UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 23, 2024

Dixie State swings towards winning streak

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The Dixie State baseball and softball teams are both boasting impressive winning-streaks after a busy week. 

Baseball 

 After a very slow start to the 2015 season, the DSU baseball team finally found its stride with a win against No. 4 Colorado Mesa University this weekend. 

Head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said he was not worried about the slow start. The team began last season 0-7 and went on to win the Pacific West Conference title.

“We have a lot of kids who’ve never played at this level before,” Pfatenhauer said. “We didn’t really change anything as far as practice goes. We’ve just been sticking to our system, and it seems to be working.”

Following the first win of the year, Dixie hosted a series with Montana State University-Billings and Minot State. 

In the first game of the home-stand, Dixie faced off against MSUB. The Storm did not pick up where they left off, allowing 5 runs on 12 hits in the opening innings. Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, DSU faced a 5-1 deficit. Then the rally caps came out. 

After two scores in the seventh, DSU continued to push runners across home plate in the eighth. With the bases loaded, sophomore outfielder Miles Bice singled to left field, scoring one. Junior infielder Tanner Morache knocked in the next runner on his third RBI of the game. 

The rest of the game belonged entirely to the Storm. MSUB had several errors and walked even more batters, pushing the DSU lead to 9-5. Junior pitcher Jeremy Alderman earned his first win of the year. 

On Friday, the Storm had a double-header with MSUB. The first game was a blowout. DSU shut MSUB down led by junior pitcher Porter Clayton. Clayton allowed only three hits, and Dixie pushed seven across the plate to earn its third straight win. 

The third and final game against MSUB was a defensive battle. Knotted up at two after five innings, senior infielder Kevin Kline plated the final run of the game, giving DSU a 3-2 win. 

Kline, a psychology major from Las Vegas, said he knew the team would bounce back after the 0-7 start.

“Our coaches emphasized the importance of trusting the system and our game plane,” Kline said. “We were able to execute much better this past weekend.” 

Dixie State kept its momentum rolling on Saturday when it faced Minot State. MSU dropped its season opener to MSUB earlier in the day at Hurst field. 

DSU dominated from the first pitch to the final out, winning its fifth straight contest 9-0. Sophomore Tanner Howell and junior Kolton Brost combined for the five-hit shutout on Saturday afternoon. 

DSU was set to face Minot state on Monday, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

The Storm will travel to Hawaii to lead off conference play on March 10.  

Softball   

The softball team also faced MSUB in a home series last weekend. Looking to get back on track after a 6-5 start, the women came out swinging against the Yellowjackets. 

DSU senior pitcher Michelle Duncan pitched her fourth complete game of the year, lowered her season ERA to 1.04 and shutout MSUB en route to a 6-0 win. Freshman outfielder Janessa Basset had two RBI’s on two hits in the victory. Duncan, a business administration major from Gilbert, Arizona, attributes her great pitching to her teammates. 

“As a team, we have been playing really good defense and pitching the ball really well,” Duncan said. “I have an awesome defense making plays behind me.” 

Looking to keep the storm rolling, DSU used another strong day in the circle to get two more wins against the Yellowjackets in a double-header on Saturday at Karl Brooks field. 

Duncan pitched yet another complete game on her way to a 6-0 start on the season. Sophomore pitcher Brooklyn Beardshear added two hits and two RBI’s, securing the 3-2 win for the Storm.

The second game of the double-header would not be as close. Guided by a huge day from Beardshear, both in the circle and at the plate, DSU ran away from MSUB early on. Sophomore shortstop Josey Hartman, an integrated studies major from Mapleton said she was very happy with the teams final performance. 

“The first games we played were a little scary,” Hartman said. “In the last game, our bats came alive and we worked as a team to win.” 

Beardshear notched her first win on the season and knocked out a solo homer in the game. Junior catcher Autumn Woodfall also blasted a three score home run in the 9-0 win. 

The win was the third straight for the Storm, who will face Dominican University to open up PacWest play this Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.