MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team wrapped up its spring break trip with four doubleheaders in California earlier this week. The Tigers went 0-12 on the week, but played against some of the top softball teams in the NAIA.
Thursday, the Tigers (0-12) dropped a doubleheader to No. 5 Concordia University-Irvine, then lost a pair of games to Vanguard, which is receiving votes in the NAIA. Sunday, DWU lost a pair of close games to La Sierra University and DWU finished the trip with two losses to Occidental College Monday in Los Angeles.
Concordia-Irvine, which is 19-2 overall, beat the Tigers 11-0 and 14-1, both in five innings Thursday in Irvine, Calif. Concordia threw a no-hitter in the first game and managed 10 hits off DWU pitchers Jill Dickson and Katie Uttecht. Dickson threw the first 3.1 innings and gave up 11 runs on 11 hits with one strikeout. Uttecht threw the final two-thirds of an inning. DWU’s lone run of the second game came on a Concordia error in the fourth inning. The Tigers had four hits, and Uttecht had two hits, including a double. Tiffany Sharp threw all four innings and gave up 14 runs on 18 hits with one strikeout.
Saturday, Dakota Wesleyan lost two games 8-0 in five innings to Vanguard in Costa Mesa, Calif. Chelsea Moody had DWU’s only two hits of the game. Sharp threw all four innings and gave up eight runs on eight hits. In the second game of the day, Meghan Bovee had two hits and Uttecht had DWU’s third and final hit. Both Bovee and Uttecht had a double. Dickson threw 4.2 innings and gave up eight runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
DWU played a pair of close games Sunday with La Sierra in Riverside, Calif., but La Sierra held on for an 8-7 win in nine innings and then a 5-2 win. In the first game, DWU led 3-0 after two innings. The Tigers scored twice in the first when two runs scored on a double by Vanessa Mendez, and made it 3-0 in the second when Bailey Gummer reached on an error and Cassie Fink – pinch running for Gummer – later scored on a wild pitch.
La Sierra took a 4-3 lead in the fourth and went up 6-3 with two more runs in the fifth, but the Tigers added three runs in the seventh to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Kelsey Newman singled to start the inning and advanced to third on a single by Laura Erickson. Bovee walked to load the bases, and three runs scored on a double by Mendez. Neither team scored in the eighth, and the Tigers added one run on an RBI single by Katie Anderus in the ninth, but La Sierra added two runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Anderus went 3-for-5 with a double and Mendez went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. The Tigers had nine hits. Dickson threw all 8.1 innings and took the loss. She gave up eight runs on six hits and struck out three batters.
In the second game of the day, La Sierra went up 2-0 in the first inning on a two-run double. The Tigers made it 2-1 on an RBI sac fly by Tiffany Sharp in the second, and tied the game in the fifth on another RBI sac fly, this one from Devinne Facile, but La Sierra scored three runs in the sixth to hold on for the win. DWU had three hits, including doubles from Uttecht and Bovee. Sharp threw all six innings and gave up five runs on six hits with two strikeouts.
Monday, the Tigers wrapped up their trip with 8-3 and 6-2 losses to Occidental College in Los Angeles. DWU went up 2-0 in the first inning of the first game, but Occidental tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Occidental added three runs in the third, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth, and the Tigers scored their final run of the game in the sixth on an RBI single by Sharp. Bovee and Moody each had two hits for DWU, which had five total hits. Dickson gave up eight runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts.
In the final game of the trip, DWU scored once in the first on an RBI groundout by Mendez, but Occidental tied the game in the second and took a 3-1 lead in the third. The Tigers got within one, 3-2, in the fifth on an RBI double by Erickson, but Occidental scored in the bottom of the inning and added two more in the sixth. Erickson had two of DWU’s five hits, including a double. Uttecht threw all six innings for the Tigers. She gave up six runs on nine hits.
Dakota Wesleyan is scheduled to be at home Wednesday, March 20, to host Jamestown College in a nonconference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. The Tigers are scheduled to start conference play Saturday, March 23, at Hastings College in Hastings, Neb.