Boasting impressive winning streaks, both Dixie State softball and baseball teams looked to continue their winning ways last weekend.
Leading off on Saturday, the Red Storm welcomed Holy Names University to Bruce Hurst field to start the four-game series between the two teams.
In the series-opener, DSU jumped out to an early lead behind the bats of sophomore second-baseman Drew McLaughlin and junior left-fielder Zach Watts, each of them going 3-4 from the plate. Freshman Cam Gust smacked his first career home run before HNU made a late-game run.
In the top of the seventh, HNU scored three runs and took the lead from Dixie. The Storm exploded in the following two frames, scoring eight unanswered runs, including a Donald Glover Jr. solo homer, to edge Hawks on Saturday, 11-9.
Senior infielder Kevin Kline, recently named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Player of the Week, homered in the second game, a two-run shot that gave DSU a 6-2 lead. Freshman pitcher Dylan File earned the victory from the mound, the second of his career. Kline gives the credit for his strong play to his teammates.
“It’s a lot easier when the guys in front of me apply pressure,” Kline said. “It puts the pitchers on their heels when I’m batting.”
Looking to close out a clean sweep of HNU, Dixie faced the Hawks in yet another doubleheader on Sunday.
In game one, the Storm started off hot. RBI singles from sophomore Trey Kamachi and Glover Jr. put DSU up 2-0. McLaughlin went 3-4 for the second time in the series, leading DSU to the 10-3 victory. Head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said he was extremely happy about the team’s performance.
“It was a great weekend,” Pfatenhauer said. “We played really well in all aspects of the game. We had great starting pitching, awesome defense, strong at-bats, and we capitalized on their [HNU] mistakes. I’m very pleased.”
In the fourth and final game of the series, Holy Names fell apart. The Hawks allowed four runs on three errors in the opening inning. Junior Tanner Morache went 3-3 to lead the Storm to the 6-2 win, the 16th win in the last 17 games.
DSU is now 11-1 in conference play and 16-8 overall. It will continue its homestand with a doubleheader against the Academy of Art on Friday.
Riding a 19 game winning streak, DSU softball opened up a 4-game series with the Academy of Art on Friday.
Senior pitcher Michelle Duncan continued her dominant play from the circle, winning her 15th game on the season 12-0.
“We’re coming together as a team,” Duncan said. “We’re stringing together hits and playing good defense. It’s a testament to the whole team.”
Senior second basemen Nicole Chavez went 2-3, and catcher Marla Reiter converted on both her at bats, both plating three RBI’s.
In the second game of the series, junior Aryn Feickert would make history. Feickert struck out seven of the first nine batters she faced, on the way to the first perfect game in DSU Division II history. Sophomore shortstop Josey Hartman added to the 8-0 victory with a home run over the left field wall in the final inning. Head coach Randy Simkins spoke highly of the performance afterward.
“She was very good today,” Simkins said. “She was aggressive and made them swing at her pitches.”
The Red Storm looked to continue their outstanding play on Saturday with another doubleheader against A of A.
DSU put on a clinic in the first inning, scoring five runs early on. Dixie State exploded again in the third, putting another five runs across the plate. Reiter capped off the hot start with a solo homer on the way to the 10-1 win.
The final game was a high-scoring affair, in which the two teams combined for four home runs. Junior catcher Autumn Woodfall smacked the lone long-ball for DSU. A of A answered back with a four-run fourth inning.
The Storm countered with five runs in the next two innings, but this time A of A would not have an answer. Feickert earned her 12th victory, and DSU extended its winning streak to 23 games in the 11-6 win.
Now ranked No. 5 in the country, DSU will head to Cedar City to take on Division I opponent Southern Utah University on March 25.