The Briar Cliff softball team had its home debut at Bishop Mueller Field this season, hosting Dakota State in a non-conference doubleheader. The Trojans were able to spoil the home opener for the Chargers with DSU taking both games by scores of 2-0 and 8-4 in eight innings. The losses dropped Briar Cliff to 3-14 overall, while Dakota State improved to 10-15 on the year.
Game one was a low scoring affair as neither team was able to cross the plate through the first five innings of play. The Trojans scored two runs in the top of the sixth to go up 2-0 and that was the only offense of the game as they held the Chargers scoreless the rest of the way. DSU outhit BCU 9-3 in the contest and the Cliff had two errors, compared to one miscue by Dakota State.
Stefani Gollin was credited with the win for the Trojans, tossing a complete-game shutout with seven strikeouts. Isabella Gonzalez suffered the loss for the Chargers with two K’s in 6.2 innings of work. Rachele Heaton, Nicole Romero and Bailey Nichols all had one hit for the Cliff in the game.
Game two was another tightly contested outing with the Chargers and Trojans needing an extra inning to decide the outcome. The Cliff scored the first run of the game to go up 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Nicole Wiles singled to score Romero after Romero belted a double to deep center field earlier in the inning. The lead would be short lived for BCU with DSU tying the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning. The two teams then went scoreless in the seventh inning to force an eighth frame. The Trojans then exploded for seven runs in the top of the eighth to take a commanding 8-1 advantage. The Chargers attempted to rally in the bottom of the eighth inning with three runs to make the final score 8-4. Brooke French drove in Nichols for the first run of the inning, Heaton scored on a Trojan error and Brenna Oliver was the last Charger to cross the plate on an Abbygail Lint groundout.
Briar Cliff notched seven hits in the game and Dakota State had eight hits. Errors plagued the Chargers however with four and the Trojans only had one error. Oliver, Romero and Wiles all had two hits for BCU and Heaton added on hit in the contest. Fineran, Lint and Wiles all had one RBI and Heaton, Oliver, Romero and Nichols all scored once. Lanae Shiley, Gonzalez and Lint all pitched for the Cliff in the game with Shiley being tagged with the loss in her 7.0 innings of work. Shiley also added three strikeouts.
Briar Cliff will again be at Bishop Mueller Field on Friday afternoon, hosting Hastings in a GPAC doubleheader. The games will be the first conference contests for the Chargers. First pitch of game one is slated for 3 p.m.