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DWU softball ties record for wins

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Danielle Klassen hits the ball during a Great Plains Athletic Conference softball game against Dordt College Tuesday at McWhirter Field in Mitchell. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team rallied from five runs down, scoring six times in the sixth inning to take the first game of a Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader Tuesday against Dordt before dropping the second to the Defenders.

The Tigers (17-14, 8-9 GPAC) tied the school record for wins in a season with the Game One victory on senior night, equalling the standard set in 2007 and 2012. The team honored three seniors — Jill Dickson, Tiffany Sharp and Chelsea Moody, a Mitchell native.

DWU went into the sixth inning of the first game down 5-2 after getting on the board with two in the fifth, but put together a six-run rally to win 8-5. After scoring the first run of the inning on a defensive error by Dordt, the Tigers got a pair of runs on a double by Danielle Klassen to tie the score at five. DWU took the lead with a pair of sacrifice fly RBIs and capped the inning with a RBI triple by Natalie Gutierrez.

“We waited a little longer than I would have liked, but got the job done,” DWU softball coach Ed Kieff said. “Our pitchers threw well enough for us to win and when that happens, we usually feel pretty good.”

Dickson pitched all seven innings for the Tigers, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits, while striking out 13. Klassen finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Bailey Gummer and Devinne Facile each added two hits in the win. Lindy Snook had a game-high three RBIs for the Tigers, who finished with 11 hits and two errors.

The Tigers were unable to come up with the big hit in the second game, falling 7-0. Lorissa Loeppky got the start on the mound for DWU, allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and striking out six. Snook, Hailey Unger and Vanessa Mendez each picked up a hit for the Tigers in the loss. DWU finished with three hits and one error.

“Lorissa pitched well enough to win, but the bats did not come together,” Kieff said. “It’s a little disappointing on senior night to lose that second one.”

Bethany Dykstra led the Defenders offense, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.

The Tigers look to win their 18th game for the first time in school history with a doubleheader today. DWU travels to face South Dakota State University at 2 p.m. today in Brookings.

“To pull out a couple of wins over there would be big for us,” Kieff said of the matchup with the Jackrabbits.