The Dakota State University softball team continued their record-setting season as they split with another conference foe, Valley City State (ND). The Trojans split the doubleheader on Sunday, beating the Vikings 2-1 in the first game and then dropping the second set 5-3. In the first game, the Trojans were led by Freshman Xitlali Lopez both on the mound and at the dish as she threw 7 innings for the Trojans, giving up one run on seven hits while going 2 for 4 at the plate, contributing an RBI. The other Trojan run came from Freshman Autumn Madrigal who singled home a run in the fourth. Nicole Stewart also helped contribute to the offense, as she went 3 for 4. Peyton Brokiewicz, Jasmin Lucero, and Audrey Kosman all contributed hits as well. This win earned the ladies their 16th of the year and their 10th in conference.
In the second game, the Trojans would fall to the Vikings 5-3. The Trojans three runs came on four hits, two from Nicole Stewart, and one from both Peyton Brokiewicz and Jasmin Lucero. Lopez added an RBI, as did Brokiewicz and Lucero. Kelly Drake took the loss in the contest, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits in six innings pitched, while striking out two. This pushed the ladies record to 16-19 overall and 10-8 in conference play.
Day two for the ladies reflected much of day one as the Trojans and Vikings would split again, however, this time the Vikings took game one, trouncing the Trojans 8-0. The Trojans were only able to accumulate two hits off of Valley City’s pitcher, Haley Butterfield. Stefani Gollin took the loss for the Trojans, throwing 5.2 innings, giving up 8 runs on 15 hits, while striking out three. Lopez and Lucero were the only two who could get to her on the mound, and Lopez also added a walk. The Vikings scored early and often as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, and then would score again in the second and third frame before being shut out the next two innings and then returning to fire in the sixth. This dropped the Trojans to 16-20 overall, and 10-9 in conference.
The Trojans were able to bounce back in game 2, coming from behind late to beat the Vikings 4-3. The ladies came awake for the second game as they fired off 12 hits, scoring 4 runs. Lopez would once again get the best of the Viking hitters, going the distance for the second straight day, holding the Vikings to 3 runs on 9 hits, striking out a pair. The Trojans found their contributions coming from everyone in the lineup, as each girl was able to reach base. Lucero stayed hot on the weekend, tallying 3 hits and 3 RBI’s. Lopez added the other RBI in the contest. Other notables were Taylor Poe, who went 2 for 3, while Brokiewicz, Kosman, Tatum Ronke, Reanna Fitzgerald, and Kailee McFadden all added a hit a piece. Autumn Madrigal would not be denied getting on base, as she drew the lone walk for the Trojans in game 2.
The Trojans notched their 17th win of the year, their most since the 2009 season and also grabbed their 11th conference win, the most since entering the North Star Athletic Association in 2013. The Trojans are currently tied for third in the conference with Dickinson State (ND) who the Trojans will visit this weekend in a showdown that should carve the path for each team’s postseason road.