DICKINSON, N.D. - Fourth-seed Valley City State (N.D.) raced to a 7-0 lead Friday morning in the first round of the NAIA Softball Unaffiliated Conference Tournament at the Gress Softball Complex, hosted by Dickinson State (N.D.). The Trojans attempted a late rally, but fell short as the Vikings held on to an 11-6 victory.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 16-17. Valley City State is currently 9-25 after their split in the first day of the conference tournament, losing to top-seed Dickinson State 3-1 in the second round.
The Vikings exploded for five runs in the first inning, thanks to three consecutive walks to start the bottom first frame. Savannah McMillin recorded an RBI single to score the game's first run of the game, giving VCSU a 1-0 lead. The Vikings added three runs caused by DSU's defensive error and Mackenzie Hamre added an RBI fielder's choice as VCSU's lead grew to 5-0.
Liz Hall-Sewell hit an RBI double in the bottom second inning to extend Vikings' lead to 6-0. VCSU made it 7-0 after McMillin recorded an RBI single.
Dakota State broke their scoring drought in the top third inning with three runs scored. Audrey Lorenz opened with a walk. Lexy Miller recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Lorenz to second base. Elizabeth Rubalcava smashed an RBI double to score Lorenz for DSU's first run of the game (5-1 VCSU). Brittany Hill reached on base by VCSU's defensive error and scored Rubalcava as DSU trimmed their deficit to 7-2. A passed ball by the Vikings allowed Brittany Hill to score to reduce VCSU's lead to 7-3.
The Vikings answered with three runs scored in the bottom fourth inning. Courtney Shadlock hit a 2-RBI single and Brittany Lehner added an RBI single to extend VCSU's lead to 10-3.
The Trojans added two runs in the top sixth frame. Chelsey John hit a double. Lorenz recorded a single to advance John to third base, but John scored caused by VCSU's defensive miscue as the Trojans cut the Vikings' lead to 10-4. DSU's deficit was reduced to three runs after Rubalcava recorded an RBI double to score Lorenz (10-5 in favor of VCSU).
Hamre hit an RBI single in the bottom sixth inning to extend the Vikings' lead to 11-5.
Katie Slibowski opened with a double in the top seventh inning. Bretton Lien added a single to advance Slibowski to third base. John recorded an RBI single to score Slibowski as the Trojans trail at 11-6. DSU left two runners on base when the game ended as the Vikings sealed the win.
Rubalcava had two doubles and two RBIs for the Trojans. John was 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, two singles and recorded an RBI. She recorded a stolen base. Slibowski added a double. Renaye Gamson had two singles. Lorenz, Miller and Lien each added a single.
Hilary Kulczewski had three singles for the Vikings. McMillin added two hits and two RBIs. Shadlock and Lehner each produced three RBIs. Hayley Bevan, Hall-Sewell, Hadlock, Hamre and Lehner each had a hit.
Dakota State left 11 runners on base compared to VCSU six runners left on base.
The Trojans outhit the Vikings 11-10. Both teams committed four defensive errors.
Slibowski (9-8) recorded the loss on the mound in 1 1/3 innings of work for DSU. She allowed seven runs (three unearned) on two hits. Samantha Deen worked for 4 2/3 innings in relief. She gave up four run (one unearned) on eight hits.
Samantha Nalley (8-14) tossed a complete game victory for Valley City State. She allowed six runs (two unearned) on 11 hits. She struck out seven DSU's batters.
Dakota State will play in an elimination game versus No. 3 seed Great Falls (Mont.) (defeated No. 6 seed Mayville State, N.D. 6-4 in the first round, but lost 8-0 in five innings to No. 2 seed Jamestown, N.D.) on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)/12:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) at the Gress Softball Complex.
2013 NAIA Softball Unaffiliated Conference Tournament (Association of Independent/Frontier Conferences) - Gress Softball Complex - Dickinson, N.D.
Friday, May 3
Game 1: No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) 11, No. 5 Dakota State (S.D.) 6 - FINAL
Game 2: No. 3 Great Falls (Mont.) 6, No. 6 Mayville State (N.D.) 4 - FINAL
Game 3: No. 1 Dickinson State (N.D.) 3, No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) 1 - FINAL
Game 4: No. 2 Jamestown (N.D.) 8, No. 3 Great Falls (Mont.) 0 - FINAL/5 innings
Saturday, May 4
Game 5 (Loser's Out Game): No. 6 Mayville State (N.D.) (3-25) vs. No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) (9-25) - 11 a.m. (CT)/10 a.m. (MT)
Game 6 (Loser's Out Game): No. 5 Dakota State (S.D.) (16-17) vs. No. 3 Great Falls (Mont.) (28-16) - 1:30 p.m. (CT)/12:30 p.m. (MT)
Game 7 (Winner's Bracket): No. 1 Dickinson State (N.D.) (23-13) vs. No. 2 Jamestown (N.D.) (21-11) - 4 p.m. (CT)/3 p.m. (MT)
Game 8 (Loser's Out Game): Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner - 6:30 p.m. (CT)/5:30 p.m. (MT)
Sunday, May 5
Game 9 (Loser's Out Game): Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser - 11 a.m. (CT)/10 a.m. (MT)
Game 10 (Championship Game): Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner - 1:30 p.m. (CT)/12:30 p.m. (MT)
Game 11 (If necessary - second championship game if Game 7 winner record first loss of the tournament in Game 10): Game 10 winner vs. Game 10 loser - 3:30 p.m. (CT)/2:30 p.m. (MT)
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director