FREMONT, Neb. – The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team concluded the 2018 season at the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament after dropping the first game of the day 3-2 to Dordt College, and lost in an elimination game, 6-2 to Midland University Friday in Fremont, Neb.
In the first inning, the Defenders (24-18) took the lead after a single to center field brought home a run. Two innings later, back-to-back runners were walked with the bases loaded the pushed the score to 3-0. In the top of the fifth, Andriana Sprakel (Yankton, S.D.) came to the plate and smacked a two-run homerun that narrowed the deficit to 3-2. The Tigers (15-25) were unable to score anymore runs in the fifth, stranding three runners on base.
The Tigers failed to add a tying run as they fell by a final of 3-2. Sprakel led the way as she went 3-for-4 with a homerun and two RBIs. Stephanie Gabel (Sioux Falls, S.D.) finished 2-for-3 at the plate, while Karly Severance (Las Vegas, Nev.) finished 1-for-2. Sierra Haage (Sioux Falls, S.D.) pitched six innings, struck out five batters and allowed five hits.
The loss pitted the Tigers against Midland University in an elimination game in the Midland Bracket. The Warriors (30-13) scored first in the bottom of the first inning. But the Tigers were able to take the lead after back-to-back homeruns by Severance and Gabel in the second inning. Midland answered with a three-run third inning that gave them a 4-2 lead. The Warriors added two more runs in the next inning to extend their lead to 6-2. DWU was unable to tack on any runs, dropping the final game of the season.
Severance went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Gabel finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Melysia Ortega (West Covina, Calf.) finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate. Haage pitched three and one-third innings and struck out two batters, while freshman Alyson VanderPol (Mitchell, S.D.) pitched two and two-third innings.
The Tigers finish the season with an overall record of 15-25 and will graduate one senior in Paige Kinley.