Softball splits with Red Raiders as Haage breaks pitching record

Softball splits with Red Raiders as Haage breaks pitching record

Fremont, Neb. – After weather forced the games to move to a different location, the Dakota Wesleyan University softball team and Northwestern College played a Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader. Northwestern took game one 2-1, and DWU recorded the shutout in game two, 2-0 Tuesday in Fremont, Neb.

 The Red Raiders (24-7, 9-3 GPAC) took a 2-0 lead in the first game after the first two innings. The Tigers (8-18, 4-4 GPAC) cut the deficit in half in the third inning as Melysia Ortega (West Covina, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice, allowing a run to score. Neither team could score for the remainder of the game as NWC took the first game.

 Andriana Sprakel (Yankton, S.D.) finished 2-for-4 with a run, as Ortega finished 0-for-3 with an RBI. Sierra Haage (Sioux Falls, S.D.) pitched six innings and struck out eight batters in the loss.

 It was a pitchers' duel in the second game as Haage only allowed two hits through the first five innings. In the top of the fifth, Stephanie Gabel (Sioux Falls, S.D.) hit a sacrifice fly into right field, bringing Karly Severance (Las Vegas, Nev.) home for a score. A batter later, Paige Kinley (Worthington, Minn.) smacked a sacrifice fly into center field as Julia Kelley (Omaha, Neb.) came home, adding another run.

 With one inning remaining, Haage struck out three batters in a row to lift the Tigers to a second game victory. With the final strikeout of the game, Haage broke the school record for pitching strikeouts in a career with 299.

 Gabel went 1-for-2 with an RBI, as Severance finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Haage pitched the complete game as she struck out nine batters, only allowing three hits and no runs.

 "I'm so proud of this team for doing a tremendous job for not having played a single home game yet this season," head softball coach Ed Kieff said. "We only gave up two runs in 13 innings against a great team. That says a lot about us."

 The Tigers are set to host Briar Cliff University in a GPAC matchup at 5 p.m. Thursday in Mitchell, S.D.