By John Froese
The Saints fell in doubleheaders at the PC dome in heartbreaking fashion to The Dakota Wesleyan Tigers, and (24) Jamestown Jimmies.
The Saints started slow against the Tigers and ultimately lost by a score of 15-0.
The Tigers took the momentum early and kept it the entire game thanks to a three-run homerun by centerfielder Andrea Konz in the second inning, and a grand-slam by catcher Melysia Ortega in the fourth.
The Saints found themselves in a 5-0 hole early before they could even pick up a bat and had to come up with an answer quickly.
The Saints couldn’t find the answer.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Saints were held in check by Tiger ace Sierra Haage. The Saints came away with two singles, one off the bat of senior shortstop Krystle Schweers, and the other by junior leftfielder Darrian Gibson.
Not a great way to start of the season, but the Saints weren’t giving up.
At the start of playing Jamestown, a nationally ranked team, the Saints started slow once again.
The Jimmies put up 4 runs in the first inning, with the big blow being a two-out double by second basemen Lorigan Steuben.
Unlike in the first game though, the Saints refused to give in and rallied for five unanswered runs with four different Saints contributing with RBI.
The Saints got on the board in the third thanks to a RBI groundout by sophomore pitcher Bibiana “Bibi” Villeda, and were able to tack on another on the same play thanks to some heads-up baserunning by senior centerfielder Cortni Mendoza.
Mendoza whacked a double just inside the right field line to put herself and sophomore right-fielder Morgan Banford in scoring position.
In the fourth, the Saints were able to put one more run on the board after sophomore third basemen Madison Brink led off the inning by taking a pitch off her ankle.
Next up was freshman Designated Hitter Sierra Kilmer, who hammered a 2-1 fastball into the left-centerfield gap to cut the lead to one. In the sixth inning, the Saints had runners on second and third with one out thanks to a leadoff single by Schweers and a walk by Brink.
Head coach Mari Jordan decided to take a risk by calling a suicide squeeze with Gibson at the plate, and it worked to perfection with Schweers beating the throw home to tie the game. Two batters later, freshman catcher Skye Carter was able to give the Saints the lead with an RBI groundout.
However, the Jimmies showed resilience as the the lead was short-lived.
In the bottom half of the frame, freshman Mariah Martinez put the Jimmies back in front with a two-run double which traveled down the left line and then later came around to score on an RBI groundout by catcher Miriah Yodar.
This time though, the Saints were unable to answer and Martinez’ two-run double proved to be the difference maker. Villeda held her own on the mound, going six innings and surrendering 7 runs, with most of those coming in the first, while striking out three.