Blue Hawks softball starts NSAA play with two wins

MADISON, S.D. -- On Dickinson State's first day of conference play, the No. 17-ranked Blue Hawks wanted to play like they were 0-0 -- and they ended the day 2-0.DSU took down previously ranked Bellevue 1-0 then beat Dakota State 12-1 in a North S...

MADISON, S.D. - On Dickinson State’s first day of conference play, the No. 17-ranked Blue Hawks wanted to play like they were 0-0 - and they ended the day 2-0.
DSU took down previously ranked Bellevue 1-0 then beat Dakota State 12-1 in a North Star Athletic Association doubleheader.
In the first game, Alex Watson held Bellevue to two hits while striking out nine batters in the complete game shutout.
“It was a big win. Watson threw phenomenal for us,” DSU head coach Kristen Fleury said. “She threw well and kept their hitters off balance.”
Watson, a sophomore who is now 8-1 for the year and has already been named NSAA player of the week, continues to improve as the season progresses, Fleury said.
“Watson has been on for us, and she’s growing for us,” Fleury said. “Watson is just growing and growing into that role as our No. 1 pitcher. I still don’t think she’s quite there, but she’s been phenomenal for us.”
The Bruins (9-13, 1-1 NSAA) and Blue Hawks (19-6, 2-0) were in a stalemate until Alex Vargas drove a 1-2 pitch to deep center for a triple and Brianna Grayson drove her home with a single to right-center field.
“Vargas stepped up for us,” Fleury said. “Grayson was able to get a nice solid single to score the run. When you have Watson throwing as well as she was, you only need one run.”
While the Blue Hawks struggled in the first game on offense, they turned it around against the Trojans (2-4, 0-2) with an 18-hit performance. Shannen Donnelly and Grayson each drove in three runs - with Donnelly recording a home run - and McKenzie Bassett and Morgan Glowra each tallying two RBI.

Abbi Brooks allowed five hits, three walks and the single run while striking out five in the complete-game pitching victory.
“Hitting is contagious. Once they get the bats going, they get confidence in themselves,” Fleury said. “We were able to get some production out of the bottom of our lineup which we knew we’ve had, we just hadn’t seen it. It was a good game offensively for us and defensively and on the mound.”
However, Fleury said the Blue Hawks’ second game against Bellevue at 8 a.m. today before their 2 p.m. game against Dakota State is one of the most important games of the regular season.
So the Blue Hawks better bring a strong game today as well, she said.
“It’s kind of a tough turnover when you’ve got one of the toughest team in the conference,” Fleury said. “We’ve just definitely got to stay within our game, stay in our head and play our game.”

Dickinson State 1, Bellevue 0
DSU 000 001 0 - 1 5 0
B 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
Alex Watson and Brenda Cruz. Kelli Fisher and Sayde Woten.
W–Watson. L–Fisher. HR–none.
Highlights: McKenzie Kenobbie 2 for 4; Monique Yslas 1 for 3; Alex Vargas 1 for 3, run, 3B; Brianna Grayson 1 for 3, RBI. B: Sarah Zeleny 1 for 3; Kaitlyn Goney 1 for 2.

Dickinson State 12, Dakota State 1
Di.SU 002 051 4 - 12 18 1
Da.SU 000 010 0 - 1 5 5
Abi Brooks and Brenda Cruz. Claire Fischer and Audrey Kosman (1) and Elizabeth Rubalcava.
W–Brooks. L–Kosman. HR–Di.SU, Shannen Donnelly.
Highlights: Di.SU: McKenzie Kenobbie 2 for 5, run; Monique Yslas 2 for 5, 2 runs, 2B; Alex Vargas 4 for 5, 2 runs, RBI, 3B; Brianna Grayson 2 for 5, run, 3 RBI; Whitney Mesi 2 for 3, run, RBI; McKenzie Bassett 2 for 3, run, 2 RBI; Brenda Cruz 1 for 3, run; Donnelly 2 for 4, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR, 2B; Morgan Glowra 1 for 3, 2 RBI, 3B. Da.SU: Kayla Schmell 1 for 4, RBI; Audrey Kosman 2 for 2; Ariana Duran 1 for 1; Kylee Pospisil 1 for 2, run.

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