IRVINE, Calif. – No. 13 Dixie State softball dropped both ends, 9-1 and 4-2, of a Pacific West Conference doubleheader at Concordia-Irvine on Saturday in Irvine, California. The losses mark the first time this season the Trailblazers have dropped consecutive contests.
Dixie State cut the lead in half in the top of the third when Riley Tyteca belted a solo home run to left field to pull to within 2-1. But the Trailblazers wouldn’t get any closer.
The Eagles responded to score four runs in the bottom of the third, including a three-run home run, to extend the lead to 6-1. The hosts then tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to push the score to the final tally of 9-1, handing the Trailblazers their second run-rule loss in the last four outings.
DSU managed just three hits as Brenna Hinck, Kenzie Sawyer, and Tyteca each picked up a hit in the loss. Cambrie Hazel (16-3) suffered just her third loss of the season, allowing five hits with three strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in bottom of the second of game two with an RBI-single to left field. CUI looked to keep the inning going, but Jessica Gonzalez fired a strike to Bailey Gaffin covering second to pick off a CUI base runner to end the frame.
Dixie State evened the score at 1-1 in the top of third when Janessa Bassett singled to right field, stole second, then scored on a Hinck single up the middle.
But like game one, the Eagles wasted no time responding to DSU getting on the scoreboard. CUI added two more runs on two hits in the bottom of the third to retake a 3-1 lead. Concordia-Irvine tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth to push the lead to 4-2.
Dixie State saw a golden opportunity to get back into the game in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with just one out. Taylor Godfrey drew an RBI-walk to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Eagles escaped the jam with outs on the next two at-bats.
The Trailblazers had another chance slip away in the top of the sixth, putting runners on first and second with no outs. However, the next three DSU batters went down on strikes to end the threat. Gaffin drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh, but once again, the next three batters were retired to end the game.
Bassett picked up two hits at that plate to mark the only DSU player with multiple hits, while Malory Eldredge singled in her only at-bat of the game. Alexandria Melendez (9-3) picked up the loss in the pitcher’s circle, while Madi Dove was solid in relief, allowing one run in 3.2 innings pitched.
Dixie State will close the regular season with a doubleheader against Academy of Art on May 5 at Karl Brooks Field. The games will serve as Senior Day and will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app as part of the NCAA Division II Showcase.
Biola 18, DSU 5
Dixie State came out on the short end of an 18-5 decision in the series finale at Biola Saturday afternoon at Eagles Diamond. DSU wound up with split of its four-game series with the Eagles, which moved the Trailblazers to 20-22 overall, 16-16 in Pacific West Conference play.
As was the case in each of the previous three games in the set, Dixie State was the first to break into the scoring column as the Trailblazers pushed across the game’s first run in the third inning without benefit of a hit. DSU loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and hit batter, but could only plate one run, which came when Logan Porter (Surprise, Ariz./Valley Vista HS) was hit by a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the stanza.
From there it was all Eagles as Biola (27-15/19-13 PacWest) scored 11-unanswered runs over its next four offensive frames to bolt to an 11-1 lead. Dixie State, which was held hitless until a Jake Engel (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood HS) sixth-inning single, came back with two runs in the seventh on a Kyle Hoffman (Taylorsville, Utah/Taylorsville HS) two-run home run that cut the deficit to 11-3. However any hope of a late-inning DSU comeback was dashed in the eighth as the Eagles erupted for seven runs to salt away the win.
Hoffman’s homer, his second of the series and season, was one of three Trailblazer long balls on the day as Bryce Feist (Emmett, Idaho/Rocky Mountain HS) and Alec Flemetakis (Hurricane, Utah/Hurricane HS)connected for solo shots in the ninth. DSU finished with six hits, with Feist accounting for two of those safeties as he reached on a pinch-hit single ahead of the Hoffman homer in the seventh.
Dixie State continues its SoCal swing with a four-game set at Concordia-Irvine on April 26-28. The series will serve as the Trailblazers’ final road series as a member of the Pacific West Conference.
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