ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The Dakota State University softball team returned back to action late Friday and Saturday nights. The Trojans opened their Dakota Athletic Conference schedule against Valley City State. Due to wet field playing conditions, the four-game series were relocated to the Husky Dome on the campus of St. Cloud State University. VCSU took four-game series sweep over Dakota State (12-0, 10-3, 5-1 and 10-2).
Dakota State suffered their fourth straight loss and dropped their overall record to 9-6 and 0-4 in the DAC. Valley City State improved their record to 10-9 and undefeated in four conference games.
Game 1 - Valley City State 12, Dakota State 0 (5 innings) - Box Score
Late Friday night, Valley City State scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 early lead.
The Vikings added three runs in the bottom of the third inning to extend their lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the fourth frame, VCSU exploded for eight runs for a 12-0 lead.
Dakota State was unable to score in the game as the Vikings secured the win by eight-run mercy rule in five innings.
Jesica Alcala had a triple for the Trojans. Jessica McLane and Kendra Knudson each had a single.
Hilary Kulczewski went 3-for-4 with a home run and recorded four RBIs for Valley City State. Cyndi Figol and Adrianna Boychuk each had a double and a stolen base.
Alisa Balesteri suffered the loss for the Trojans. She tossed 3 1/3 innings and allowed 11 runs on 11 hits. Jessica Shaw pitched 2/3 innings in relief. She gave up a run on two hits.
Krystal Hathaway tossed a complete game victory for VCSU. She limited the Trojans to three hits. Hathaway recorded seven strikeouts.
Game 2 - Valley City State 10, Dakota State 3 - Box Score
After a scoreless first inning, the Vikings scored three runs in the bottom second frame to take a 3-0 lead.
DSU tallied two runs in the top of the third inning to trim the Vikings' lead to 3-2.
Valley City State scored a combined six runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead to 9-2.
Both teams scored once in the sixth inning as the Vikings secured the win.
Alcala went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for Dakota State. Amanda Stevenson had two hits. Ashley Stevenson and Knudson each had a hit.
Hathaway was perfect behind the plate for the Vikings. She went 2-for-2 with a home run, two runs scored, two RBIs and walked twice. Smith added three singles and two RBIs.
VCSU had 11 runners left on base compared to DSU 4.
Shaw took the loss for DSU. She tossed four innings and allowed nine runs on five hits. Shaw struck out four batters. Brittany Tebbe pitched two innings in relief and gave up one run on two hits.
Katie McBride pitched a complete game victory for the Vikings. She gave up three runs on seven hits. McBride struck out nine batters.
Game 3 - Valley City State 5, Dakota State 1 - Box Score
On Saturday night, Valley City State scored all of their five runs in the bottom of the third inning.
DSU scored their first run of the game in the top of the fifth inning to trim VCSU's lead to 5-1. Ashley Stevenson hit an RBI single to score Knudson.
Alcala, Ashley Stevenson and Knudson each had a single for Dakota State.
For Valley City State, Jane Pettit had a triple and three RBIs. Kulczewski had two singles and an RBI.
DSU's Shaw dropped her record to 5-3 with a loss. She tossed four innings and gave up five runs on six hits. She struck out three batters. Balesteri tossed two innings in relief and limited the Vikings to one hit.
Hathaway improved their record to 4-3 with a complete game win for VCSU. She gave up one run on three hits. Hathaway struck out ten batters.
Game 4 - Valley City State 10, Dakota State 2 (5 innings) - Box Score
Valley City State tallied six runs in the bottom of the third inning as the Vikings jumped to an 8-0.
Both teams scored twice in the fourth inning. The Vikings ended the game in the fifth inning by an eight-run mercy rule.
Emily Kulp had a double and an RBI for DSU. Natasha Fritz, Amanda Stevenson and Jayna Ackerman each had a single.
Kulczewski hit a home run and recorded three RBIs for the Vikings. Figol, Hathaway and Hayley Bevan each had two hits.
Balesteri suffered the loss for the Trojans and dropped her record to 3-3. She tossed 2 1/3 innings and allowed eight runs on eight hits. Alcala came in for 1 2/3 innings of relief. She gave up two runs on two hits.
McBride improved her record to 3-5 with a complete game win for the Vikings. She allowed two runs on four hits.
Dakota State will be in action on Tuesday afternoon. The Trojans visit their in-state rival University of Sioux Falls in a non-conference doubleheader. First game is slated to start at 4 p.m. at the Sherman Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director