PWC play opens with two big wins for DSU softball

File photo from Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State softball team blitzed visiting Holy Names, putting up nine runs in both ends of a doubleheader and winning both by mercy rule (9-1 and 9-0).

GAME ONE

After scoring a run in each of the first three innings, the Trailblazer offense exploded in the fourth. Bailey Gaffin and Janessa Bassett both had triples in the inning. The first six batters reached before the Hawks made a pitching change. The new pitcher would retire the next three batters, but not before Bassett would come across the plate for the sixth run and a DSU 9-0 lead.

Dixie State’s Bailey Gaffin (5), Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Hawks scored a run in the top of the fifth, but could not plate a second one to extend the game. After giving up a base hit, Kaycie Jensen retired three of the last four batters, striking out the final batter to preserve the win.

“Kaycie is going to be a very good pitcher for us,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “She gets many of our best hitters out in practice.”

Brooklyn Beardshear moved to 8-1 on the season, striking out six and not allowing any baserunners in four innings.

“Right now, I am the least popular person in the clubhouse,” said Simkins. “I pulled Brooklyn after four when she had a perfect game going. But she has been battling back and arm soreness and I also wanted to get Kaycie some time.”

Offensively, Bassett and Dani Bartholf both had multiple hits.

GAME TWO

The second game saw a scoreless first inning before Dixie State went to work. In the second inning, four out of the first five batters reached. All four that reached (Tiley Tyteca, Bartholf, Josey Hartman, Bassett) also got at least one stolen base.

Dixie State’s Bailey Gaffin (5), Dixie State University vs. Holy Names University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“We had 12 stolen bases collectively today,” said Simkins. “They have a decent catcher, but they had problems with their infielders getting into position at the receiving end. We picked good pitches to go on also.”

Bailey Gaffin then came to the plate with runners on second and third. She hit a deep fly to center field. Normally that would score one run on the sacrifice, but the runner on second was Bassett. Bassett gave Gaffin an extra RBI on the play.

“That really wasn’t a fair fight,” said Simkins. “Their centerfielder does not have a strong arm and the relay was not great. Bassett is going to score in that situation every time.”

The Blazers put up two in the third on a fielder’s choice and a Hartman sacrifice fly that scored Quigley. In the fourth inning, Jessica Gonzalez doubled in Kaitlyn Delange. Tyteca then singled to score Shelby Yung. Gonzalez then scored on a fielder’s choice to get the Blazers to nine once again.

Madi Dove pitched out the fifth to get the complete-game shutout. She allowed only three hits and struck out four to move to 2-0 on the year.

“Madi pitched real well in Tucson last week,” said Simkins. “She is not as fast as Brooklyn, but batters only hit .200 against her. When her changeup is going, she gets a lot of players out with her changes of speed and location.”

Dove got great defensive help, particularly on the last out of the game, when second baseman Delange made a diving catch to take away a hit.

“That play was outrageous,” said Simkins. “And she had an earlier catch that she chased down in the outfield.”

Tyteca was the only player to get multiple hits in the second game.

With the two wins, Dixie State moves to 16-3 overall and 2-0 in the PacWest. Holy Names falls to 1-10 overall and 0-2. The two teams resume their series Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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