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(16)Dickinson State University
(RV)Valley City State
News Photo
Softball - Sun, May 8, 2016

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Valley City State softball team ended up one win short of claiming the 2016 North Star Athletic Assocation Softball Championship on Sunday.

The Vikings met top seed Dickinson State in a best-of-three championship series Sunday in Aberdeen, S.D. Dickinson State won the first game, 5-0, while the Vikings won game two, 6-3, which forced the third and final game. The Vikings ended up one run short as the Blue Hawks edged out a 2-1 victory to claim the conference championship,

The third and final game was originally scheduled to be played Monday, but due to the high threat of rain in the forecast for Monday, both coaches agreed to move the third game up and play it Sunday evening at Players Softball Complex.  Second-seeded Valley City State (N.D.) jumped to a 1-0 lead, but were held scoreless for the rest of the game as the top overall seed Dickinson State (N.D.) scored a 2-1 thriller.

Championship Game #1:  Dickinson State 5, Valley City State 0 - Box Score
Championship Game #2:  Valley City State 6, Dickinson State 3 - Box Score
Championship Game #3:  Dickinson State 2, Valley City State 1 - Box Score

Dickinson State (45-10 overall record) claimed the league's automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round, which will be held on the campus sites announced by the NAIA national office on May 16-18.

Valley City State (40-13) has made a strong case to receive an at-large bid to the National Tournament, but the Vikings must wait until Tuesday to see if their season will continue. National Championship qualifiers will be announced via a live selection show. The Vikings were ranked No. 31 (3-way tie) in the nation in last week's Top 25 poll. A total of 40 teams make the National Tournament Opening Round; 31 spots are reserved for automatic qualifiers, while only nine spots go to at-large teams.

 

Championship GM3: Dickinson State 2, VCSU 1

Katie Cameron hit a single with two outs in the opening inning for the Vikings.  Cejay Hilhorst followed up with an RBI double to score Cameron for VCSU's 1-0 lead.

The Blue Hawks answered back with a run scored in the top second frame.  Monique Yslas reached on base by a single.  Samantha Hardwick recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Yslas to second base.  Morgan Glowa hit a two-out RBI single to score Yslas as DiSU knotted the game at 1-1.

Alex Vargas and McKenzie Kenobbie led off with back-to-back walks in the top fifth inning for Dickinson State.  Brianna Grayson hit a single to set up a bases loaded situation.

Mckenna Kostelecky produced an RBI sacrifice fly to score Andrea Rodriguez as DiSU earned their first lead at 2-1 in the top fifth frame.

Valley City State could not convert their scoring opportunities as they left all three runners on base in the bottom fifth inning.  VCSU also left runners on second and first bases in the bottom sixth.

The Vikings went 1-2-3 in the final inning as the Blue Hawks claimed back-to-back NSAA Softball Conference Tournament Champions.

Vargas was reached safely on first base by a walk four times in the game for Dickinson State.  Glowa added a single and an RBI.  Yslas, McKenzie Bassett, and Grayson each had a single.  Kostelecky collected an RBI.

Abi Brooks started the game for DiSU.  She tossed 2 1/3 innings and gave up one run on five hits.  Alex Watson (W, 25-3) earned the victory after pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings.  She allowed three hits, three walks and struck out three VCSU's batters.

Valley City State had a game-high nine team hits in the game, led by Cameron who went 3-of-4 at the plate with three singles.  Hilhorst added a double and an RBI.  Katarina Boychuk, Hamade, Cassie Pautz, Taylor Schroeder and Tatum Lundin each added a hit.  Boychuk and Hilhorst each reached on base by a walk twice.

Ashley Metcalf pitched the first 3 1/3 innings of the game in the pitching circle for the Vikings.  She allowed one run on three hits and gave up four walks.  Morgan Nalley (L, 22-7) recorded the loss in relief, despite giving up one run on one hit in 3 2/3 innings of work.

VCSU left 11 runners on base compared to DiSU 8 runners left on base.

Dickinson State awaits to hear on where they will be going for the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round on May 16-18.  The pairings will be announced on Wednesday by the NAIA national office.

Valley City State, who is in the receiving votes section of the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, owns a school record victories with an overall record of 40-13.  The Vikings will have to wait for the NAIA's Top 25 poll and National Championship Selection Show to see if they will receive one of the at-large bids to the national tournament.

 

Championship GM2: VCSU 6, Dickinson State 3

Valley City State (N.D.) used a three-run offensive production in the top third inning and held Dickinson State (N.D.) scoreless in the last six innings for a 6-3 Game 2 victory, forcing a decisive Game 3 of the North Star Athletic Association Softball Championship Series at Players Softball Complex.

The best-of-three series is tied at 1-1 (Dickinson State won the first game 5-0).

VCSU jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning after Cejay Hilhorst smashed a 2-run home run over the left field fence.

The Blue Hawks would answer back after plating three runs in the bottom first frame.  McKenzie Kenobbie led off with a single.  Alex Vargas reached on base by a walk and advanced Kenobbie to second.  Brianna Grayson added a walk to set up a bases loaded situation for DiSU.

Mckenna Kostelecky hit bases-clearing 3-RBI double as Dickinson State earned a 3-2 lead in the bottom first inning.

The Vikings regained their lead in the top third inning after scoring three runs.  Katarina Boychuk hit a single with one out and swiped to second base.  She added another stolen base to third base.  Kelsey Hamade reached on base caused by DiSU's defensive error, allowing Boychuk to score as VCSU knotted the game at 3-3.

