The No. 13 Dixie State softball team closed its 10-game Hawaii trip with a Pacific West Conference doubleheader split, 5-2 and 3-2, at Hawai’i Pacific on Sunday in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
The Trailblazers (26-7, 12-4 PacWest) scored five unanswered runs to rally for a 5-2 win in game one but couldn’t overcome a 3-2 deficit in game two.
Hawai’i Pacific broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third, turning two hits and one DSU error into a 2-0 lead.
Dixie State closed the gap in the top of the fourth when Bailey Gaffin, who opened the inning with a leadoff single down the right field line, scored from third on an HPU throwing error to cut the lead to 2-1.
Gaffin then gave the Trailblazers the lead in the top of the fifth, driving a two-RBI double to center field with two outs to propel DSU to a 3-2 lead.
Dixie State put the finishing touches on the win with two more runs in the sixth inning, using one hit and an HPU error to extend the lead to the final count of 5-2. Jessica Gonzalez belted a double to left-center field to open the inning, and she later scored the first run of the inning on a throwing error. Brenna Hinck then drove a sacrifice fly to right field to score Riley Tyteca from third for the final run of the game.
Gaffin led the charge offensively for DSU, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Brooklyn Beardshear (12-2) earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing two runs, both unearned, on five hits with three strikeouts in a complete-game performance.
Dixie State opened the scoring on a Gaffin RBI single in the first inning and a Janessa Bassett RBI single in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
But like DSU in game one, HPU proved that a 2-0 lead isn't safe. The Sharks answered with an RBI single in the third inning and a two-run home run with two outs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good at 3-2.
The Trailblazers saw golden opportunities to tie or take the lead in sixth and seventh innings, but they couldn’t take advantage, leaving runners on base in both innings.
Josey Hartman reached first with one out after being hit by a pitch in the sixth. Hartman moved to second on a passed ball and reached third after an infield single by Bassett. With runners on the corners, DSU attempted a double-steal play, sending Bassett to second. HPU catcher Carolann Toyoma fired to second, but instead of applying the tag on Bassett, HPU immediately returned the ball to home where Hartman was caught stealing for the second out. A ground out to shortstop then ended the inning, stranding Bassett at second.
Gaffin singled to right field to open the seventh inning, then stole second. Mallory Paulson moved Gaffin to third with a one-out single through the left side, and for the second-consecutive inning, the Trailblazers had runners on the corners with one out. Dani Bartholf sent a fly ball to right field on the ensuing at-bat, but the ball did not carry deep enough to allow Gaffin to tag at third and score the tying run. Paulson was then thrown at on second on the next play to end the game.
Bassett led DSU at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, while Gaffin went 2-for-4 with an RBI to complete a 5-for-8 day with three RBIs and a double. Alexis Barkwell logged a solid performance in the pitcher’s circle, allowing just three hits and striking out three batters in the loss.
Dixie State returns to Karl Brooks Field to host Southern Utah in a single game on Wednesday, before hosting Azusa Pacific in a pivotal PacWest series on Friday and Saturday.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at email@example.com.