By: Kaleb Center
CSC Sports Information
Kayla Michel’s grand slam in the third inning of the series opener on Saturday helped Chadron State College softball to a runaway 12-4 win, in five innings, against Dixie State University in what is likely the first and only time the opponent will play in Chadron. The Trailblazers struck back in the afternoon contest, winning 10-4 to force a split on the day.
Ellie Owens homered twice, for two runs each time, providing even more firepower against one of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s premier pitchers, Cambrie Hazel. The Trailblazers’ number one was leading the league in both strikeouts (135) and opponent batting average (.179), entering the weekend.
The Eagles trailed 4-2 going into the third inning, after the first of Owens’ two blasts which was high and deep to center field. Leading off the third, Bailey Marvel doubled before she and Bailey Rominger both found themselves in scoring position off of a fielding error by Dixie. Haleigh Hoefs walked, and CSC took a 6-4 lead with the bases loaded slam by Michel.
With no outs still, Owens was back up for the Eagles, who batted the full lineup in the third, and got aboard on a single. Later she would score an unearned run on a throwing error.
The rest of the Eagles’ scoring was done in the decisive fourth inning, when the team again batted around. Four of the first five CSC at-bats were base hits, including a single by Marvel, an RBI double by Hoefs, an RBI single by Michel, and Owens’ second round-tripper. Later, Katelyn Eldredge scored on a bases-loaded walk in Marvel’s second plate appearance of the inning.
Dixie State returned the favor in the mid-afternoon game.
The Trailblazers again went ahead early, but this time they stayed ahead except for a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fourth. The Eagles left seven on base in the second, third, and fourth innings combined, while Dixie made the best of 10 hits and five walks to put across 10 in seven innings.
CSC’s only scoring came on an RBI single by Michel in the third inning, followed by a pair by Marvel and Hoefs in the fourth, plus a run scored by Leilani Niccum, who reached on a single, when a pitch got beyond the catcher’s mitt.
Eagles junior Peyton Propp got the pitching win in relief, but also took the loss as a starter, running her record to 2-4. Dixie freshman Carissa Burgess improved to 15-4 with the complete game in her team’s win.
Marvel batted 5-for-7 with a walk, two RBI, and four runs scored to lead CSC on Saturday, while Michel was 3-of-5 with two free bases, but six she earned including the grand slam. Owens slugged 1.429 with 10 total bases on 4-for-7 hitting.
Another doubleheader is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday.