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DSU softball wins North Star-Frontier Conference championship

JAMESTOWN — For the second year in a row, the Dickinson State softball team has been crowned conference champions.

The Blue Hawks defeated University of Great Falls (Mont.) 2-1 on a walk-off RBI single from Lindsay Sullivan to win the NAIA Unaffiliated/North Star-Frontier Conference Tournament title on Sunday. DSU has clinched a spot in the NAIA national tournament.

DSU junior starting pitcher Regan Lawrence — who was named the tournament’s MVP — picked up her third win of the tournament and nearly pitched her third straight shutout. Lawrence allowed one run on seven hits over seven innings. The lone Great Falls run came off a solo home run by right fielder Kirstie Thomas — finished 2 for 3 with a RBI and run — in the sixth inning.

Throughout the tournament, Lawrence maintained a 0.37 earned run average with batters just hitting .162 against her. She finished with 16 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched.

The game was stagnant on both ends until the sixth inning as both DSU and Great Falls got on the board. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Alex Vargas singled to center to bring home Rebecca Lopez. Vargas was 1 for 3 with a RBI, while Lopez went 1 for 2 and scored a run.

With one out and a runner on second, Sullivan hit a walk-off single to left field in the seventh inning. Catcher Brianna Grayson, who reached second a one-out double to center, scored the game-winning run. Sullivan was 1 for 2 with a RBI and Grayson was 1 for 3 with a double and run.

Keeley Van Blaricom was in the circle for the Argos and allowed two runs on five hits, three walks and struck out one batter in 6 ⅓ innings.

DSU and the Argos met during the semifinals on Saturday. The Blue Hawks blanked Great Falls with a 3-0 victory.

The Blue Hawks finished its season and conference postseason on a 22-game win streak and now looks to prove itself in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. The event will take place between May 12-14 with 10 four-team double elimination tournaments. The pairings will be announced Tuesday.