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Warriors battle past Trojans, sweep NSAA doubleheader


Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Aaron Schneider

FOREST CITY – The Waldorf University softball team battled to a sweep over Dakota State University during Saturday’s North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) doubleheader.

Waldorf (11-21, 5-9) fought to a 2-1 victory over in the opener, and the Warriors concluded the twin bill with a 7-5 win over the Trojans (7-17, 4-10).

“Our defense really stepped up and made some great plays to keep Dakota State from ever having a long threat,” Waldorf coach Lexy Determan said. “We were able to get a couple of big outs at third and home to keep them from gaining any momentum.”

Ashton May paced the Warriors in Game 1 with a 2-for-2 performance as the junior from Sharpsburg, Georgia. produced a triple and an RBI double.

Waldorf senior Andrea Hartmann went 2-for-3 with a double. Senior Jessica Abrahamson belted an RBI single while senior Maggie Eden and sophomore Hattie Hupke added singles.

“Overall, our at-bats looked more relaxed,” Determan said. “I just think we can be a little more aggressive on strikes. We did have a few hard-hit balls that went right to people.”

Harley Lindell led the Trojans with a run-scoring double. Peyton Brokiewicz provided a double while Kayla Schmell and Audrey Kosman contributed singles.

Hartmann (3-8) earned the win, tossing a four-hitter. She struck out two batters, walked two and yielded one run in seven innings.

Kosman was handed the loss (3-9). She recorded a strikeout and allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings.

Eden led off the bottom of the second inning with a single. The next at-bat was a groundout that allowed Eden to advance to second. With two outs, May doubled to right to bring home Eden for the game’s first run.

Hartmann sparked Waldorf in the third with a one-out single. The Warriors capitalized once again with two outs when Abrahamson singled in Hartmann to take a two-run lead.

Dakota State’s Kylee Pospisil drew a leadoff walk in the fifth. Ariana Duran reached base on an error, sending Pospisil to third. Lindell ripped an RBI double to pull the Trojans within one run with no outs and runners in scoring position. Brokiewicz lined out during the next at-bat. Schmell attempted to bring in the tying run on a squeeze bunt. After Schmell was retired at first, pinch-runner Erica Belter was thrown out at home to the end the inning. Waldorf’s defense didn’t let strong winds affect its play as the double play was its second of the day.

“Defensively, I am impressed with the way our fielders adjusted to the wind,” Determan said. “Our pitchers did a great job as well.”

Junior Trista Bures went 2-for-2 for the Warriors with a double and two RBIs in Game 2. Bures and Hartmann each lead the team with 10 doubles on the season.

Waldorf senior Kaitlin Murphy delivered a two-run single, going 2-for-2 at the plate. Abrahamson connected for a run-scoring double. Brittani Sanchez provided an RBI single while the Warriors also received singles from senior Maggie Hawley and Hartmann.

Dakota State’s Elizabeth Rubalcava went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Kosman added a double and an RBI single, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate. Shai-Lee Hill turned in a 2-for-3 performance.

Hawley (3-5) notched the win. She fanned three batters, walked two and relinquished five runs on 10 hits in six and one-third innings.

Sophomore Briley Sullivan recorded her first save of the season, closing out the final two-thirds of an inning. She retired the two batters she faced, turning in a strikeout and forcing the final hitter to pop out.

Ashley Olson (2-5) was hit with the loss. She issued three walks and gave up four runs (one earned) on five hits in three innings.

Claire Fisher started inside the circle for the Trojans, working the first three innings. Fisher struck out a batter, walked one and surrendered three runs (one earned) on three hits.

Abrahamson put the Warriors on the board in the bottom of the fourth, cranking a ground-rule RBI double. Eden drove in a run after reaching base on a dropped fly ball. Bures knocked in Abrahamson on a sacrifice fly.

Schmell drove in a run during the fifth on a fielder’s choice. Rubalcava smacked a two-run double to tie the game. Kosman singled in another run to give Dakota State a 4-3 lead.

Murphy provided a two-run single in the fifth to put the Warriors back on top. Waldorf received insurance runs following an RBI double from Bures and a run-scoring single from Sanchez.

Rubalcava crushed a one-out homer in the seventh to bring the Trojans within two runs. Kosman followed with a double to put the tying run at the plate. Sullivan came in to close out the game and retired the final two batters.

Averaging seven hits a game in Saturday’s wins, the Warriors aim to shore up their plate performances during the final two-game set with Dakota State.

“I think our hitters still need to make a little better adjustments at the plate against their pitchers in order to have success,” Determan said. “We need to find the timing for their pitching staff.”

Waldorf concludes the series with the Trojans on Sunday in an 11 a.m. twin bill.

“Overall, we played well,” Determan said. “I’m looking forward to the girls coming out aggressive [on Sunday].”