Trojans End March on 4-Game Losing Streak

This article is the second part of last week’s softball story that was broken up. You can read the first part of this story here.

In the second part of the tournament, the Trojans dropped two games to the Friends University Falcons and the Sterling Warriors. In game one, The Trojans jumped to an early lead in the opening inning. Renaye Gamson reached on base by a walk with one out. She advanced to second base after Katie Silbowski hit a ground out to second. Brittany Hill produced an RBI single to score Gamson to give Trojans a 1-0 lead. The Falcons answered by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the opening inning. Courtney Kifer opened with a double and advanced to third base by a wild pitch. Amanda Jimenez recorded bases-on-ball. Cheyanne Stewart hit an RBI single to score Kifer to tie the game at 1-1. After Silbowski struck out the next two FU’s batters, Kelsee Farmer hit a 2-RBI triple to score Jimenez and Stewart to give the Falcons a 3-1 lead.

Jimenez hit a single to start the bottom third frame for Friends. She took advantage of two wild pitches from Silbowski and added a run to extend FU’s lead to 4-1. Dakota State exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth inning to regain their lead back. Elizabeth Rubalcava and Samantha Deen hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. Bretton Lien reached on base by a walk to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans. Shai Lee-Hill and Chelsey John recorded back-to-back RBI single to reduce FU’s lead to 4-3. Lien scored caused by Falcon’s defensive error after Audrey Lorenz hit a fielder’s choice to tie the game at 4-4. Gamson added an RBI walk to score Lexy Miller (pinch runner for Shai-Lee Hill) to earn a 5-4 lead. The Trojans made it 6-4 after Brittany Hill hit an RBI single to score John. Kifer hit an RBI single in the bottom fourth inning as Friends trimmed DSU’s lead to 6-5.

The Falcons tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom fifth as Kelli Nicholson produced an RBI double. Nicholson opened the bottom seventh inning with a single. Tara Steinbach, pinch runner for Nicholson, advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt from Janelle Oder. Farmer hit a ground out to second and advanced Steinbach to third base. Kendra Crippen reached base on an intentional walk to set up runners on third and first bases with two outs for Friends. Steinbach scored the last run of the game caused by DSU’s defensive error to give FU the victory. Gamson was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a single, an RBI and a run scored for DSU. Brittany Hill added two singles and two RBIs. Shai-Lee Hill had two singles and an RBI. Rubalcava, Deen and John each had a single and a run scored. John swiped one base. Silbowski started the game on the pitching mount for the Trojans. She tossed 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (one unearned) on eight hits. Deen took the loss in relief as she worked 2 1/3 innings. She gave up an unearned run on two hits.

In the final game of the tournament, Dakota State could not overcome Sterling’s 6-run fourth inning. The Trojans produced three runs in the top first inning to earn an early lead. Lorenz started the game with a double. Gamson reached on base caused by Warriors’ defensive error and advanced Lorenz to second base. Gamson swiped to second base. Brittany Hill hit a 2-RBI single with one out to score Lorenz and Gamson to give DSU a 2-0 lead. Deen added an RBI double to score Gamson to extend Trojans’ lead to 3-0. Sterling answered back in the bottom first frame with three runs scored. With runners on second and third base with one out, Yolanda Alaifefaleula recorded an RBI ground out for Warriors’ first run of the game. SC added two runs caused by DSU’s defensive miscues to tie the game at 3-3.

The Trojans regained their lead in the top of the second inning. John was hit-by-pitch with one out. Lorenz hit a ground out to advance John to second base. Gamson produced an RBI single to score John to give DSU a 4-3 lead. Lori Harshbarger opened the top fourth frame with an infield single. She advanced to second after John recorded a sacrifice bunt. Lorenz hit a single to advance Harshbarger to third base. The Trojans extended their lead to 5-3 when Gamson hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Harshbarger. The Warriors exploded for six runs in the bottom fourth frame to overtake a 9-6 lead from Dakota State. The Trojans committed three errors in the inning, while SC just produced two hits.

