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Blue Hawks have strong weekend of softball

Blue Hawks finish with 5-0 record and fall in a close scrimmage.

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Dickinson State have strong weekend with help of stellar pitching. (File image/The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson State softball team had a weekend full of softball. With the team being unable to be in Arizona, as the team typically does during spring break, the Blue Hawks still brought the heat against its opponents, earning a 5-0 overall record, and just falling short in a scrimmage.

With this weekend being the final time to prepare for the conference schedule, the Blue Hawks came out in fashion by delivering back-to-back victories over Doane University and Mayville State University. The team then closed out its weekend against NCAA Division II Minnesota State University-Moorhead in a double header, the second game being a scrimmage

Dickinson State started its weekend with back-to-back battles on Thursday in Casselton, N.D. With its first game being against the Mayville State Comets.

Freshman pitcher Paisley Garcia had a stellar day on the mound by playing in all seven innings and only giving up one run on four hits and notching three strikeouts in the process.

The Blue Hawks found its rhythm early by scoring a run off an RBI double from freshman Dallis Mitchell. The Blue Hawks added to its score with two additional runs in the third inning followed by one run in the fifth and seventh inning.

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In the end, Dickinson State obtained a 5-1 victory over the Comets.

Junior Trinity Anderson led the charge for Dickinson State by going 3-for-4 at the plate. Sophomore Hailey Enriquez was also a key driving force in runs scored for the Blue Hawks with four RBIs.

“It’s good to bounce back after a tough week earlier on in the week,” Blue Hawks Head Coach Kristen Fleury said. “It’s good to see them bounce back and do some things that we worked on in practice and translate that into the games.”

Then came Doane University.

Just as its pitching was a key influence in the previous game, it was again in the second game with sophomore Madeline Peralta only giving up one against the Tigers.

Dickinson State made a string of hits and key moves to obtain the 3-0 victory over the Tigers.

Following the two victories, Fleury was in high spirits on her team’s overall performance to start out the weekend, particularly on the rubber.

“It’s good to get two wins and our pitchers did really well for us, giving up only one run and couldn’t have asked for anything else,” she said. “It was good for them to bounce back and re-group from that (loss.)”

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Friday started with a rematch against the Tigers.

In the sixth inning, the Blue Hawks were able to obtain a 2-0 lead based on clutch offensive moves and a key error made by the Tigers.

Doane attempted a comeback in the seventh by scoring one run, but was unable to score another run to tie the game, resulting in a 2-1 victory for the Blue Hawks.

It was then on to the Comets.

After getting on the board first with an RBI hit by Enriquez, the Blue Hawks were in high spirits.

Desperately in need of an answer, the Comets silenced Dickinson State by scoring three runs in the second, taking a 3-1 lead.

Nevertheless, Enriquez launched a towering solo-homer in the third to narrow the gap to one. From then on, Dickinson State scored six more runs in the game and Mayville State was only able to score three. Thus, the Blue Hawks came away with a 8-6 victory.

Dickinson State hit the road to Moorhead on Saturday to take on NCAA Division II opponent Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

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Dickinson State showed no fear or intimidation against the Dragons early on with Anderson scoring in the first off a sacrifice bunt. The lead would not last after the Dragons scored a lone run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at one.

Dickinson State re-took the lead when freshman Madison Stephens made history by hitting her first homerun as a Blue Hawk, igniting Dickinson State which then recorded two runs in the fifth, and two in the seventh when Enriquez notched a two-run dinger in the seventh to help the Blue Hawks’ take a 6-1 victory.

“We put the ball in play, we moved runners over and capitalized on some of their mistakes. I think we ended up scoring in every single inning and scored more than they did,” Fleury said.

Following the 6-1 win, it was on to the scrimmage.

Unfortunately, the Dragons were determined to not end the day on a 0-2 day and gave its best effort in the scrimmage winning 9-8.

Luckily, with the second game being a scrimmage, the loss would not damage the Blue Hawks record which now stands at 11-5.

“I think we did a lot of things not to help ourselves out today to get the split but definitely could have gotten a sweep (victory)," Fleury said. “But you’re dealing with the elements, it was windy, playing on a football field and, making no excuses, that said some things just didn’t go our way.”

Following the double-header, the Blue Hawks ended its weekend 5-0 on paper, and 5-1 overall with the scrimmage.

“It’s been a good, unprecedented spring break for us,” Fleury said. “Obviously we’re used to going out to Arizona, so we asked the kids to do a lot. We dropped a lot, played in a lot of different weathers, stayed in a lot of different hotels so I think that takes a toll on them.”

With the weekend coming to a close, the Blue Hawks now prepare for the upcoming conference schedule.

“If you take the week and look at what we actually did, I think we learned and we got better and hopefully this week in practice we can prepare to take on Waldorf next weekend and start conference on a high note.”

The Blue Hawks will be beginning its conference schedule with a double-header on Saturday at Waldorf University.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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