TUCSON, Ariz. – The Blue Hawk softball team took the diamond over spring break in the Tucson Invitation Games (TIG). The team finished 9-5 in the stretch of games, taking on opponents from across the nation.
The Blue Hawks opened the TIG against St. Xavier (Ill.). The Blue Hawks were only able to tally three hits, scoring one run in the game. The offensive struggle led to a 9-1 loss. The Blue Hawks recovered with back to back wins against Grace (Neb.) 5-4 and Roosevelt (Ill.) 9-1.
In the fourth game of the TIG the Blue Hawks battled national ranked St. Francis (Ill.). The Blue Hawks led St. Francis 7-2 through the fourth inning. But, St. Xavier would go on to score 6 unanswered runs in the last three innings to secure the victory. The Blue Hawks continued on and dropped their next two games, first to Aquinas (Mich.) 2-0 and Indiana Tech 6-0.
Again, the Blue Hawks recovered, this time winning six in a row. With wins over Robert Morris (Ill.), Park (Mo.), Benedictine-Mesa (Ariz.), Indiana Tech, Marymount (Calif.), and Ottawa (Ariz.) the Blue Hawks outscored their opponents by 28 runs over the stretch.
The Blue Hawks split their final two games losing to Dordt (Iowa) 7-2 and beating St. Mary (Neb.) 5-4.
The Blue Hawks showed poise in the close games, five of their wins came by two runs or less. The set of games moves the Blue Hawks to 11-10 on the season.
Through the first 21 games of the team's season, Rachael Dillon, a Billings, Mont. native, leads the Blue Hawks in batting average (.500) and run batted in (19). The team has also seen solid performances from pitchers Jalen Creech and Abigail Brooks. Creech leads DSU with 37 strikeouts on the season, Brooks has tallied the low earned run average at 2.67.
The Blue Hawks will return to conference play March 22 and 23 when they travel to La Crosse, Wisconsin to play Viterbo in a four-game series.