VALLEY CITY - About 24 hours removed from a nine-inning 2-1 victory over No. 5 Waldorf University (Iowa), the No. 4 Dickinson State softball team defeated the Warriors in 10 innings, 6-5.
The win sent the Blue Hawks on to face No.1 seed and host Valley City State for the second time in two days.
The Vikings shutout Dickinson State 8-0 in six innings on Friday, May 3, advancing to the conference championship.
Over the first two innings, Dickinson State earned a 5-1 advantage. With the game tied at one, Kayla Stephens walked to start the bottom of the second. One out and three batters later, she scored on a passed ball. Senior shortstop Sonja Lawrence singled on a line drive up the middle, to score another run, giving the Blue Hawks a 3-1 lead. With senior catcher Claire Shoffit at the plate, Lawrence stole second, and three pitches later, Shoffit singled to plate Lawrence and senior outfielder Andrea Rodriguez.
The Warriors tied it up with a three-run sixth inning and pitcher Karlee Leyvas kept Dickinson State off the board for seven straight innings.
Finally, in the 10th, the Blue Hawks broke through. Rodriguez reached on an error, but was caught at third as Lawrence singled on a bunt. Shoffit pushed Lawrence over as she singled on a line drive to center and Lawrence scored with a ground ball from starting pitcher Jaya Allen.
Vikings starting pitcher Emily Smith was stellar, aiding the No. 7 team in the nation to an 8-0 win in six innings.
Smith went the distance, striking out six, walking two and allowing three hits.
Shoffit, Stephens and senior left fielder Jordan Menke came away with the Blue Hawks hits.
The Blue Hawks end the season with a 26-23 record.