MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team was looking for a pair of wins to secure a spot in the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament as they hosted the College of Saint Mary. They secured a spot with a Game One win 6-1, and Game Two victory 5-4, on Saturday at Dr. McWhirter Field in Mitchell, S.D.
The Tigers (19-32, 9-11 GPAC) jumped on top first after Melysia Ortega (West Covina, Calif.) doubled to left field, bringing home two runners. After adding a run in the third, Amber Budmark (Sacramento, Calif.) gave the Tigers breathing room as she doubled to left field bringing home two more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Budmark went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Ortega finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Alize Martinez (Palmdale, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Lorissa Loeppky (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) went the distance on the mound as she pitched seven innings and struck out six batters.
Game Two saw the Flames (16-22, 9-11 GPAC) put up two runs in the third inning and one in the fifth. The Tigers rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Paige Kinley (Worthington, Minn.) knocked a two-run home run over the left-field wall to pull DWU within a run. Senior Elise Sutherland (Stansbury, Utah) added the tying run with a double to send the game into extra innings.
CSM took a one-run lead in the top of the tenth. However, the Tigers tied the game again after Budmark knocked a double into left field. Ortega notched the victory with a walk-off double to centerfield.
Kinley was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run, a homer and two RBIs. Sprakel went 2-for-4, while Ortega was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a double.
Sierra Haage (Sioux Falls, S.D.) secured the win after tossing 10 innings, allowing three earned runs off nine hits, while striking out nine and walking four.
The Tigers take on Concordia University in the first round of the GPAC Tournament at 2 p.m. Friday in Hastings, Neb.