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DWU softball 1-1 after opening day of GPAC tourney

HASTINGS, Neb. -- After the first day of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament, the Dakota Wesleyan University softball team is still alive.

The Tigers (21-17, 11-9 GPAC) opened the double-elimination tournament with a 10-2 loss to No. 4 seed Hastings College, but bounced back with a 8-2 win over Dordt College. This is the first time the Tigers have won a game in the GPAC tournament.

"I want to congratulate these girls for the first-ever tournament win in the GPAC tournament," DWU softball coach Ed Kieff said. "They have had a lot of firsts this year and that is a testament to their hard work and abilities."

In the opening game, Hastings touched up DWU starter Lorissa Loeppky for 10 runs on 14 hits. Hastings (24-20, 12-8) was led by first baseman Kelsey Hoehler and designated hitter Heather Sabata, who each had three hits and three RBIs. Taylor Erlenbusch earned the win for Hastings, throwing six innings and allowing two runs on six hits.

The Tiger offense woke up in the second game as it recorded nine hits, led by Lindy Snook, who had two. Danielle Klassen and Devinne Facile each had two RBIs for DWU. Wesleyan scored all eight of its runs in the second inning. The Tigers scored the first two runs of the inning on a double by Facile, while Klassen also had a double in the inning.

Dordt starter Samantha Dunn recorded an out in the second inning and exited the game, allowing six earned runs on five hits. Sidney Larsen pitched in relief for Hastings, throwing five innings and giving up one run on four hits.

"Lorissa pitched fairly well in the first game, but we couldn't generate any runs for her," Kieff said. "The second game we got up early on Dordt, and Jill (Dickson) pitched pretty well."

Dickson got the win for the Tigers in Game 2. She pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out six.

DWU advances to the second day of the tournament and plays Doane at 2 p.m. today in Hastings, Neb.

"We are excited and we are happy to still be playing, and we want to come out and get after it," Kieff said. "We have to win every game from here on out, and it's a tall task but we can do it."