DSU softball gets split in final tuneup for PacWest play

Dixie State University vs. Adelphi University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 25, 2017, | Photo by Kevin Luthy, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State softball team split with visiting Adelphi in their final two games Saturday. The split gave the Blazers the series 2-1. After shutting out the Panthers in game one, Dixie State allowed the visitors to score six runs in the final two innings of the second game. The Blazers got three runs back on a Kenzie Sawyer home run with no out in the bottom of the seventh, but that is where the comeback fizzled.

“I told our girls that Adelphi was going to scratch and claw to pull out a win,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “They didn’t want to fly back to New York 0-3. We did not play as well as we should have – Dropped balls, getting behind in the pitch count and missed opportunities at the plate. We had miscues in several areas in the second game.”

Game one: Dixie State 6, Adelphi 0

Dixie State’s Bailey Gaffin (5), Dixie State University vs. Adelphi University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 25, 2017, | Photo by Kevin Luthy, St. George News

Brooklyn Beardshear got her second complete-game shutout in as many days from the circle. Beardshear is 7-1 with the win. She allowed six hits and struck out four.

“I have been pitching well,” said Beardshear. “We had the same goal on location as yesterday. Keep the ball low. Make them hit ground balls. We have good infielders that can field ground balls.”

After a scoreless first inning, the Blazers got on the board in the bottom of the second on a double steal. Bailey Gaffin got intentionally caught up between first and second to allow Jessica Gonzales to score from third. In the next inning, DSU got two. The first came on a sacrifice fly from Janessa Bassett, scoring Taylor Godfrey. Josey Hartman scored later in the inning on a throwing error.

In the fourth inning, Gaffin singled in Riley Tyteca. Later in the inning, Dani Bartholf doubled to left center, scoring Sawyer. Dixie State scored once more in the fifth. Again, it was Hartman scoring on a throwing error.

Yung led the team as the only player with multiple hits. The Blazers took full advantage of their limited offensive output. They scored their six runs with only 10 baserunners the entire game.

Game two: Adelphi 9, Dixie State 6

The second game saw the Panthers take a 3-0 lead in the first three innings. Dixie State was able to match them in the fourth. Gaffin tripled to right center to score Mallory Paulson. The next batter, Bartholf, homered to left field to tie the game 3-3.

Dixie State University vs. Adelphi University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 25, 2017, | Photo by Kevin Luthy, St. George News

Two innings later, the visitors put up three more. Dixie State could not match them in the bottom of the inning. Adelphi put up three more insurance runs in the final inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Dixie State rallied. Arista Honey started things off with a double to left center. Gaffin traded places with her with a double to the same spot. Sawyer then hit her home run to left field to cut the lead to 9-6. That would be it, though, as DSU only got one of the next four batters aboard.

The Blazers had several opportunities early in the game, with 18 baserunners. DSU left 12 on base in the game. Bassett, Honey, Gaffin and Sawyer all had multiple hits.

The split moves Dixie State to 14-3 entering PacWest play. The non-conference schedule included wins over several ranked teams. The Blazers swept West Texas A&M (No. 2), won two of three from Adelphi (No. 9), and split with Colorado Mesa (No. 16). DSU’s only other loss came against Lubbock Christian, one of others receiving votes in the latest national poll.

“We feel pretty good going into conference play,” said Sawyer. “We have good team camaraderie, even though many of us still compete for playing time.”

The Blazers will open conference play at home next Saturday against Holy Names. The Hawks will play DSU in doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday. Game times for both days begin at noon.

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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