After a season that included more wins than any Red Storm baseball team since becoming a Division II program and a record-breaking win streak by the softball team, both teams are looking for more.
The Red Storm are looking to continue a winning tradition.
Dixie State’s softball team had an incredibly successful 2014 campaign. The team posted a record of 51-10, including a record-breaking 27-game win streak.
“The feeling was awesome — honestly, we didn’t even think about it,” said senior pitcher Michelle Duncan, a business major from Gilbert, Arizona. “All we wanted to do was just win every game. Knowing that we were on a streak didn’t even phase us.”
Duncan expressed how the team was always motivated to win each game rather than fearing to lose.
“We have new people coming in and we just have to get back on that winning train like we did,” Duncan said. “That feeling that we have been back to the World Series to be a driving force for us.”
The season ended at the NCAA Division II national championship with a tough 2-1 loss to No.1 ranked West Texas A&M.
“The team still has a bitter taste about losing in Nationals, but it has a great incentive to push forward this coming year with so many returning,” said senior outfielder Bailee Freeland, a business major from Ogden.
Freeland said the strongest part of the team was the chemistry between the players. Although they lost, they are proud of their third-place finish and look forward to the chance at returning to Nationals for a better result.
Players to watch for:
Junior pitcher Aryn Feickert, Lancaster, California — When team ace, Duncan, was injured midway through the season, Feickert stepped up and finished tied for second in wins (21).
Senior pitcher Duncan, Gilbert Arizona — The ace of the pitching staff went 21-2 with a 1.56 earned run average.
Senior infielder Nicole Chavez, Chino Hills, California — The lead-off hitter led the team in home runs with 11 and was one of only four players on the team to have a batting average over .400.
Dixie State baseball has been a strong contender for many years at the junior college level. Now, the program has kept that winning tradition going at the Division II level, said coach Chris Pfatenhauer. The Red Storm were named 2014 Pacific West Champions, the third time the team has taken the title since joining the conference.
Under the direction of Pfatenhauer, the team is buying into the system and continuing the winning ways of the program. In 2013, the team enjoyed a lot of success, winning 32 games, but “they never really had a moment to celebrate,” Pfatenhauer said.
“The last week of the season, in 2013 at Grand Canyon, we obviously felt that if we won at least two out of three we were going to host,” Pfatenhauer said. “Then we ended up sweeping them and there was a little bit of a celebration there, but not that dog pile moment. This year it was nice to win the conference outright.”
Dixie State entered the West Regionals as the conference champions and ended up losing to California Baptist 5-2, ending a great season.
The team was disappointed to end the season that way, but it did not take anything away from what they accomplished said junior outfielder.
Donald Glover, an integrated studies major from Las Vegas, said he was impressed with the chemistry of the team, being in his first year with team after transferring. Glover said the biggest improvement the team needs is “to stay together in the tough moments.”
“Last year, at times, the players got down on themselves after falling behind and could never answer back,” Glover said. “But the team is motivated to push ahead to make it back to regionals and go even further this year.”
Pfatenhauer stressed the importance of not being satisfied only with their success but to keep moving forward.
“The team is definitely preparing to continue winning and move forward with many returning players who can lead the team,” Pfatenhauer said.
Players to watch for:
Sophomore infielder/outfielder Trey Kamachi, Kapolei, Hawaii — Second highest batting average (.359) and on-base percentage (.450) on the team.
Junior infielder Kevin Kline, Las Vegas — Led the team with 54 runs batted in and “is a leader in the clubhouse,” Pfatenhauer said.