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Blue Hawks sweep by Jamestown

Dickinson State junior Regan Lawrence, right, pitches against the University of Jamestown as sophomore shortstop Alex Vargas fields on Tuesday at Dickinson’s North Complex. The Blue Hawks swept the Jimmies 4-1, 3-2. 1 / 2
DSU freshman Brianna Grayson hits during the opening game.2 / 2

After weeks of road games, hotel rooms and snow, the Dickinson State softball team finally had its first home stand.

With winds blowing and temperatures cool, the Blue Hawks made their home series count, sweeping the University of Jamestown 4-1, 3-2 on Tuesday at Dickinson’s North Complex.

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“We had some early nerves,” Dickinson head coach Kristen Fleury said. “It’s great to play at home whenever you get to play at home, get some home field advantage and I think we did have some of that in our first game.”

DSU capitalized on Jamestown’s defensive mistakes in the first game.

In the bottom of the third, third baseman Rebecca Lopez reached base after center fielder Olivia Knott dropped a fly ball. Two at-bats later, Alex Vargas hit a RBI single to bring Lopez home. 

An inning later, the Blue Hawks scored three more runs including two on a dropped pop-up.

Lopez completed the game 2 for 4 with a double, two runs and a RBI while Monique Yslas and Justeena Gutierrez scored the other two runs.

“I thought the girls pitched pretty well but I didn’t think we played a very good defensive game and that was pretty obvious to everybody,” Jamestown head coach Kevin Gall said. “There were easy outs we didn’t make, whether it was balls in the sun, either way we didn’t make them.”

Regan Lawrence pitched a complete game, allowed one run on three hits and struck out 12. Emily Snow was in the circle for the Jimmies and gave up four runs, nine hits and struck out five.

Despite her strong numbers, Lawrence said she was feeling a bit out of sync in the circle. But after playing 36 games, she and Grayson have built a solid working relationship to where she completely confident in her catcher’s calls.

“I felt a little out of control when I was pitching, but Bri saved my life a couple times the way she called the game,” Lawrence said. “I shook her off a couple times but I trusted her and it ended up working out in the end.”

In game two, both Lawrence and Grayson saved DSU from splitting its doubleheader.

During the bottom of the first, Grayson hit a two-run single to give the Blue Hawks the early 2-0 lead. But in the top of the fifth, Jamestown second baseman Brook Rheault singled to right to drive in a run, followed by left fielder Sarah Money scoring off of Lindsey Sullivan’s missed catch to tie the game up.

Rheault went 3 for 3 with a RBI and Money contributed a run. In the bottom of the sixth, Lawrence doubled to left to send Grayson home for the game-winning run. Grayson went 1 for 3 with two RBI and a run.

“It was our first home game, it was nerve wrecking playing in front of everyone,” Grayson said. “But I think we came through when we had to. (Lawrence) came through in the last inning and I was able to score off her and that put us up and was a good feeling.”

Tiffany Morgan started for DSU and lasted 5 1/3 innings with one earned run, five hits and five strike outs but Lawrence came in for relief and was credited with the win. Lawrence was clean across the board with no hits, runs, walks or strikeouts.

The Blue Hawks are now 24-12 on the season and have lost only one Frontier Conference game so far. With the team on a roll this season — and won 9 of its last 11 games —Fleury said the team chemistry and lack of off the field issues has played a big factor into their success.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together since March 8 and 30-some plus games on the road so that’s bus trips, car rides, hotel rooms and we just have a great group that everybody’s bought in and accepted their role from 1 through 20,” Fleury said. “We don’t have any drama or anything and they all believe in one another and want the same thing.”

The Blue Hawks travel to Valley City State for a weekend series beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday. Valley City will come to DSU on Saturday.

Lawrence said Tuesday could have gone better offensively for her team so the key to winning this weekend will be to get ahead early and not hold back at bat.

“We went 3-0 against them in Arizona and I feel like it was the same kind of game as this, they held us when we could have capitalized in other areas and crushed them early,” Lawrence said. “That’s what we need to do this weekend.”

UJ 000 001 0 — 1 3 3

DSU 001 300 x — 4 9 1

UJ, Emily Snow and Megan Heriot. DSU, Regan Lawrence and Brianna Grayson.

W–Lawrence. L–Snow. HR–none.

Highlights: UJ, Sarah Money 0 for 2, run; Hattie Fullmer 1 for 2, RBI; Tylyn McKeever 1 for 3; Autumn Wang 1 for 2. DSU, Rebecca Lopez 2 for 4, 2 runs, RBI, 2B; Justeena Gutierrez 2 for 3, 2B, run; Lindsey Sullivan 1 for 4, 2 RBI; Alex Vargas, 2 for 4, RBI.

UJ 000 020 0 — 2 5 1

DSU 200 001 x — 3 5 1

UJ Hanna Dunnigan and Sydney Greenlund. DSU Tiffany Morgan, Lawrence (6) and Claudia Torres.

W–Lawrence. L–Dunnigan. HR–none.

Highlights: UJ, Sarah Money 0 for 2, run; Brooke Rheault 3 for 3, run; Snow 1 for 3. DSU, Brianna Grayson 1 for 3, 2 RBI, run; Lawrence 1 for 3, 2B, run; Vargas 0 for 3, run; Monique Yslas 1 for 3, run.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  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 and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.