Storm softball extend winning streak, sweep Silverswords

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   Fourteenth-ranked Dixie State University softball used stellar pitching and hot bats to down Chaminade University in a doubleheader Wednesday.

   The Storm won their Pacific West Conference-high 12th straight game by way of 27 hits and zero errors in the 8-0 and 16-4 wins. 

   Senior pitcher Aryn Feickert threw a complete-game no-hitter in game one as DSU dominated the Silverswords in the first half of the sweep. Feickert tied her season high with 11 strikeouts as she improved to 13-3 on the season. 

   Senior catcher Autumn Woodfall brought the crowd to its feet with two consecutive home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, her first homers of the season. 

   Other Storm batters followed suit as they poured on all eight runs in the final four innings to close out the Seasiders. Junior outfielder Shelby Yung, a  communication major from Upland, California, said the offense hasn’t come on its own. 

   “Our at bats have been a lot better lately,” Yung said. “Our defense has played so well that it’s taken the pressure off batters, and that helps a lot.” 

   Woodfall led the Storm  going 2-3 from the plate, hitting two out of the park and adding three RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Janessa Bassett and junior infielder Josey Hartman also went 2-3 in the game one win. The balanced offensive attack was something head coach Randy Simkins said he loved to watch. 

   “We were extremely efficient today,” Simkins said. “We finished innings when we got runners in scoring position and didn’t commit any errors on the other side. It was just great team softball.” 

   The Storm kept rolling in game two and jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning after freshman infielder Bailey Gaffin hit a three-run triple with two outs. Junior pitcher Brooklyn Beardshear smacked the next pitch over the left field wall to score Gaffin on a two-run homer. 

   DSU didn’t slow down from that point on, extending the lead to 10-0 in the third. CU looked to rally in the fourth, scoring four straight runs and cutting the lead nearly in half. 

   The Storm quickly shifted the momentum back in their direction, plating six runners in the next half inning and putting the Silverswords comeback hopes on ice.

   “Our team chemistry has been great lately,” said Beardshear, and exercise scienece major from Tucson, Arizona. “It helps us to better communicate on the field and work through tough situations.” 

   Gaffin and Beardshear paced DSU from the batters box in game two. Gaffin had the best game of her short career, going 3-4 and bringing in four RBIs. Beardshear, who also earned the win in the circle, went 2-2 and added three RBIs.

   DSU will have a week off before facing University of Hawaii at Karl Brooks Field Wednesday at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.