Dixie State University softball took a swing at conference foes and extended its season-long winning streak to double digits in a weekend road-trip to northern California.
The Storm, now 23-7 on the season, have won 10 straight games to catapult them toward the top of the national rankings.
The No. 15 Storm began their road trip with a four-game series with Notre Dame de Namur University, dominating the Argonauts in all four match-ups.
The DSU pitchers were strong on the first day as senior pitcher Aryn Feickert and junior infielder Brooklyn Beardshear combined for 12 strikeouts and two shutouts in the 1-0 and 6-0 wins Wednesday.
“The defense has to play really well to get two shutouts like that,” head coach Randy Simkins said. “Everybody has to do their part, and that’s what we were able to do.”
The bats got hot for the Storm in the second half of the series with NDNU, led by freshman Jessica Gonzalez who was 5-6 with four RBIs and a home run and junior Mallory Paulson added six hits on eight at bats in the two games. Junior Shelby Yung went 3-6, added an RBI and scored three times but credits the team’s success to its defense.
“Defense and outstanding pitching really carried us through this road trip,” said Yung, a communication major from Upland, California. “It put our team in a great position to win, and then we got a lot of production from the whole lineup.”
DSU rounded out the road swing with another doubleheader, this one against Dominican University of California. The Storm continued their dominating play Saturday, rolling to 11-1 and 6-1 wins.
Gonzalez impressed once again when she hit a grand-slam in the first game to propel the Storm to victory. Gonzalez finished the game with five RBIs while sophomore Janessa Bassett went 2-3 with two RBIs. Feickert started in the circle and moved to 12-3 on the season.
Hartman and Gonzalez continued their hot-streak in game two, combining to go 4-6 with three RBI’s while Beardshear pitched a complete game in the 6-1 win. Gonzalez earned PacWest Player of the Week for her efforts.
“I’m speechless,” said Gonzalez, a business major from Kingsburg, California. “Playing the game to the best of my abilities is already rewarding enough, but [winning PacWest POW] only motivates me to play better for my team and community supporting me back home.”
Originally an eight game road-trip, the vacation was cut short for the Storm when the doubleheader at Chico State University was canceled due to inclement weather. DSU will return to Karl Brooks field for a doubleheader with Chaminade University Wednesday at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.