The difference between good teams and great teams often comes down to talent and taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes.
The Dixie State softball team proved the point again Sunday, sweeping the University of Hawaii at Hilo 6-0 and 5-3 in a Pacific West Conference doubleheader in St. George, Utah.
Over the weekend, the talented Red Storm (27-8, 15-5 PacWest) swept the Vulcans (15-13, 10-9) four straight games, underlining the fact that great teams make things happen.
“Credit to Dixie State,” UH-Hilo head coach Jaime Wallin said. “Dixie State has an outstanding team and against us, they made things happen and took advantage of our mistakes.
“We did some good things, but when we made little mistakes, they jumped on them. We had a hard time coming through with clutch hits and we made some errors defensively that hurt us. Against a team like Dixie State, you’ve not only got to play really well and limit your mistakes, but you’ve also got to be a little lucky and get some breaks. We weren’t able to do that this weekend.”
In Game 1 on Sunday, Red Storm ace Aryn Feickert (13-6) pitched a shutout, limiting the Vulcans to seven hits. The junior right-hander struck out four and walked three in going the full seven innings for her second win in the series.
UH-Hilo ace Ashley Nelson (8-7) went six innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs — four earned — while taking the loss. The junior southpaw didn’t record a strikeout and walked three batters.
Sheila Gelter, Bailee Freeland and Autumn Woodfall each had two hits for the Red Storm. Kristina Victa and Danielle Pulido had two hits apiece for the Vulcans.
In Game 2, Dixie State rallied from a 2-0 deficit with four runs in the second inning and added an insurance run in the sixth to hold off hustling UH-Hilo.
Josey Hartman led the Red Storm with two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs.
Emily Greene and Brittany Huff each had two hits to lead the Vulcans. Huff and Victa, UH-Hilo’s lead-off batter, each had RBIs.
Brooklyn Beardshear, a freshman right-hander, went the distance to earn the win. Beardshear (3-0) allowed seven hits and three runs while striking out two and walking one.
UH-Hilo sophomore Hannah Peterson (5-5) also pitched the distance, giving up six hits and five runs. She struck out one and walked three, and was saddled with the loss.
“I thought our pitching held up today, but we just couldn’t get the key hits and our defensive mistakes put us in a bind,” Wallin said. “I think we learned a lot from this series that will help us in the short term and later in the long term for our program.”
Dixie State beat the Vulcans 8-0 and 8-7 on Saturday to open the four-game series.
The Vulcans next play UC-San Diego in a nonconference twinbill on Tuesday.
UH-Hilo 000 000 0 — 0 7 2
DSU 000 303 x — 6 10 0
UH-Hilo 201 000 0 — 3 7 2
DSU 040 001 x — 5 6 1