The Dickinson State softball team received a pair of solid pitching performances from a senior and a freshman.
“I thought Alex really pitched well today,” Lawrence said. “She stepped up and she had a better day than I did. I felt like I was doing pretty good until the last inning. I think I got into my own head and kind of fell apart a bit, but I’m lucky to have (Claudia Torres) behind the plate because she keeps me grounded when I lose my mind like that.”
DSU head coach Kristen Fleury said the one-two punch of Lawrence and Watson will be a common theme in the pitching circle for the remainder of the season.
“Both (Alex) and Regan have done a great job this season,” Fleury said. “The one good thing I think is Alex is able to learn from Regan. Regan is a leader on the mound as a senior and she’s been there as a freshman. She knows what needs to be done.”
Though this is Watson’s first season with the Blue Hawks, she has settled in as a starter with a 7-1 record with a sub 2.50 earned run average and she has three times as many strikeouts as walks.
Watson has given up seven home runs in 11 starts, but she can dial up the radar to mid 50’s to low 60’s.
“It’s exciting,” Watson said about her first year at DSU. “I’m nervous, but I’m more excited than anything.”
In the first game, the Blue Hawks (19-5) opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
DSU continued to pile on runs in the second and third innings to grab a 9-1 lead, which ultimately knocked out Black Hills starter Carrie Clarke. The Blue Hawks plated two runs in the fourth and McKenna Kostelecky drove in the final run in the fifth for the mercy-rule win.
“We came out real flat,” Black Hills head coach Lane Leedy said. “We kind of played back on our heels and we weren’t as aggressive as we usually are.”
Alex Vargas led the Blue Hawks offense with two hits, three RBI and scored one run. Monique Yslas added two hits and four RBI, while Lawrence had two hits, one RBI and scored two runs. Janell LaRont collected a double, triple and two RBI.
Lawrence didn’t have any trouble in the first four innings, but she struggled to find her command in the fifth. The senior walked three of four batters to open the inning and Katie Campo and Alexis Schaffer made her pay with a two-run double and two-run single in back-to-back at bats, respectively.
“Offensively and defensively, we had a lot of chemistry and we were cruising along,” said Lawrence, who finished with five innings, allowed five runs on six hits and struck out four, about the first four innings.
In the second game, the Yellow Jackets (4-23) struck first after Campo hit a solo home run in the opening frame.
However, Watson didn’t give up much and the Blue Hawks scratched across three runs. Watson pitched a complete game and allowed one run on three hits.
McKenzie Kenobbie scored DSU’s first run on a passed ball in the bottom of the first inning. Kostelecky drove in the game-winning run on a RBI groundout in the fourth, while Lawrence padded the lead with a RBI bunt single in the sixth.
“We just chipped away on offense,” Watson said. “Overall, we did good.”
The Blue Hawks had seven players collect at least one hit during the doubleheader. Lawrence led the offense in the second game with two hits, RBI and one run, while LaRont and Brianna Grayson each had a hit.
DSU continues its season traveling to North Star Athletic Association opponent Dakota State (S.D.) for a four-game series, which begins at 2 p.m. Friday in Madison, S.D.
“We had a really good start in Arizona and now we just have to keep the momentum going all through conference and take to nationals this year,” Lawrence said.
BHSU 010 04 — 5 6 2
DSU 315 22 — 13 10 0
Carrie Clarke, Kaitlin Farrar (3) and Kayla Hallock. Regan Lawrence and Claudia Torres.
W–Lawrence. L–Clarke. HR–None.
Highlights: BHSU, Katie Campo 1 for 1, 2B, 2 RBI, run; Alexis Shaffer 1 for 3, 2 RBI; Cassie Smith 1 for 2, run; Clarke 1 for 1, RBI; Claire Fergusson 1 for 2, run; Nia Shumpers 1 for 2, run. DSU, Alex Vargas 2 for 3, 3 RBI, run; Monique Yslas 2 for 4, 3B, 4 RBI; Lawrence 2 for 4, RBI, 2 runs; McKenna Kostelecky 1 for 1, 2 RBI, run; Morgan Glowa 1 for 1, run.
BHSU 100 000 0 — 1 3 5
DSU 100 101 x — 3 4 0
Stefanie Wittman and Kayla Hallock. Alexzandria Watson and Brianna Grayson.
W–Watson. L–Wittman. HR–BHSU, Katie Campo.
Highlights: BHSU, Campo 1 for 3, HR, RBI, run; Alexis Shaffer 1 for 3; Erica Everson 1 for 2, 2B. DSU, Regan Lawrence 2 for 3, RBI, run; Janell LaRont 1 for 3, run; Brianna Grayson 1 for 3; McKenna Kostelecky RBI; McKenzie Kenobbie run.
Article courtesy of Royal McGregor- Dickinson Press