No. 23 Dixie State softball dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to No. 12 Humboldt State on Thursday in the 2017 NCAA Division II West Super Regional opener in Arcata, California.
The Trailblazers (42-13), playing in their first Super Regional series away from Karl Brooks Field, took a 2-1 lead late in the game but saw the lead slip away as the Lumberjacks (42-13) took their only lead of the game to clinch the victory in the eighth inning.
Dixie State opened a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Janessa Bassett drew a leadoff walk, stole second, then moved to third on a groundout. After a second-consecutive groundout, Arista Honey ripped an RBI single to left field to give DSU the advantage.
Humboldt State answered in the bottom of third, turning a hit and a DSU error into a 1-1 tie. HSU outfielder Kelly Sonneman drove a leadoff double to center field, then moved to third on a DSU error. Sonneman later scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel in the middle innings, as neither team managed more than one base runner in the next two frames.
The Trailblazers broke the tie in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff groundout, Bailey Gaffin belted a solo home run over the wall in right-center field to stake DSU to a 2-1 lead.
Dixie State looked to retire the HSU side in order in the bottom of the sixth and made quick work of the first two batters. But the next batter, Breonna Bejaran, tied the game with a home run just inside the foul pole down the left field line.
The Lumberjacks retired the Dixie State side in order in the top of the seventh, then drew a two-out walk in the bottom half of the frame. The HSU base runner then attempted to steal second to move into scoring position. But Jessica Gonzalez had other plans. Gonzalez mowed down the base runner with a strike to Josey Hartman at second to force extra innings.
Humboldt State clinched the win in the eighth inning, scoring on a fielder’s choice hit to second base after a leadoff walk, sacrifice bunt and a single.
Brooklyn Beardshear (19-7) took the loss in the pitcher’s circle, allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts in her 18th complete game of the season. Three different DSU players recorded a hit, while Honey and Gaffin each picked up an RBI.
Dixie State and Humboldt State play game two of the Super Regional series on Friday at noon Pacific Time. The if-necessary game will follow at 2:30 p.m., if the Trailblazers win game two.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at email@example.com.