OMAHA, Neb. - Dakota State's softball team ended their five-game losing skid as they earned a 10-2 victory in the first game of the doubleheader at Heritage Park on Sunday afternoon. The Trojans fell short for the second time in the four-game series as the Flames scored the winning run in the final inning with two outs 7-6 in second game.
Dakota State currently stands at 9-9 overall record. Saint Mary is 4-12.
Game 1 - Dakota State 10, Saint Mary (Neb.) 2 (5 innings)
Renaye Gamson opened the game with a single for the Trojans. She advanced to second by Leslie Neiman's sacrifice bunt. Taylor Mackey hit a 2-run home run to give DSU a 2-0 lead. Emily Kulp added a triple followed by Jessica McLane's RBI single to score Kulp to extend Trojans' lead to 3-0 in the top of the first inning.
The Flames scored twice in the bottom first frame to trim DSU's lead to 3-2.
Dakota State added two runs in the top of the third inning to extend their lead to 5-2. Brittany Hill and McLane each recorded an RBI single.
The Trojans exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth inning. Alisa Balesteri, pinch hitter for Chelsea Kruse, hit an RBI single to score Kulp. Mackey added a 2-RBI single followed by Hill's RBI single to give Trojans a 10-2 lead.
DSU sealed the victory by eight-run mercy rule in five innings.
Mackey was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a home run and recorded four RBIs for the Trojans. McLane also went 3-for-3 with three singles and two RBIs. Hill had two singles and two RBIs. Kulp added a triple. Neiman and Balesteri each had a single. Neiman swiped one base.
Lynn Fibich, Natasha Chapman and Hannah Mays each had a single for CSM. Audree Uhlarik and Jessika Reyes each had an RBI.
Mackey tossed a complete game win for DSU. She limited the Flames to three hits and allowed two runs (one unearned). Mackey recorded six strikeouts.
Emmah Church (0-3) recorded the loss for Saint Mary. She worked 2 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits. Uhlarik pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and allowed five unearned runs on five hits.
Game 2 - Saint Mary (Neb.) 7, Dakota State 6
CSM exploded for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Mays hit an RBI triple to score Chapman for a 1-0 lead. Jamie Zimmerer added a 2-RBI single to give Flames a 3-0 lead.
The Trojans answered back with four runs scored - all by two outs - in the top of the second inning. DSU scored its first run of the game by Flames' defensive error. Neiman hit a 2-RBI double to tie the game at 3-3. Mackey added an RBI single to gain a 4-3 lead for Dakota State.
Hatfield recorded 2-RBI single in the bottom of the second inning as Saint Mary regained their lead at 5-4.
The Flames made it 6-4 in the bottom fourth frame by Hatfield's RBI single to score Fibich.
With runners on second and first base in the top of the sixth inning for DSU, Mackey recorded an RBI single to score Gamson as the Trojans trimmed their deficit to 6-5.
Tebbe hit an RBI single to score McLane in the top of the seventh inning as the Trojans tied the game at 6-6.
Brianna Triplett recorded the game-winning solo home run in the bottom seventh frame with two outs as the Flames sealed the victory.
Neiman was 3-for-4 with a double and two singles and recorded two RBIs for DSU. Gamson, Mackey and Hill each had two hits. McLane had a double. Lexy Miller, Tebbe and Kruse each had a single.
Hatfield was 2-for-3 with two singles and three RBIs for CSM. Chapman and Mays each had two hits. Fibich, Uhlarik, Zimmerer, Jenny Synowiecki, Allison Sillik and Triplett each had a hit.
The Trojans had 13 hits in the game compared to the Flames' 12 hits.
DSU left 10 runners on base, while Saint Mary had eight runners left on base.
Mackey (5-6) recorded the loss for the Trojans. She pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on 12 hits.
Reyes (2-4) tossed a complete game win for the Flames. She gave up six runs (five unearned) on 13 hits.
Dakota State returns home on Wednesday. The Trojans host Mayville State in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) doubleheader. First game is slated to start at 3 p.m. at Thue Softball Complex in Madison, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director