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Blue Hawk softball rolls, then falls in extras to Viterbo

Slow and steady at first, the runs started coming. Then they kept coming, and coming until the game was over--a premature final by two innings. One in the first, three in the second, two in third and another three in the fourth put Dickinson Stat...

Dickinson State's Abigail Brooks delivers a pitch at home Saturday against Viterbo. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State's Abigail Brooks delivers a pitch at home Saturday against Viterbo. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

Slow and steady at first, the runs started coming.

Then they kept coming, and coming until the game was over-a premature final by two innings.

One in the first, three in the second, two in third and another three in the fourth put Dickinson State softball up 9-0 against Viterbo Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader, and after a scoreless fifth inning in the field, the game was called by mercy rule, a 9-0 tally.

The victory for the Blue Hawks, led by five scoreless from pitcher Abigail Brooks, helped improve the Blue Hawks record in the last 16 games to 11-5, a continuation of their hot play following an uncharacteristically bad start.

But in the second game of the doubleheader - a much closer and much longer affair - the Blue Hawks blew a late 2-1 lead, sending the game into extra innings, which the V-Hawks eventually won, 4-2, in 10 frames.

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The day's split brought DSU's record on the year to 20-22 and 15-9 in the North Star Athletic Association, a figure they'll look to improve Sunday in another doubleheader with Viterbo, their final action before the conference tournament starts in Dickinson this upcoming Friday.

The split also meant no movement between the third and fourth spot in the standings; Viterbo (21-27, 16-8 NSAA) remains a game ahead of DSU in third place.

The hope for head coach Kristen Fleury going into this weekend was to maintain this month-long hot streak going into the NSAA championship, and, at least at first, that was achieved.

"We were able to capitalize on some of their mistakes, Abby threw really well as well," she said. "We've talked about closing the door on teams when we have the chance to. When everyone is kind of producing there's a little less pressure at the plate. That's what happened in that first game."

McKenzie Kenobbie was a spark plug from the leadoff spot, tallying three hits, including a single with two on in the second that rolled through the legs of the Viterbo right fielder, resulting in error-induced inside-the-park home run, scoring three to make it 4-0 through two innings.

After another two scored in the third inning, nine-hole hitter Hanna Andrysiak started the fourth with a double, followed by a bunt hit from Kenobbie.

After a popout, Rachael Dillon homered to right center to push the score to that magic number of eight runs.

They added another run in that inning, then Brooks came on to close the deal.

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Brooks, who entered the game with the Blue Hawks' best ERA, pitched five scoreless, striking out four and allowing only three hits. With the win, she improved to 13-12 and brought her ERA to below three.

"She's been great for us in the last half of the season," Fleury said of her sophomore pitcher. "She's gotten better and stronger and more confident. She has confidence in her defense and she's throwing well."

Game one

Dickinson State 9, Viterbo 0

VU 000 00 - 0

DSU 132 3x - 9

DSU: Abigail Brooks (5.0).

W-Brooks. HR-DSU: Rachael Dillon.

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Game two

Viterbo 4, Dickinson State 2 (10 innings)

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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