DSU survive day two, picking up first loss of NSAA Championships
Three teams exit the tournament on the cloudy and rain drizzling Saturday, Bruins and Valley City remain in the winner's bracket.
DICKINSON — Cloudy weather turned to drizzling rain made for a looming and tense backdrop, on the Bravera field, for day two of the North Star Athletics Association Championships. No. 3 Dickinson State met with No. 5 Viterbo, for the final game of the day, determining who would advance and who would be packing in their season that night. The game ended 8-5, favoring the hosting Blue Hawks.
At the end of the day, No. 6 Waldorf, No. 7 Mayville and the V-Hawks seasons would come to an end, with No. 1 Bellevue, No. 2 Valley City, No. 4 Dakota State and Dickinson State stayed amidst for a spot in the Championship game.
“We knew going into the game [against Viterbo] that we have to win to vie an advance," Whitney Mesi, DSU assistant coach, said. "I think we just allowed our athletes to take control and to take ownership of the game and they did so and we are proud of them ... We have had the motto, 'One more.' through the season. One kid does their job and we get another kid and then one more. One more hit leads to one more walk and one more walk leads to one more run and ultimately it allows for a team win."
Early in the closing game, Alexa Kappel, starting in the circle, was falling behind in the count, giving up five walks in the first two innings and Ari Martinez got the nod. Viterbo took the advantage and had a two-run lead by the top of the third inning, capped by a home run hit to center field by Morgan James.
The Blue Hawks would surmount the early setbacks and by the bottom of the fifth inning were holding onto a 8-2 lead. It was initiated with them taking advantage of two field errors in the third. In the fourth inning, Rhea Paiva earned them an insurance run with an RBI double and was then brought home by Martinez hitting her own double. Dickinson State were on the defensive, delivering a 1,2,3 inning at the top of the sixth, but we're having trouble closing the door, the relentless V-Hawks inching their way to seventh inning rally with three runs.
Dallis Mitchell entered the circle to collect the save and the final putout from a pop out.
"I knew going into [that situation] I had to have Ari's back and I just wanted to do it for my team, to get a good win rolling into tomorrow," Mitchell said. "It was fun and it was a good game."
The Warriors were the first team out of the tournament, losing the day’s opening game against Viterbo with a 6-3 result. The V-Hawks were consistent at-bat, while their pitcher Morgan Fuhrer did well to limit the hits to three and striking out eight batters. They took a two-run lead at the bottom of the first, but Waldorf would tie it up at the top of the second inning. Viterbo collected on another two-run inning in the fourth and would soar well past the Warriors to recover.
The winner’s bracket was downsized to just two teams, with the Trojans falling 2-1 to the Bruins and Dickinson State unraveling to the Vikings in a 12-10 slugfest.
The Blue Hawks had 13 hits, including four doubles — three of which resulted in RBIs. They took a 7-5 lead at the top of the fourth inning, capped by Mitchell’s two-RBI single to the left of center field. They ended the inning with bases loaded and with surge of momentum, but the Vikings would quickly recover and responded with three doubles and six-run in the bottom fourth frame.
A late rally began to materialize in the top half of the seventh inning, Mitchell tallying two more RBIs from a stand up double, but the final putout would come with three runners left stranded and the Blue Hawks being cast to the loser’s bracket. DSU head coach Kristen Fleury said it came down to their defense and allowing their opponents too many chances.
"Its tournament time and you cant give good teams like Valley City the extra opportunities like we gave them," Fleury said. "We had our opportunity, we had runners in scoring positions, but we gave them a lot more opportunities and they took advantage of our mistakes ... At the end of the day, offense wins games, defense wins championships and I fully believe that, so we are going to have to step it up on defense."
The Comets fell out of the tourney to Dakota State, determined to a 10-6 ballgame with late runs. Mayville played with considerable heart in the tourney, with both of their games going into an extra inning and saw them holding early leads. Against the Trojans, they held a two-run lead going into the seventh inning, but Dakota State would hit a game-tying two-run homer to buy themselves a chance. The Comets were unable to score another run, but would have four more scored on them.
Sunday, will serve as the loser’s out finale, with just four teams remaining. First the top two seeded teams, Bellevue and Valley City will face each other, followed by the Trojans and Dickinson State contesting to who will take on the loser of the Bruins and the Vikings game.
Valley City 12, Dickinson State 10
DSU 000 000 000 — 0 0 0
VCSU 000 000 000 — 0 0 0
VCSU: Copinga 2-5, RBI, 2SB; Diemert 3-5, 4RBI, 2B; Perryman 2-5; Hawkins 2-4, 2RBI; Crocker 2-4, 2RBI, 2B; DePoorter 1-3, RBI; Zander 1-3; Stone 2-4; Rodriguez 1-2, 2RBI.
DSU : Paiva 2-4, SB; Conway 1-4, Sac; Martinez 1-4, 2B; Enriquez 1-5; Mitchel 3-3, 5RBI, (2)2B; Venner 2-4, RBI; Peralta 2- 2, 2RBI, 2B; Potter 1-5, RBI.
VCSU: Lamontagne 2.1IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 2K; Zander 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB; Hawkins (WP) 3.2IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K.
DSU : Mitchell 1.1IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, Martinez 2.1IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 2K, Kappel 2.1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K.
Dickinson State 8, Viterbo 5
VU 101 000 3 — 5 4 4
DSU 003 410 X — 8 7 1
DSU: Rhea Paiva 2-2, 2RBI, 2B, SB; Conway 1-3, RBI, Sac; Martinez 1-2, 2RBI, 2B; Mitchell Sac; Peralta 1-3; Venner SB; Potter 2-3.
VU :Nortman 1-4 , RBI, 2B, SB; Haakenson 1-4, RBI, 2B; Carter-Olson SacFly; James 1-3, RBI, HR; Bogdonovich 1-2.
DSU: Kappel 1IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 5BB; Martinez (WP) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 1K; Mitchell (SV) 1IP, 4H, 5R, 3ER, 5BB, 1K
VU: Wilkey 3.1IP, 5H, 7R, 3ER, 4BB; Fuhrer 2.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K