SEASIDE, Calif. – The normally steady defense of the Western Washington University softball team committed five errors to lead to four unearned runs in a 5-0 loss to Dixie State Friday afternoon in a winner’s bracket game of the NCAA Division II West Regional played at Otter Sports Complex.
The No. 8 seed Vikings (34-18) had their 12-game winning streak snapped and will play again this afternoon in an elimination game against the winner of the Cal State Monterey Bay (No. 1 seed) vs. Sonoma State (No. 5 seed). The No. 23 nationally-ranked Trailblazers improved to 41-12 on the season and move on to the championship round of the West Regional tomorrow, needing one win to advance to the West Super Regional.
The Vikings entered the game making only five errors over the last seven games and were the 5th-ranked defensive team in the West Region with a .963 fielding percentage. WWU also allowed a season-high six stolen bases.
“We need to turn the page real fast,” said head coach Amy Suiter. “That was uncharacteristic of our defense, especially lately, and it proved to be costly against a very good team. We have an opportunity this afternoon to get back on track and will take it inning-by-inning.”
Dixie jumped out to the early 1-0 lead pushing a run across in the bottom of the 1st inning. Leadoff hitter Janessa Bassett singled sharply through the left side and moved into scoring position with the first of her three stolen bases in the game. With the bases loaded, Bassett scored on a wild pitch to score the only run Dixie would ended up needing in the game.
The Trailblazers extended their lead to 3-0 in the 2nd inning when a pair of unearned runs came in to score following a two-out error by freshman shortstop Paityn Cyr (Mount Vernon, WA). Two more unearned runs crossed the plate in the 4th and 5th innings expand the lead to 5-0.
WWU freshman starting pitcher Anna Kasner (Milton, WA/Fife) had per personal 10-game winning streak snapped, allowing 3 runs (1 ER) in 2.0 innings to fall to 16-6 on the season. She struck out three batters (all in the 1st inning), walked two, and recorded three wild pitches. Sophomore Shearyna Labasan (Mililani, HI/Maryknoll) entered in relief and did not allow an earned run over the final 4.0 innings (2 H, 2 UER, BB, 5 K).
Five different Vikings recorded the team-total five hits, with junior third baseman Makinlee Sellevold (Everett, WA/Cascade) going 1-for-3 to extend her hitting streak to a career-high 10 consecutive games. Western was held scoreless for just the fourth time in 52 games this season.
DSU starting pitcher Brooklyn Beardshear (18-6) recorded the complete-game shutout, allowing 5 hits and did not walk a batter.
Bassett led Dixie State going 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored out of the leadoff spot, and recorded 3 stolen bases to increase her season total to 40. Second baseman Bailey Gaffin added a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and drove in a pair or funs.
Dixie State 5, Western Washington 0 (May 12, 2017 at Seaside, CA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Washington.. 000 000 0 - 0 5 5 (34-18) Dixie State......... 120 110 X - 5 7 1 (41-12) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Washington - Kasner; Labasan (3) and Hughes Dixie State – Beardshear and Gonzalez Win-Beardshear (18-6) Loss-Kasner (16-6) T-1:59 A-112 Weather: 57-degrees, Windy
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