Mavs’ bats go quiet
Dixie State pitchers shut down Mesa in DH sweep
Dixie State came up with the hits when it needed while silencing the Colorado Mesa bats.
The Red Storm blew through Grand Junction on Wednesday and swept Colorado Mesa 3-1 and 6-2 in nonconference softball at Bergman Field.
The Mavericks were limited to 14 hits in two games, two for extra bases.
“I think our approach and plans at the plate were a little off today,” CMU coach Candace Abrams said. “For some reason, we’re struggling more this year with the two-strike approach. That’s something we talked about is having a better approach. We don’t want to change our swings, but at this point it’s not working. We need to do something different.”
Some of it is situational hitting, Abrams explained.
“You have a 3-0, 3-1 count, if I’m giving you the green light, you better be squaring it up and making it count.”
Colorado Mesa (17-17) has lost seven of its past 10 games. The Mavericks host Western New Mexico in a four-game RMAC series on Saturday and Sunday at Bergman Field.
Dixie State (35-8) came out swinging against Mesa starter Jessica Severinsen in the first game, scoring a run in the first inning and one in the second for a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Red Storm rallied with two outs. Brooklyn Beardshear singled and advanced to third on a base hit. She scored on the back end of a double steal.
“That’s a sign of a good team,” Abrams said of Dixie’s hits with two outs. “They’re very well-coached. They swung the bat, and that was the big difference.
“Our bats started to show signs of life, but they kerplunked a little bit. It’s just that consistency and confidence. We’ve got to keep swinging the bat, and hopefully we’ll string some together.”
The Mavericks rallied for a run in the sixth, but they blew an opportunity to at least tie the game with the bases loaded and one out.
Makayla Kovac led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. Severinsen followed with a run-scoring single, then Sarah Phillis doubled. One out later, Karissa Nickeson walked, but Dixie pitcher Aryn Feickert struck out Lindsay Drayer and Tawnee Woosley.
Feickert (17-7) retired the Mavericks in order in the seventh. She limited Mesa to one run on six hits and struck out nine.
Michelle Duncan followed Feickert with a strong performance, limiting Mesa to two runs on eight hits in seven innings in the second game.
“They have very good pitching, but I didn’t think it was overdominating,” Abrams said. “We talked a lot about their pitching and what to expect. I didn’t think it was anything we couldn’t overcome, but they did a good job.”
The Mavericks looked like their offense was going early when Phillis lead off the second inning with a double and scored on Woosley’s single, but Mesa didn’t score again until the fifth, when Severinsen singled home Rachel Boothe.
Boothe came in for Kovac, who was hit in the eye by a ground ball that took a bad hop in the second inning. Abrams said Kovac will return to the lineup this weekend against Western New Mexico.
“She’ll be good, she’ll be back. We just took some precautions to make sure she’s good to go,” Abrams said.
Dixie’s offense clicked in the fifth with three runs on three hits to chase Severinsen with a 3-1 lead. A sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run, and the third run scored with two outs.
The Red Storm scored three more runs in the seventh off Ashley Pulido, who relieved Severinsen.
Severinsen (8-9) took both losses, allowing four earned runs on 16 hits with eight strikeouts in the two games.