Weekend series ends in defeat for UND softball

Kaylin VanDomelon delivers a pitch during last week’s matchup against Weber State. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student. 

The UND Fighting Hawks hosted the Weber State Wildcats Friday and Saturday afternoon in a Big Sky softball matchup. The Hawks would have to play two out of the three games during Friday afternoon’s doubleheader and would finish out the last game of the series on Saturday.

UND came into the series with a record of 15-28 overall, and a record of 3-7 in the Big Sky. They wanted to show not only the Wildcats that they were better than their record indicated, but also the entire Big Sky conference that they were a team to be reckoned with.

UND would send its ace redshirt sophomore Kaylin VanDomelon to the mound in game one. VanDomelen, who came into Friday’s game as the Big Sky leader in strikeouts, started out the game strong with a quick first inning.

That momentum would carry into UND’s hitting in the bottom half of the first inning.

UND coach Jordan Stevens saw his players load the bases with one out, with first baseman Emily Bell coming to bat. The senior from Elgin, Illinois, would jump on a pitch from Weber State’s Kirtlyn Bohling and send it over the left-centerfield fence for a huge grand slam.

As expected, that got the UND fans rowdy and UND jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead over one of the best teams in the Big Sky. However, there were six more innings to go. This would not be a problem for Vandemelen. She went the complete game, striking out seven Wildcats, and allowed only three runs to get the win. Friday’s first game was VanDomelen’s 13th win and 18th complete game of the season.

“It is nice to see us playing well late in the season,” Stevens said.

Game two was all Weber State. The first three innings were scoreless, but Weber scored one run in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead.

Weber State bats then exploded as the Wildcats scored seven runs over the sixth and seventh innings. UND would get two runs back in the sixth inning as cleanup hitter Megan Keegan hit a two-run homerun in the bottom half of the sixth inning. However, it wasn’t enough as Weber State won the nightcap 9-2, to split the doubleheader.

Head coach Jordan Stevens thought overall, his team played well.

“Big takeaway today was we got the win,” Stevens said. “We played well most of the day, and the score in game two wasn’t indicative of how we played today.”

In the rubber match of the three game series, UND tried to bounce back from a tough loss and win the series. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Weber State quickly jumped ahead of the Fighting Hawks 2-0 at the end of the first inning.

UND would take the lead in the third after a two RBI double by Mary Martin. Autumn Cervantez followed Martin by driving in two more Fighting Hawks on a single.

UND was up 4-2 after three innings. In the top of the fourth though, UND made a costly error and Weber State took advantage, hitting a three run homerun to regain the lead 5-4.

That is how the game would end. UND fell to 4-9 in the Big Sky and 16-30 overall.

UND is back in action on the road in nonconference play as they head to Brookings, South Dakota, to take on South Dakota State. UND gets back to Big Sky play when they host Big Sky foe Montana in a weekend series.

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