ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State softball team squeezed in two five-inning games against BYU-Hawaii on rainy Monday afternoon, with the Trailblazers grabbing a pair of lopsided wins.
The doubleheader was bookended by downpours, causing a late start for the first game. Dixie State nearly came away with two shutouts, but the Seasiders put up a run in their final at-bat of the season.
“(BYU-Hawaii) has not done very well this year,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “But they have given some of the other leaders in our conference very good games. We told our girls that you cannot let them hang around, or they could find a way to win.”
Dixie State 8, BYU-Hawaii 0 (five innings)
Aryn Feickert notched the one-hit shutout for her 19th win of the season. The Trailblazers jumped on BYU-H quickly, putting up six runs in the first two innings.
In the first inning DSU right fielder Shelby Yung drew a walk and then stole second to be the first player in scoring position. Jessica Gonzalez then doubled to left field to score Yung. Autumn Woodfall was then hit by pitch to put runners at first and second. Gonzalez was forced out at third on the next play. Brooklyn Beardshear then singled through the left side to score Woodfall. After one the DSU lead was 2-0.
In the second inning DSU shortstop Josey Hartman walked. Janessa Bassett singled through the left side. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch to get into scoring position. Yung then drew a walk to load the bases. Gonzalez singled to left center to score Hartman. Taylor Godfrey entered the game as a pinch runner for Gonzalez. Mallory Paulson smashed a hit that went all the way to the fence. The resulting carom caught the fielder out of position and Paulson notched a triple and three RBIs. BYU-H got out of the inning before any more damage could be done, but the lead was 6-0.
Dixie State put up the final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Arista Honey drew a walk. Cassidy Morton came in as a pinch runner. Kristie Johnson then singled to left center. Hartman then doubled down the left field line to score Morton and put runners at second and third. Bassett then hit a walk-off single to score Johnson and end the game with the mercy rule.
Feickert struck out six. She allowed only four base runners total. Only one reached second base. After the first inning, the Seasiders would only get two batters on and neither made it off first base.
“Aryn had another dominant performance,” said Simkins. “She is pitching very well right now.”
Offensively, Bassett led the team with three hits. The team collectively had 10 hits and batted .435 from the plate.
Dixie State 9, BYU-Hawaii 1 (five innings)
The Trailblazers repeated their Game 1 performance by putting up six runs in the first two innings and scoring at least one run in every inning. As a team, they batted .600, collecting 12 hits in 20 plate appearances. Beardshear got the win from the circle, pitching a complete game and allowing five hits with two strikeouts.
In the first inning, Bassett and Yung singled to put runners at first and second. Honey then doubled to left center, scoring Bassett. Gonzalez then singled to left center to score Yung. After one, the score was 2-0.
In the second inning, Beardshear began with a single to left field. Bailey Gaffin then singled to second base. Basset then tripled to right center to score Beardshear and Gaffin. After a pitching change, Yung singled to right field to score Bassett. Honey drew a walk to advance Yung to second. Paulson then drew a walk to load the bases. Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Yung. But Kristie Delange, who was pinch running for Honey, was tagged out trying to advance to third to end the inning with the Trailblazers up 6-0.
In the third inning, Gaffin doubled down the right field line to score Hartman, who began the inning by drawing a walk. Gaffin later scored when Delange grounded out to second with the bases loaded. DSU scored its final run on a solo shot to left field from Hartman in the fourth inning.
BYU-Hawaii got a run across in the fifth, but failed to extend the game with a second run. Beardshear also led the team at the plate, collecting three hits in three appearances. Yung and Gaffin collected two hits apiece. Beardshear improved to 11-4 on the year.
The two wins move Dixie State to 34-11 overall and 22-6 in conference play. DSU sits in third place behind Cal Baptist and Azusa Pacific. The six DSU losses have come against the two teams in front of them. The Blazers final series of the season will come against conference newcomer Concordia, the team directly behind them in the standings.
“Concordia has a good team,” said Simkins. “They won twice against CBU and APU. Their collective batting average is not high, but they have several long-ball hitters. It will be a good battle to see them face Feickert.”
BYU-Hawaii’s season is complete. BYU-H finishes the season 9-33 overall and 5-27 in the PacWest.
The first game against Concordia is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.
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