Spring is here, which means only one thing: It is softball season. While there have been many rained out games and postponed games, the DSU Trojans have still been able to play sixteen games and are at an even .500 winning percentage with their 8-8 record.
The Trojan started their season off with a pair of games against the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles. In game one, The Eagles scored in both the first and second inning to earn a 2-0 lead. OKWU then exploded for 12 runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 14-0. The game ended in the fifth inning due to mercy rule. Dakota State was unable to produce a hit in the game. Samantha Deen, Bretton Lien and Katie Silbowski each had a walk. She pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on three hits. Lori Harshbarger and Bretton Lien pitched in relief.
Game two had the same result as Dakota State dropped another game to OKWU. Dakota State produced three runs in the top of the first inning to earn a quick 3-0 lead. Oklahoma Wesleyan answered with four runs in the bottom first frame to overtake the lead from the Trojans 4-3. DSU regained their lead at 5-4 with two runs scored in the top of the second inning. The Eagles scored five times in the bottom third frame to gain a 9-5 lead. OKWU scored once in the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead to 11-5. The Eagles sealed the game in the bottom sixth frame with two runs scored, ending the game due to mercy-run rule. Brittany Hill was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Trojans. She had a home run, a single and produced three RBIs. Renaye Gamson and Silbowski each had a hit and an RBI. Deen, Elizabeth Rubalcava and Chelsey John each had a hit. OKWU outhit DSU 15-7. Deen pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Trojans. She gave up four runs on seven hits. Lien (0-1) took the loss as she tossed 2 1/3 innings. She allowed nine runs on eight hits.
The DSU Trojan softball team came back from back to back losses to get back to back wins as they swept the Mid-American Christian Evangels. In game one, MAC jumped to a 3-0 early lead in the bottom first inning. The Trojans exploded for four runs in the top of second inning to earn their first lead of the game. Brittany Hill and Samantha Deen hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. Lexy Miller recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Hill to third base and Deen to second base. Bretton Lien hit an RBI single to score Hill to give DSU their first run of the game. Lori Harshbarger hit a 2-RBI double to score Deen and Lien to tie the game at 3-3. Katie Silbowski added an RBI fielder’s choice to score Harsbarger as the Trojans earned a 4-3 lead. Chelsey John hit a 3-RBI triple in the top third inning to widen Dakota State’s lead to 7-3. The Evangels scored once in the of the fourth caused by DSU’s defensive miscue.
After MAC trimmed their deficit to 7-4, DSU added a run in the top of the fifth inning by Gamson’s RBI triple. The Trojans sealed the game in the final inning as Evangels left one runner on base. Gamson and John each had a triple and a single for Dakota State. John produced three RBIs. Harshbarger had a double, two RBIs, two walks and scored three times. She swiped one base. Elizabeth Rubalcava and Hill each had two singles. Deen and Lien each had a hit. Both teams had 11 hits in the game. Silbowski (1-1) recorded her first pitching victory this season for Dakota State. She tossed a complete game and allowed four runs (one unearned) on 11 hits.
In game two, Silbowski and Rubalcava hit back-to-back doubles in the opening inning to give Trojans a 1-0 lead. Mid-American Christian produced three runs and three hits in the bottom of the first inning to earn a 3-1 lead. Holt recorded an RBI fielder’s choice to extend Evangels’ lead to 4-1 in the bottom second frame. Dakota State scored twice in the top third inning to trim their deficit to 4-3. Hill hit an RBI double to score Silbowski. Deen hit a single to advance Hill to third base. Hill stole for home as DSU trailed by one run. The Trojans produced three runs in the top fourth inning to regain their lead. Rubalcava hit an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4. DSU added two runs caused by MAC’s defensive errors to make it 6-4. DSU exploded for four runs in the top of the fifth inning to expand their lead. Lien hit a triple and scored home caused by Evangel’s defensive mistake to make it 7-4. John hit a single with two outs. Gamson recorded an RBI single to score John to extend DSU’s lead to 8-4. Silbowski added an RBI double to score Gamson to give the Trojans a 9-4 lead.
Dakota State made it 10-4 as Rubalcava hit an RBI single to score Silbowski. MAC’s Hilterbran hit a 3-run home run in the bottom sixth inning to trim DSU’s lead to 10-7. The Trojans added a run in the top of the seventh by a wild pitch from Kaycee Fowler. DSU extended their lead to 11-7. The Evangels mounted a late rally in the final inning. Mid-American Christian scored three times to cut DSU’s lead to 11-10. With runners on third and first base, the Trojans ended the game as Holt recorded a ground out to second base. Rubalcava went 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, two singles and recorded three RBIs for the Trojans. Silbowski had two doubles and scored four times. She had three walks. Gamson added a double and a single. John had two singles. Lien had a triple. Deen and Hill each had a hit. Silbowski, Miller, Gamson and Hill each recorded a stolen base for DSU. Lien (1-1) picked up her first win of the season on the pitching mound for DSU. She toseed six innings and allowed nine runs (one unearned) on 11 hits. Silbowski recorded her first save of the season as she pitched the seventh inning. She gave up an unearned run.
Dakota State University then swept Hillside Baptist to improve their record to 4-2. The Dakota State University softball team outscored Hillsdale Baptist (Okla.) 31-7 Thursday afternoon as the Trojans won the doubleheader by the score of 20-1 and 11-6.
