DWU softball gets two 1-run wins over conference foe MorningsideThe Dakota Wesleyan University softball team proved that preseason polls don’t mean anything. The Tigers’ Megan Courtois had a walk-off RBI single in game two to cap a sweep of preseason favorite, Morningside College, Tuesday at Dr. McWhirter Field in Mitchell.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team proved that preseason polls don’t mean anything.
The Tigers’ Megan Courtois had a walk-off RBI single in game two to cap a sweep of preseason favorite, Morningside College, Tuesday at Dr. McWhirter Field in Mitchell.
The Tigers — who were picked last in Great Plains Athletic Conference preseason polls — beat the Mustangs by scores of 6-5 and 3-2.
“Obviously, preseason polls aren’t scientific,” Tigers head coach Ed Kieff said. “It’s anybody’s game, really. A team can get hot and go on a run like we are right now.”
The Tigers have won six consecutive games and are in second place in the GPAC with a conference record of 7-3. Overall, Dakota Wesleyan is 12-21.
Game one didn’t look promising for the Tigers, as Morningside jumped out to a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the third.
Kieff said even though the Mustangs were hitting the ball well early, pitcher Brandi Nekrassoff did a nice job of keeping the Tigers within striking distance.
“They hit the ball well, and Brandi just kept us in the game,” Kieff said. “That’s all we really could ask. We felt like if she just kept us there, we could win.”
A four-run third inning gave the Tigers their first lead, and the team picked up two more runs that proved to be vital. The Mustangs had two players cross the plate in the seventh, but Dakota Wesleyan held on for the one-run win.
Nekrassoff picked up the win in a complete-game effort. She allowed five runs on 13 hits and one walk. She sent six Mustangs to the dugout via strikeout.
Jordan Johnson took the loss for the Mustangs in the opening game. Johnson had recorded three straight shutouts entering the game.
Chelsea Moody, a Mitchell native, had a big game at the plate in the opener for the Tigers. The Tigers’ first baseman went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Nekrassoff struck out two more Morningside batters in game two as she recorded another complete-game win. She gave up 11 hits, three walks and two runs — one earned.
“She’s just a special athlete on the mound,” Kieff said.
Morningside had two chances late in the second game to take the lead but were unable to get its third run in the 3-2 defeat.
In the sixth inning, the Mustangs thought they had taken the lead after a two-out single by Kirsten Dargy seemed to drive in Taylor Daas.
Kieff called for his team to appeal to third base, claiming that Daas missed the bag on her way home. The field umpire agreed, and the run was wiped off the board and the inning was over.
The next inning was another close call for the Tigers. Morningside’s Kati Steffen hit a ball deep to right field that barely stayed in the yard and Mackenzie Neely was thrown out at a close play at the plate.
“When you’re really doing well as a team, you get those kind of plays,” Kieff said. “Those were huge. That’s the different between us winning both games or winning just one.”
The Tigers look to extend their six-game winning streak today, when they take on Dakota State University in a nonconference doubleheader at 5 p.m. at Dr. McWhirter Field in Mitchell.