UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 16, 2024

Softball changes mindset after losses in Hawaii

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After taking two losses in Hawaii, the Dixie State University softball team kicked off their first of six games Wednesday at the Karl Brooks Field victoriously but still took two losses.

Before the critical week of hosting Azusa Pacific University and Biola University, the team had a week at home to practice and prepare for the upcoming games.

“We kind of struggled in Hawaii, but I feel like we’ve really refocused and I expect us to do really well this week,” said Outfielder Kenzie Sawyer, a senior biology major from Cedar City.

Second Baseman 
Bailey Gaffin, a junior general studies major from Glendale, Arizona, agreed refocusing is a big goal for the team.

“I think it’s really important that we work on our fundamentals,” Gaffin said. “I think the Hawaii trip for sure drained us so we need to get our energy back.”

Gaffin said she’d like to see the team play with more intensity and focus as they attempt to recover from the losses.

Despite the losses, Gaffin said the team still worked hard and adjusted well after an injury forced a few players to take on unusual positions during the games in Hawaii.

“We have great communication,” Gaffin said. “It’s awesome … that we can easily adjust to something that’s out of the ordinary and still thrive.”

Both Sawyer and Gaffin said they looked forward to the upcoming competition of playing six games against two strong teams: a 4-game series against Azusa Pacific University and a double header against Biola University.

“We know Azusa Pacific is pretty good … we know it’s a tough match-up so we’re definitely going to come out ready to play,” Gaffin said.

Sawyer said she looks forward to the games as well and focusing on getting timely hits against the competition.

“I’m really excited to see how everyone comes out and plays and to see where we stand after this week,” Sawyer said.

Head Coach Randy Simkins said after a week of practice, the team is refocusing to string together some victories to hopefully see a conference championship in the future.

Softball won three of four games against the Azusa Pacific Cougars.

The Trailblazers dominated the field during their first game racking up a score of eight and leaving the Cougars scoreless. Pitcher Cambrie Hazel, a freshman general studies major from Spanish Fork, pitched a five-inning, no-hitter game with four strikeouts. The Trailblazers finished the game with two home runs and one triple. Sawyer held three hits, and Gaffin completed one of the Trailblazers’ home runs.

After their victory, Wednesday’s games were split as the Trailblazers took a loss to the Cougars when they finished their second game with a score of 21-19.

DSU bounced back and took two wins to finish their four-game series Thursday. The Trailblazers took the third game with three doubles and a home run at a score of 7-2, and wrapped up the fourth game with three doubles and a score of 15-1.

Then Saturday was another split day as the Trailblazers blazed through the first game and finished at 9-1, but trailed the Biola Eagles during the second game and lost at a score of 6-3.

The first game of the double header went well for DSU, racking up two home runs along with one triple and two doubles.   

The Trailblazers dropped the ball as they wrapped up the week with a loss to the Biola Eagles, but made a home run, a triple and a double throughout the game. 

Next up, DSU softball will visit California State University East Bay in Hayward, California, April 4. DSU softball is now sitting at 26-4 overall.