The Trojan softball team then traveled to the McPherson Tournament in Kansas where they went 2-1 on day one and the second day of the tournament was rained out and will not be made up. DSU kicked off the tournament with a 7-3 victory over host-team McPherson. It was the fifth straight victory for the Trojans. In the second game of the day, Bethel snapped DSU’s five-game winning streak by the score of 6-0. The Trojans bounced back in the final game of the day with a 9-6 victory over Sterling which improved their record to 6-3
The Trojans then attended the Sterling Tournament which once again was held in Kansas. The DSU team went 2-1 on the day. In game one, the Trojans played Kansas Wesleyan University as the Cougars beat the Trojans 8-1. The Coyotes jumped to a 1-0 early lead in the opening inning. Angelica Cesena hit a one-out single. She swiped for second base and advanced to third base due to DSU’s defensive error. Noelle Skanderson hit an RBI single to score Cesena to give KWU a one-run lead. Kansas Wesleyan then exploded for three runs in the top third and fourth frames to widen their lead to 7-0. The Coyotes produced a total of seven hits in those innings, which three of those hits are doubles. KWU made it 8-0 in the top sixth inning by Chelsea Reid’s RBI sacrifice bunt to score Kim Patterson.
The Trojans broke their scoring drought in the bottom sixth inning. With runners on first and second base, Lexy Miller and Bretton Lien each swiped one base. Chelsey John produced an RBI single to score Miller as the Trojans cut KWU’s lead to 8-1. Dakota State went three-and-out in the final inning as the Coyotes secured the victory. Audrey Lorenz, Birttany Hill and John each had two singles for the Trojans. John recorded an RBI. Elizabeth Rubalcava had a double. Deen added a single. Katie Silbowski took the loss for the Trojans. She pitched a complete game and gave up eight runs on 11 hits.
In the second day of the tournament, Dakota State bounced back in the winning column as they defeated Bethel 6-1 in the second game of the tournament Friday afternoon. After two-and-half scoreless innings, the Trojans scored its first run of the game in the bottom third frame. John reached on base by a walk with one out. She swiped for second base. John advanced to third base by Bethel’s passed ball. Lorenz hit an RBI double to score John to give DSU a 1-0 lead. The Trojans added two runs in the bottom fourth inning. Lien and John hit back-to-back RBI singles to extend DSU’s lead to 3-0. With runners on second and third base in the top fifth, Shiann Wickham hit an RBI sacrifice fly as the Threshers trimmed the Trojans’ lead to 3-1.
Dakota State exploded for three runs after recording the first two outs of the bottom sixth frame. Lorenz hit a single. She swiped for second base. Renaye Gamson reached on base by a walk. BU’s passed ball advanced Lorenz to third base and Gamson to second base. Silbowski produced a 2-RBI single to score Lorenz and Gamson to widen DSU’s lead to 5-1. Hill added an RBI single to score Silbowksi to make it 6-1 in favor of the Trojans. Bethel left two runners on base in the final inning as DSU secured the victory. Lorenz had a double and two singles for the Trojans. Rubalcava and Deen each had two hits. Silbowski, Hill, Lien and John each had a hit. Silbowski recorded two RBIs. Lorenz, Hill, Lin and John each added an RBI. John and Lorenz each swiped one base. Silbowski (4-2) recorded the victory for the Trojans. She worked the first five innings of the game and allowed one run on three hits. Silbowski struck out six BU’s batters. Deen notched her first save in two innings in relief. She limited Bethel to two hits and struck out two Threshers batters.
For the final game of the day, the Tabor Bluejays earned their first lead in the bottom first inning. Tabor scored once caused by DSU’s defensive error to gain a 1-0 lead. In the bottom third frame, Tabor scored four times to extend their lead. With bases loaded and one out situation for the Bluejays, Megan Taylor recorded an RBI walk to make it 2-0. Brittney Dymnioski hit a 2-RBI single to expand their lead to 4-0. Tabor made it 5-0 as Cortnie Killen added an RBI single. Dakota State got on board with three runs scored in the top fourth inning – all by two outs. Silbowski hit an RBI single to score John. Hill produced a 2-RBI double to deep center field (to score Lorenz and Silbowski) to cut Tabor’s lead to 5-3.
The Trojans mounted a rally in the top sixth inning to earn their first lead of the game. Lorenz opened the inning with a bunt single. She advanced to second base by a stolen base. Gamson added a single to advance Lorenz to third base. Silbowski hit an RBI single to score Lorenz to reduce Trojans’ deficit to 5-4. Rubalcava hit a two-out 2-RBI double to score Gamson and Silbowski to give DSU a 6-5 lead. DSU held the Bluejays scoreless in the final four innings of the game. Tabor left one runner on base when the game ended. Rubalcava and Lorenz each had a double and a single for Dakota State. Silbowski and Deen each had two singles. Shai-Lee Hill had a hit. Silbowski, Brittany Hill and Rubalcava each produced two RBIs. Lorenz swiped two bases for the Trojans. Deen started the game for the Trojans. She pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up four runs (one unearned) on three hits. Shai-Lee Hill recorded her first victory of the season by tossing 2 2/3 innings in relief. She allowed one run on five hits. Silbowski picked up her second save of the season as she pitched two innings. She limited the Bluejays to one hit.
Due to length considerations, Part I of the story will end here. We’ll publish another story covering the games through March 30 on Monday.
Featured photo taken by Scott Voigt at Sterling Tournament. It comes courtesy of DSU Athletics.