two stolen bases and tallied four RBIs. Destinee Spencer added a double and single. Havill, Yvette Ortega and Castilleja each had two singles.
ACU outhit DSU 11-8 in the game. The Firestorm left seven runners on base compared to the Trojans four runners left on base.
Drake (L, 3-7) took the loss in the pitching circle for DSU. She tossed a complete game and gave up eight runs on 11 hits.
Ashlynn Preciado started the first inning and allowed three runs on three hits for Arizona Christian. Spencer (W, 1-1) recorded the victory after working for six innings. She gave up three runs (one unearned) on five hits.
Dakota State concludes the Tucson (Ariz.) Softball Invitational Saturday with three games on schedule. The Trojans face Aquinas (Mich.) for the second time this week, Lawrence Tech (Mich.) and Robert Morris (Ill.) at Lincoln Park North.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director