Silbowski hit a single to open the fifth inning for DSU. She advanced to second base by SC Andrea Allen’s wild pitch. Brittany Hill hit a ground out to shortshop and advanced Silbowski to third, but a defensive error in the same play by Sterling allowed Silbowski to score. The Trojans reduced their deficit to 9-6.Taylor Baxter recorded an RBI single in the bottom fifth inning to give Sterling a 10-6 lead. Alaifefaleula added a 2-RBI single to widen Warriors’ lead to 12-6. DSU attempted to mount a comeback in the final inning. Silbowski reached on base by a walk to open the inning. Brittany Hill hit a single to advance Silbowski to second base. With runners on first and second bases with one out, Shai-Lee Hill recorded an RBI single to score Hill as DSU cut SC’s lead to 12-7.

The Trojans could not convert any more scoring opportunities as they left three runners on base before the game ended. Lorenz was 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two singles for Dakota State. She swiped one base. Deen added a double, a single and an RBI. Brittany Hill had two singles, two runs scored and produced two RBIs. Shai-Lee Hill had two singles and an RBI. Gamson recorded a single and two RBIs. Harshbarger had a single and a run scored. Shai-Lee Hill started the game for the Trojans. She worked for the first 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (two unearned) on three hits. Deen (2-2) took the loss as she tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief. She gave up four unearned runs on one hit. Silbowski pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (two unearned) on four hits. She struck out three SC’s batters.

The DSU Trojans then played in the Morningside tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. In the first game against Concordia, after two scoreless innings, the Bulldogs scored twice in the top of the third inning. Natalie Svoboda and Shelby Morose started the inning with back-to-back singles. Angela Harstad hit an RBI single to give CUNE a 1-0 lead. Danielle Harstad added an RBI fielder’s choice to extend their lead to 2-0. Danielle Harstad hit a solo home run to expand Concordia’s lead to 3-0 in the top sixth frame.

With one out in the bottom seventh inning, Dakota State hit two straight singles by Brittany Hill and Elizabeth Rubalcava. Bretton Lien hit an RBI two-out single to score Hill to trim their deficit to 3-1. The Trojans were unable to convert their scoring opportunity as they left two runners on base when game ended. Rubalcava was 2-for-3 at the plate for DSU. She had a double and a single. Lien had a double and produced an RBI. Hill and Audrey Lorenz each added a single. Danielle Harstad recorded a home run and two RBIs for the Bulldogs. Angela Harstad added a single and an RBI. Amber Topil, Svoboda and Morose each added a hit. DSU left four runners on base. Concordia had three runners left on base. Katie Silbowski (4-3) suffered the loss on the pitching mound for Dakota State, despite tossing a complete game. She allowed three runs on five hits. Silbowski struck out six batters.

In the final game against Morningside, the Mustangs earned the first lead of the game in the opening inning. Kirsten Dargy led off the inning with a single and advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt by Kendall Hendrix coupled with a throwing error by DSU. Dargy came home on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Johnson. Morningside added two runs in the bottom third frame to extend their lead to 3-0. The Mustangs scored three times in the bottom fourth inning to make it 6-0. MC used RBI singles by MacKenzie Neely and Kati Steffen to end the game by the eight-run rule in the bottom sixth inning. Renaye Gamson, Silbowski, Rubalcava, Samantha Deen and Lexy Miller all produced a single for Dakota State. Miller swiped one base. Johnson recorded a double and three RBIs for the Mustangs. Hendrix had two hits and two stolen bases. Neely added two hits and two RBIs. Taylor Daas recorded two singles. Deen (2-3) took the pitching loss for the Trojans. She worked for five innings and allowed eight runs (four unearned) on 10 hits.

Since the end of this recap, the softball team has gone 4-4 to bring their overall record to 12-12. They swept Presentation College this past weekend in a 4 game series. They face Dakota Wesleyan University in a doubleheader this Wednesday at the Thue Softball Complex. Game 1 is scheduled for 3 P.M. while Game 2 is scheduled for 5 P.M.

Featured photo provided by DSU Athletics

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