Softball Drops Two in Final Afternoon in Arizona

Photo Credit: Dylan Foran
Photo Credit: Dylan Foran

TUCSON, Ariz. - A pair of losses for the Nighthawks ends their time in Arizona at 1-7. Sophomore Alina Milauskas (Pawtucket, R.I.) started the season off on a hot streak, batting .458 with three doubles.


Game One: Dordt College 6 - Newbury 4 (Full Box Score Available on Saturday)

A two-run home run by Defenders junior Summer Jansen (Sheldon, Iowa) would complete a four-run third inning for Dordt College, lifting the Defenders over the Newbury Nighthawks 6-4 at the Tucson Invitational.

Jansen finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs; she batted in another runner on a fielder's choice in the fifth. Freshman Hailey Heeringa (Chandler, Ariz.) batted 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Senior Michal Huizenga (Grandville, Mich.) was 1-for-2 with a double that brought home two runs in the fourth.

Nighthawks senior Lindsey Clark (Venice, Fla.) finished 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a stolen base. Sophomore Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) batted 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double. Sophomore Alexis Vieira (Pawtucket, R.I.) was 1-for-4 with a fifth inning double that scored two Nighthawks.

Already leading 1-0 due to an RBI single in the second by Corinne Valdix (Pleasonton, Calif.), the Defenders entended the lead to five in the third inning.

With one out in the Defenders third, sophomore Tessa Howerzyl (Pella, Iowa) doubled to right-center, and advanced to third on a wild pitch in the next at-bat.

A walk would put runners on the corners for the Defenders and an RBI groundout would score Howerzyl putting Dordt ahead 2-0.

The next batter, Huizenga, doubled to center, bringing home a Defender runner to lead 3-0. The next batter was Jansen who took the first pitch to deep left-center for her second home run of the season and securing a 5-0 lead for Dordt.

The Nighthawks answered in the fifth, starting with a single by freshman Mallory Stefan (Thronton, Colo.). Stefan took second on a bobble by the center fielder.

A groundout moved Stefan to third and the next batter, Clark, singled to right, getting the Nighthawks on the board, 5-1.

Vieira would come through later in the inning and with two outs she doubled to left-center, knocking in two, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

Vieira scored on a Sass single and the Nighthawks ended the fifth inning trailing 5-4.

The Defenders added insurance in the bottom half of the inning on a fielder's choice that scored Howerzyl, giving the Defenders a 6-4 lead.

The Nighthawks put runners on second in both the final two innings, but were unable to overcome the deficit and create offense in those innings.

Stefan pitched a complete game for the Nighthawks, giving up six runs on eight hits, striking out two. Sophomore Tianna Top (Luverne, Minn.) also pitched a complete game, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out five.


Game Two: Bethany Lutheran 11 - Newbury 1 (F/6)

A Vikings four-run third inning and a six-run sixth inning capped off by a grand slam by freshman Katelyn Karels (Good Thunder, Minn.) led Bethany Lutheran to an 11-1 victory over the Nighthawks in the final game of Spring Training in the Arizona Desert for Newbury College.

Karels finished just 1-for-4 on the afternoon, striking out twice, but the sixth inning home run was the first of her career. Junior Anna Pipenhagen (Elk River, Minn.) batted 4-for-4 with three singles and an RBI. Freshman Samantha Meginbir (Lloydminster, AB, CAN) finished 3-for-4, including a double and three RBIs.

Nighthawks sophomore Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) batted 1-for-2 with a run scored. Sophomore Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the third. Sass and senior Elizabeth Kia (Kea'au, Hawaii) both finished 1-for-3.

Leading 1-0 heading to the third, the Vikings started the inning with three singles to load the bases with no outs.

Meginbir followed that with an RBI single to double the Viking lead to 2-0. Two singles and an error later in the inning would score three more, putting the Vikings up 5-0.

The Nighthawks put their only run of the game up in the bottom of the third, starting with a Babcock single; she advanced to second on a groundout by Clark. Milauskas singled in the next at-bat, scoring Babcock from second.

With one out in the Vikings sixth, Bethany Lutheran loaded the bases. Two singles brought in the first two runs of the inning, followed by the Karels grand slam, making it 11-1.

The Nighthawks finish their eight games in Arizona at 1-7. The Nighthawks return home and continue their campaign on Saturday, March 18 with a doubleheader at Emmanuel with the first pitch set for noon.