Katie Cameron drilled an RBI triple to deep right field to score Cameron as the Vikings grabbed a 4-3 lead.  VCSU made it 5-3 after Hilhorst produced an RBI sacrifice fly.

Valley City State scored once in the top fifth inning caused by Blue Hawk's defensive miscue (VCSU leads 6-3).

Dickinson State stranded a runner on third base in the bottom sixth inning, despite a triple by Kostelecky with one out.

Hilhorst had a home run and drove in three runs for the Vikings.  Cameron added a triple and an RBI.  Cassie Pautz had two singles.  Hamade registered a hit and an RBI.  Boychuk had a hit.

Boychuk swiped two bases for Valley City State.

Ashley Metcalf started the game for VCSU.  She pitched in the first inning and allowed three runs on two hits.  Nalley (W, 22-6) earned the victory after tossing six scoreless innings.  She limited the Blue Hawks to just two hits.

Kostelecky went 2-of-3 at the plate with a triple, double and earned three RBIs for Dickinson State.  McKenzie Kenobbie added two singles.

Alex Watson (L, 24-3) suffered its first loss in the tournament in the pitching circle for DiSU.  She allowed five runs (one unearned) on five hits.  Abi Brooks worked for four innings in relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit.

 

Championship GM1: Dickinson State 5, VCSU 0

Top-seeded Dickinson State (N.D.) continued to use their combination of fast start and strong pitching dominance by Alex Watson, propelling to a 5-0 victory in the first game of the North Star Athletic Association Softball Championship Game Best-of-Three series at Players Softball Complex Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Hawks grabbed its first lead of the game in the bottom first frame by scoring two runs.  Monique Yslas and Alex Vargas hit back-to-back singles, followed by Brianna Grayson hit-by-pitch to set up a bases loaded situation.  McKenzie Bassett reached safely on base after VCSU's defensive error to score Kenobbie for 1-0 DiSU lead.

Mckenna Kostelecky added an RBI single to score Vargas as Dickinson State extended their lead to 2-0.

Valley City State was unable to score in the top second inning as they left runners on first and second bases from Cejay Hilhorst's and Cassie Pautz's singles.

Vargas blasted a 3-run home run in the bottom second frame as the Blue Hawks' lead grew to 5-0.

Neither team was able to score for the rest of the game.  VCSU went 1-2-3 in the final inning, ending their 10-game winning streak.

Watson (W, 24-2) extended her scoreless innings to 15 innings as she tossed another complete seven-inning game.  She allowed five singles and struck out eight VCSU's batters in the game.

Vargas went 2-of-2 at the plate with a home run, single and drove in three runs.  She also reached on base by a walk twice.  Yslas added two singles.  Kenobbie, Kostelecky and Shannen Donnelly each recorded a hit.

Kelsey Hamade, Hilhorst, Kelli Moore, Pautz and Tatum Lundin all hit a single for the Vikings.

VCSU used three pitchers in the game, starting with Morgan Nalley (L, 21-6) where she recorded the loss.  She worked for one-plus inning and gave up two runs (one unearned) on three hits.  Kathleen Gallais worked for two innings in relief and allowed three runs (one unearned) on one hit.  Ashley Metcalf tossed three scoreless innings and struck out three Blue Hawks hitters.

 

2016 North Star Athletic Association Softball Championship – hosted by Presentation (S.D.) College

Friday, May 6, 2016 - Bracket A - Field A - Players Softball Complex - Aberdeen, S.D.
Game 1:  No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 1, No. 8 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 0 - FINAL
Game 2:  No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D.) 1, No. 4 seed Bellevue (Neb.) 0 - FINAL
Game 3 (Loser's Out Game):  No. 4 seed Bellevue (Neb.) 7, No. 8 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 0 - FINAL Dakota State (S.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 4 (Winner's Bracket Game):  No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 3, No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D.) 1 - FINAL

Friday, May 6, 2016 - Bracket B - Field D - Players Softball Complex - Aberdeen, S.D.
Game 1:  No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 7, No. 7 seed Mayville State (N.D.) 6 - FINAL
Game 2:  No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 9, No. 6 seed Waldorf (Iowa) 0 - FINAL/5 innings
Game 3 (Loser's Out Game):  No. 6 seed Waldorf (Iowa) 18, No. 7 seed Mayville State (N.D.) 7 - FINAL/5 innings Mayville State (N.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 4 (Winner's Bracket Game):  No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 2, No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 1 - FINAL

Saturday, May 7, 2016 - Bracket A - Field D - Players Softball Complex - Aberdeen, S.D.
Game 5 (Loser's Out Game):  No. 4 seed Bellevue (Neb.) 5, No. 5 seed Presentation (S.D.) 2 - FINAL Presentation (S.D.) eliminated from postseason
Game 6 (Bracket A Championship Game):  No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 1, No. 4 seed Bellevue (Neb.) 0 - FINAL
 
Saturday, May 7, 2016 - Bracket B - Field A - Players Softball Complex - Aberdeen, S.D.
Game 5:  No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 2, No. 6 seed Waldorf (Iowa) 0 - FINAL Waldorf (Iowa) eliminated from postseason
Game 6 (Bracket B Championship Game):  No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 10, No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 2 - FINAL/5 innings Jamestown (N.D.) eliminated from postseason

Sunday, May 8, 2016 - NSAA Championship Game - Field D - Players Softball Complex - Aberdeen, S.D. - Best-of-Three Series
Championship Game #1:  No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 5, No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 0 - FINAL
Championship Game #2:  No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 6, No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 3 - FINAL
Championship Game #3:  No. 1 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 2, No. 2 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 1 - FINAL

Dickinson State (N.D.) advances to NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round