No. 3 Dixie State softball saw its 20-game win streak come to an end on Wednesday, splitting a Pacific West Conference doubleheader, 2-1 and 6-3, at Hawai’i Pacific in Honolulu.
The PacWest twin bill was moved from the regular HPU facility in Kaneohe to the Sand Island State Park field in Honolulu due to recent rainfall in the area. The start time was also bumped up to 9:30 a.m. Hawaii Time. The Trailblazers (21-1, 7-1 PacWest) conceded two runs in the first inning of game one, but they couldn’t overcome the deficit, leaving seven base runners stranded throughout the contest. DSU took the lead in the fourth inning of game two and never relinquished the advantage. The game was called after the sixth inning due to a facility curfew in place because of the venue change.
Hawai’i Pacific scored its only two runs of the contest in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run home run down the left field line.
Dixie State saw multiple opportunities to cut into the lead but left two runners stranded in the second and third inning.
The Trailblazers cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning. Kori Gahn drew a two-out walk, and Taylor Godfrey entered as a pinch-runner. Five pitches later, Cassidy Morton singled to right field, scoring Godfrey from first to trim the lead to 2-1. But DSU wouldn’t get any closer.
HPU retired the Trailblazer side in order in the top of the seventh to hand the visitors their first loss of the season. Gahn, Morton and Brenna Hinck recorded the only DSU hits in the game, while Cambrie Hazel (8-1) allowed four hits with five strikeouts in her first loss of the year.
Dixie State saw its bats come alive in the fourth inning of game two, scoring four runs on four hits to break a scoreless tie and build a 4-0 advantage. After Janessa Bassett drew a leadoff walk and Hinck recorded an infield single, Kenzie Sawyer blasted the first pitch she saw over the fence in left-center field to give the Trailblazers a 4-0 lead.
Hawai’i Pacific answered in the bottom of the fourth, using five hits to score three runs and trim the lead to 4-3.
The Trailblazers pushed the lead back to 5-3 in the top of the fifth when Bailey Gaffin singled up the middle to score Bassett from second.
The Sharks threatened to cut back into the lead in the bottom of the fifth, placing two runners on base with just one out. However, Hazel entered the game for DSU and struck out the next two batters to escape the jam unscathed.
Dixie State added another insurance run in the top of the sixth when Gaffin singled to center field to score Riley Tyteca from second and bring the score to the final tally of 6-3. The Trailblazers defense retired the HPU side in order in the bottom of the sixth, and the game was called after the sixth inning due to the facility curfew.
Sawyer and Gaffin led the way at the plate, combining for seven hits and six RBIs. Alexandria Melendez (7-0) earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing five hits with four strikeouts. Hazel recorded her third save of the season, notching three strikeouts with no hits allowed in 1.2 innings.
Dixie State now heads to the Big Island for a four-game series at Hawai’i Hilo to wrap up its eight-game trip.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at [email protected].