JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The Dickinson State University softball team won the NAIA Unaffiliated North Star Athletic Association/Frontier Softball Championship with a 2-1 victory over the University of Great Falls on Sunday (May 4).
The first-seeded Blue Hawks (39-13) claimed the NSAA/FC title and received a bid to the NAIA National Tournament. The fourth-seeded Argos end their season with a 17-17 record.
Regan Lawrence tossed seven innings of one-run ball. Through five innings she held the Argos scoreless, before a solo homerun broke the silence. Prior to the top of the sixth inning Great Falls had left a small army aboard the bases. Lawrence was able to pitch out of jams, keeping the score tight.
Kirstie Thomas' solo homerun broke the 0-0 tie in the sixth and gave the Argos a 1-0 lead. Dickinson State would waste no time getting the run back.
Keeley Van Blaricom walked Rebecca Lopez to open the bottom half of the sixth inning. Monique Yslas laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Lopez to second. Alex Vargas punched a single to center to score Lopez and tie the game at 1-1.
In the top of the seventh the Argos got a runner aboard with two outs, but failed to produce.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh catcher Brianna Grayson stepped to the plate. She laced a double to center, bringing Lawrence to the plate. Lawrence took an offering from Van Blaricom to left field for a single, scoring Grayson from second, and giving the Blue Hawks a walk-off 2-1 victory.
Lawrence was named the tournament's most valuable player for her efforts. Opposing hitters hit just .162 against Lawrence during the tournament. She posted an ERA of 0.37 over 19 innings. Lawrence finished third in the tournament with 16 strikeouts.
Information for the 2014 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round can be viewedhere. The event will be played May 12-14 and features 10 four-team double elimination tournaments. The 40 qualifiers and pairings for the National Championship Opening Round will be announced May 6.