No. 13 Dixie State University softball welcomed No. 9 California Baptist University to Karl Brooks Field for a four game series over the weekend and the Lancers came in as good as advertised.
With the top spot in the Pacific West Conference on the line, CBU put a stranglehold on the Storm offense to end DSU’s 14-game winning streak in game one and held off a late DSU rally in game two.
The Lancers won their 18th-straight game by downing the Storm twice in the twin bill. It was a defensive battle in game one as the Lancers scored the first and only runs of the game on a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Senior pitcher Aryn Feickert struck out 10 batters but still dropped to 15-4 on the season.
“We just couldn’t get anything going in the early game,” head coach Randy Simkins said. “I thought we played fairly well, we just stranded runners and couldn’t finish at the plate. That’s something we’ll have to work on.”
CBU didn’t wait as long to take the lead in the second game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning.
The Storm chipped away at the lead until they got it down to two runs in the seventh and, with two runners in scoring position, had a chance to win it. CBU, though, would hold strong and get out of the jam unscathed to sweep the Friday doubleheader 7-5.
Sophomore outfielder Janessa Bassett and junior infielder Mallory Paulson each had an RBI on 2-4 from the plate to lead the Storm, while Junior Brooklyn Beardshear picked up the loss from the circle.
“They are a great team,” Bassett, a sophomore biology major from Stansbury, said. “Coach said that if we want to beat good teams, we have to make the most of every at bat and every play. We didn’t do that.”
The second half of the four-game series was set for Saturday afternoon but was suspended until Monday due to inclement weather.
The Storm turned the tables on the Lancers to split the second half of the doubleheader. In game one — the last game as the “Red Storm” — DSU jumped out to an early lead behind an Autumn Woodfall RBI that scored Bassett.
Freshman catcher Jessica Gonzalez added a run later in the inning off of a infield error at first. The third and final run of the game came in the sixth inning when junior catcher Arista Honey entered the game to pinch hit. Honey came through once again, doubling to right field and scoring Woodfall. That was good enough for Honey’s fourth-straight successful pinch-hit appearance, and the 3-0 lead was good enough for senior Aryn Feickert to close out the game, move to 16-4 from the circle and end the Lancers’ Division II-long 18-game winning streak.
CBU regained control of the PacWest in the final game of the series, but they had to do it from behind.
Honey started right where she left off, doubling to center field and scoring Woodfall for the early 1-0 lead — the first run in the DSU Trailblazer era.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that CBU finally evened the game up at one. The Lancers used that momentum to pull away, scoring four runs in the fifth thanks in part to a three-run shot to left field.
The Trailblazers looked to mount a late rally, but it was too little, too late as they stalled at 5-4.
“We played great in the first game,” Beardshear said. “We fought back in the second game, but the rally was just a little too late.”
Beardshear, an exercise science major from Tucson, Arizona, dropped the contest at pitcher, moving to 8-4 on the season and giving the Lancers a two-game cushion in the PacWest conference race.
The Trailblazers will head out on the road for its final road trip of the season, which will consist of five games. They will begin the trip against University of Holy Names Saturday at noon before returning home for it final six games.