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Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State sophomore second baseman Monique Yslas, middle, throws to first during the opening game of a doubleheader against Valley City State on Saturday at Dickinson’s North Complex.

Blue Hawks breeze by Vikings: DSU posts back-to-back wins, complete 4-game sweep against VCSU

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Blue Hawks breeze by Vikings: DSU posts back-to-back wins, complete 4-game sweep against VCSU
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After a combined 29-run outing, it’s safe to say the Dickinson State softball team’s offense is feeling pretty confident.

The Blue Hawks completed the four-game sweep and lit up the Valley City State’s pitching with an 11-1, 18-2 win on Saturday at Dickinson’s North Complex.

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With smaller margins of victory against Valley City on Friday, the team was ready to show its opponent what its truly capable of doing.

“The difference is we kind of got upset with them just like if people don’t talk right about you it’s just upsetting,” DSU senior first baseman Lindsey Sullivan said. “We kind of decided to show what our team is made of and it’s nice to come out and show off to everybody especially at home.”

It didn’t take long for DSU to seal the win in game one. The team scored 10 of its 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning. On a 1-0 count, shortstop Alex Vargas hit a two-run home run, her first of the season, to center which opened the floodgates.

Six different players — Vargas, pitcher Regan Lawrence, designated hitter Janell LaRont, third baseman Rebecca Lopez, second baseman Monique Yslas and catcher Brianna Grayson — scored DSU’s runs and varied between RBI singles and doubles.

In the second inning, the Blue Hawks scored their final run as Lopez hit a RBI double to center which brought home center fielder McKenzie Kenobbie.

Lopez finished 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI and a run, Yslas picked up two hits, two runs and two RBI and Vargas cleaned up with three RBI, two hits and two runs.

“When Alex is performing well, we feed off that as a team and I think that’s with all our players,” DSU head coach Kristen Fleury said. “Everybody feeds off each other. Our hits are contagious, our runs are contagious, our defense is contagious. That’s basically what it is.”

Lawrence had a solid outing in the circle. She gave up one run on two hits over five innings. Opposite Lawrence were Morgan Nalley and Samantha Nalley, who were hit hard by DSU’s offense. Morgan got the start and was taken out just after one out. She allowed six runs, five hits and was credited with the loss.

DSU reproduced its bat-heavy outing in game two with a 12-run inning in the bottom of the fourth.

Vargas continued her strong performance with two more home runs — a two-run homer in the first and a solo run in the bottom of the third — and finished with a perfect 3 for 3 with four runs and four RBI.

After coming off her Frontier Conference Freshman of the Year season, Vargas admitted she was struggling to replicate the same numbers and had low confidence with her performance. The six-run, seven-RBI day helped boost her esteem.

“It was kind of a bummer on my ego but I let it go and today we came out, me and Lindsey had a really good warm up, both felt really good and I just stayed relaxed and good things happened,” Vargas said. “I feel like I have my mojo back. Hopefully it continues.”

Vargas wasn’t the only player to have a strong game. Six players scored at least two runs as Lopez went 4 for 4 with three runs and Yslas, Sullivan and Grayson each added two.

Tiffany Morgan pitched all five innings, allowed four hits and two runs. Designated hitter Cejay Hilhorst and third baseman Liz Hall Sewell scored the Vikings’ only runs.

DSU makes a quick return to the field to host a doubleheader against Black Hills State starting at 1 p.m. on Monday at Dickinson’s North Complex.

By far, the Blue Hawks bench is the loudest and most energetic aspect of the game and is seen as love it or hate it amongst the conference. Sullivan said besides bringing their bats, keeping the energy and volume up during the games is a must if they want to take two wins over the Yellow Jackets.

“It’s nice to not have other people and other teams like us as much because it shows we have something to prove,” Sullivan said. “Kind of like, not saying it mean, but to put you in your place. If you’re going to talk bad about us, we’re just going to come out, we’re going to do our thing and not going to worry about what other people are saying and we’re going to perform.”

VCSU 0 00 10 — 1 2 1

DSU (10)10 0x — 11 14 2

VCSU, Morgan Nalley, Samantha Nalley (1) and Olivia Damge. DSU, Regan Lawrence and Brianna Grayson.

W–Lawrence. L–M. Nalley. HR–DSU, Alex Vargas.

Highlights: VCSU, Savannah McMillin run; Shayna Taffinder 1 for 3, Liz Hall Sewell 1 for 2; Cejay Hilhorst RBI. DSU, Vargas 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs; Monique Yslas 2 for 3, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Rebecca Lopez 2 for 4, 2 RBI, run, 2B, SB; Lindsey Sulivan 2 for 2, run; Grayson 2 for 3, 2B, SB, run, RBI; Lawrence 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, run; Janell LaRont 1 for 3, run, RBI, SB; McKenzie Kenobbie 1 for 2, SB, 2 runs; Justeena Gutierrez 1 for 3, 3B.

VCSU 000 4 0 — 2 4 3

DSU 213 (12) x — 18 18 3

VCSU, Lindsey White, Ashley Metcalf (3), Morgan Nalley (4) and Damge. DSU, Tiffany Morgan and Claudia Torres.

W–Morgan. L–White. HR–DSU, Vargas (2).

Highlights: VCSU, Hilhorst 1 for 2, 2B, run, RBI; Hall Sewell 0 for 2, run. DSU, Vargas 3 for 3, 2HR, 4 runs, 4 RBI; Lopez 4 for 4, 2B, 3 runs, RBI; Yslas 2 for 3, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Sullivan 2 for 3, (2)2B, 4 RBI, 2 runs; Grayson 2 for 3, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 runs; Gutierrez 2 for 4, (2)2B, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Kailey Olcott run; Samantha Bessey run; Morgan Glowa run.

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Meaghan MacDonald
Meaghan is the sports reporter for the Dickinson Press, focusing primarily on Dickinson State athletics and rodeo. After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism. 
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