MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team came into play against Midland University Thursday needing a winning streak to close the season to make the Great Plains Athletic Conference postseason tournament.
The Tigers dropped both games of a doubleheader at McWhirter Field in Mitchell, S.D., as a late rally fell short in a 6-4 game one loss, while the Warrior offense exploded for a 19-4 win in five innings in the finale. The losses drop DWU to 9-33 overall and 4-14 in the GPAC.
Trailing 6-0 heading into their final at bat, the Tigers got the offense going. After stealing a base, senior Danielle Klassen (Niverville, Manitoba, Canada) scampered home on a wild pitch to break the ice for DWU.
Later in the inning, senior Natalie Gutierrez (Los Angeles, Calif.) singled home a pair of runs to cut the deficit to three. With the bases loaded, senior Devinne Facile (Sioux Falls, S.D.) singled home the fourth run of the inning, but DWU left the bases loaded as Midland held on for the win.
Sophomore Lorissa Loeppky (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) took the loss on the mound for DWU, allowing six runs on 12 hits, while walking five and striking out four. Loeppky is now 9-19 on the season. The Tigers finished with six hits and one error as Gutierrez was the lone Tiger with multiple hits, coming away with two.
In game two, Midland jumped out to an early 12-1 lead, scoring seven runs in the third. Midland closed the game with a grand slam off the bat of Jennie Sayker in the fifth inning. Sayker finished with six RBIs, while the Warriors combined for 18 hits.
The Tigers got a home run from junior Vanessa Mendez (Monterey Park, Calif.) in the fourth inning. Mendez finished with two of DWU's six hits, while Klassen stole her third base of the day in the fifth inning. Freshman Karlee Jenkins (Palmdale, Calif.) was charged with the loss on the mound.
The Tigers close out the 2015 season with a doubleheader against Concordia University at 1 p.m. Saturday at McWhirter Field. The game mark Senior Day, as five DWU players will be honored between games.