ST. GEORGE — Dixie State softball grinded out a sweep of its series-opening doubleheader against UC-Colorado Springs on Saturday at Karl Brooks Field.
The Trailblazers (16-5, 10-4 RMAC) needed some late-game magic to rally for a 6-5 win in eight innings in game one. In game two, DSU blanked the Mountain Lions (12-13, 8-5 RMAC) for a 6-0 win to complete the doubleheader sweep.
After two scoreless innings in game one, UCCS took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third with three runs on three hits. The Mountain Lions would go on to score one run in the top of the fourth and the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.
Dixie State came alive in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs on two hits to trim the UCCS lead to 5-3. Dani Bartholf opened the scoring for DSU with a sacrifice fly to left field, while Bailey Gaffin plated the other two runs with a single through the right side.
Needing two runs to stay alive in the bottom of the seventh, the Trailblazers experienced a rollercoaster ride during the frame. DSU loaded the bases with just one out before a called third strike for the second out seemed to swing the momentum back to the UCCS dugout. But DSU refused to lose, as Brenna Cornwall tied the game at 5-5 three pitches later with a two-run single to center field.
UCCS threatened to score in the top of the eighth, getting runners to second and third with two outs. But Alexandria Melendez ended the inning with a critical strikeout of the next UCCS batter in an eight-pitch at-bat.
Destiny Diaz started things off for DSU with a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Kaitlyn Delange ended the game four pitches later with a walk-off single up the middle to push the score to the final tally of 6-5.
Delange led DSU at the plate in game one with three hits, while Cornwall and Gaffin finished with two RBIs each. Melendez (1-1) earned her first win of the season in the pitcher’s circle, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts after entering in the sixth inning.
The Trailblazers wasted no time building a lead in game two, scoring three runs for a 3-0 lead after two innings. Jessica Gonzalez opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, while Diaz plated two runs with a two-RBI single down the right field line in the bottom of the second.Comment on this story
Dixie State duplicated the feat through the fifth and sixth innings, scoring one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Delange scored from third when Kori Gahn reached on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fifth, while Gaffin drove an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth. Meagan Anders scored the final run of the game when she stole home on a double-steal play late in the sixth.
Delange and Gaffin each posted a 2-for-2 performance to lead DSU at the plate in game two. Carissa Burgess earned the win in the pitcher’s circle to improve to 9-2, allowing just three hits in the complete-game shutout with a career-high six strikeouts.
The Trailblazers and Mountain Lions will close the four-game series with a second doubleheader at Karl Brooks Field on Sunday at 11 a.m.