Biola surprises No. 5 Dixie State by grabbing doubleheader split

Dixie State's Janessa Bassett (1), Dixie State University vs. Biola University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 31, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The No. 5 Dixie State softball team split a Pacific West Conference doubleheader against Biola on Saturday at Karl Brooks Field, winning the first game by a 9-1 count before dropping the second game, 6-3.

The Trailblazers (26-4, 12-4 PacWest) scored in each inning of game one, earning their 12th run-rule victory of the season in the process. However, the home side struggled in game two, finishing with just four hits and five errors defensively in the loss.

GAME ONE

After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, Dixie State took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Janessa Bassett drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and scored on a Brenna Hinck double down the left field line. Hinck later scored on a Biola dropped fly ball in left field.

The Trailblazers added to the lead in the bottom of the second with two runs on three hits. Dani Bartholf started things off with a single to left field, then advanced to second on a Biola throwing error. Kaitlyn Delange then singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Two pitches later, Bassett belted the 0-1 pitch into the left-center gap for a two-RBI triple to push the lead to 4-0. Kori Gahn belted the first pitch of the third inning over the left field wall to extend the lead to 5-0.

Dixie State’s Dani Bartholf (2), Dixie State University vs. Biola University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 31, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Biola scored its lone run of the game in the top of the fourth, using one hit and a DSU error to cut the lead to 5-1. But the Eagles would get no closer.

Dixie State put the finishing touches on the win in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits. Hinck opened the frame with an infield single to third base, setting up a two-run home run over the scoreboard in right field for Bailey Gaffin. Gahn plated a run later in the inning with an RBI-double, and Bartholf pushed the score to the final tally of 9-1 with an RBI-single to left field.

Gahn led the charge at the plate, going 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, while Bartholf and Hinck also finished with two hits. Cambrie Hazel (11-2) earned her third win of the week, allowing four hits with four strikeouts.

GAME TWO

Dixie State’s Kaitlyn Delange (4), Dixie State University vs. Biola University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Mar. 31, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Biola jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first in the second game, taking advantage of two hits and two DSU errors to build the lead.

Dixie State answered in the bottom of the third when Bassett drilled an RBI double down the left field line, then scored when Hinck tripled to left-center to tie the game at 2-2.

The Eagles (28-9) took control in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs on two hits and two more DSU errors, all with two outs, to push the lead to 6-2.

Bassett hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-3, but it was too little, too late as Eagles clinched the win with a strikeout later in the inning.

Bassett finished with two hits and two RBIs to lead the Trailblazers in game two, while Alexandria Melendez (8-1) suffered her first loss of the season, striking out three in 4.2 innings pitched.

Dixie State opens a six-game northern California trip with a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday at Cal State East Bay. First pitch is set for noon Pacific Time (1 p.m. MT).

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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