Dixie State clinches PacWest automatic berth for NCAA II National ChampionshipTournament
PHOENIX, AZ - The Dixie State softball team clinched the Pacific West Conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament on April 27 after sweeping Grand Canyon 14-3 and 11-1 in Phoenix during a PacWest doubleheader.
Winners of 14 straight contests, the Red Storm (35-10, 25-5 PacWest) needed just six innings to claim game one and five innings to prevail in game two.
On March 11, Dixie State was 7-7, but since that point the Red
Storm has unleashed a 31-3 overall record.
Although California Baptist captured the PacWest tilte, the Red Storm clinched second place with the twin wins and claimed the automatic qualifier because the Lancer athletic program is transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division II and not eligible for NCAA post-season.
In game one, the Red Storm recorded 14 runs and 13 hits vs. the
Antelopes (33-18, 20-8 PWC). Junior Johnna
Brown (Las Vegas, NV/Centennial ) led the way with three
hits, including a grand slam home run in the seventh inning.
Freshman Marla Reiter (Fresno, CA/Central), senior Kylee Higgins (Layton. UT/Layton) and junior Jaelle Judkins (Saint George, UT/Dixie) each had two hits.
Freshman Courtney Sherwin (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain) hit a three-run homer in the third to push Dixie State to a 5-0 lead. The home run added to her team lead which now stands at 10.
Folta (Erda, UT/Tooele) pitched a complete game, allowing
nine hits and three runs to improve to 17-3 on the season.
In game two the Red Storm scored eight runs in the second and three in the third to finish off Grand Canyon in five innings.
Brown had two RBI and two more hits, both doubles, that extended her hitting streak to 19 games. Sherwin, junior Anna Cue (Murrieta Valley, CA/Murrieta Valley) and Brown each finished with two hits. Eight Red Storm players drove in at least one run in the game.
Snow (Tooele, UT/Tooele) allowed three hits, no earned
runs and struck out four to improve to 14-4 on the season.
Dixie State is presently ranked #3 in the West Region and will find out on Monday, April 30, where it will play in the West Region sub regional tournament May 4-6.
The Red Storm and the Antelopes finish their four-game series on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.