Softball continues to struggle in the cold

UND pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen, along with the rest of the Hawks’ pitching staff, struggled against ISU during a frigid Friday afternoon game this weekend. Photo by Nick Nelson/The Dakota Student

The Fighting Hawks softball team had their home opener series this weekend at the Apollo Sports Complex against Big Sky Conference foe Idaho State.

Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans, and some snow and cold weather combined to make this three game series into a one game contest as both of Saturday’s games were cancelled.

On Friday afternoon, the Fighting Hawks took on the Bengals in frigid conditions. They lost the matchup 7-0.

“It wasn’t the most exciting thing to go through,” UND coach Jordan Stevens said. “But both teams had to do it, so it is what it is.”

Idaho state started off the game hot as they scored the opening run in the first inning. The Bengals then tacked on another two in the second inning to make the score 3-0.

That score remained until the Bengal’s offense erupted for three runs in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, ISU’s Kacie Burnett reached on a fielding error. After stealing second base, she scored on an RBI double by teammate Maddy Hickman. Ashlyn Ames followed suit with an RBI double of her own. An RBI single by Ashley Morris made the score 6-0, leaving UND to try and find answers on the offensive side.

The Bengals pitcher, Sophie Slagle, held the Fighting Hawks at bay throughout most of the game as she gave up her first hit in the fifth inning. The defense behind her was equally impressive as they made a few excellent plays to keep the no-hitter alive as long as they did.

“They’re a good defensive team,” Stevens said “They took away a few of the good hits we had today and I think that was a lot of our problems, we didn’t put a lot of good contact on her and the couple times we did they made a play.”

The Hawks’ Taylor Hansen was able to break up the no-hitter in the bottom of the 5th inning with a single.

ISU would pick up another run in the sixth inning to make the score 7-0, which would go on to be the final score of the game. UND was able to muster 2 hits for the entire game.

The  Fighting Hawks  committed three errors, and the Bengals were able to capitalize on them.

“We’ve got to swing the bat a lot better,” Stevens said “We also have to clean up defensively, they took advantage of every mistake we made today. We just, we have to continue to try and be the aggressor. Lately, we’ve been falling behind a lot and it gets tough to play from behind.”

With this loss, the Hawks now fall to 10-22. UND sits at second to last in the Big Sky and have yet to win a conference game. With the one win, Idaho State moves ahead of UND to No. 6 in the conference at 1-2.

While being 12 games under .500 is not ideal, the team is showing signs of improvements from the previous year.

The Fighting Hawks are two wins away from equaling their win total from the previous year, 12, with 22 games left in the season.

The Fighting Hawks softball team is back in action on Tuesday April 5 as they take on rival South Dakota State at Apollo Sports Complex in Grand Forks for a double header. The first game starts at 2:00 p.m. with the second game being played at 4:00 p.m.

The teams have a fairly even history, as both squads are tied at 4-4 in their last eight games.

Adam Gunderman is a sports writer for The Dakota Student.He can be reached at [email protected]