Dixie State softball keeps title hopes alive with sweep

File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Dixie State softball team came into Friday’s doubleheader with conference leader Cal Baptist knowing that it had to run the table to take over the top spot in the PacWest. Not only do they have to sweep the Lancers, but then they have to return home and win a doubleheader against Academy of Art.

The Trailblazers completed a third of their mission by winning both games against CBU with the slimmest of margins. Both games ended 1-0.

“We were surprised with the final scores,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “Two of the top offenses in the conference – we thought there would be more runs on the board. I am just thankful that we were able to come away with the wins.”

DSU 1, CBU 0

Brooklyn Beardshear pitched a gem just when it was sorely needed. The Blazer ace struck out nine, walked one and scattered five hits to keep the powerful Lancer bats at bay.

The DSU offense was not much better. The Blazers could only manage six hits total. And two players got five of those. Janessa Bassett (2) and Shelby Yung (3) each had multiple hits in the game. But it was the hit that was not produced by either of those two that proved to be the difference in the game. In the final inning, Bailey Gaffin hit a home run over the center field fence.

“They had gotten her out in an earlier at-bat by pitching out a few pitches then jamming her with an inside pitch,” said Simkins. “I did not think they would pitch her the same way again because she was not hitting great to the opposite field. But they did. And Bailey is one of the best hitting those inside pitches. We knew right away it was gone.”

Beardshear still had to retire three more batters to get the win, which she did, getting them all to swing at third strikes.

DSU 1, CBU 0

As well as Beardshear pitched in the first game, Alexis Barkwell moved to 10-1 on the year by holding the Lancers to only four hits and zero walks, striking out two.

Dixie State’s Alexis Barkwell (25), file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Unlike the first game DSU scored the sole run in the game early. Dani Bartholf singled. Then Brenna Hinck drew a walk to advance Bartholf to second. Then Mallory Paulson singled through the right side to get the game’s only RBI.

The Lancers only threatened one time. In the third Deanna Alarcon got on with a single. Krista Mann then doubled to right field. Alarcon tried to score on the play, but Hinck’s throw to the relay and then the throw to home was in time to prevent the run.

“It was a great hit that went over Brenna Hinck’s head,” said Simkins. “But she got back quickly, bare-handed the ball off the wall and threw quickly to the relay, Bailey Gaffin. It was a great play.”

As a team, the Blazers had seven hits with Bartholf, the only Blazer getting multiple hits.

The two wins move the Blazers to 36-11 overall and 21-7 in the PacWest. Cal Baptist drops to 35-10 and 25-5 overall. The two teams resume their series Saturday. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.

NOTE: The Dixie State baseball team’s scheduled games against Hawaii Pacific have been postponed due to weather. The postponed games have been moved to Sunday. The Trailblazers will begin their series Saturday at 2 p.m. Hawaii Time.

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

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