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Falling behind: Jimmies let DSU gain early leads, as Hawks sweep

University of Jamestown starter Mandy Thiessen delivers against Dickinson State on Thursday evening at McElroy Park. Chris Aarhus / The Sun

Scoring first has been a problem for the University of Jamestown softball team when playing at home the past week.

It’s been hard to overcome, too.

The latest came on Thursday, when the Jimmies surrendered early runs to Dickinson State, which left the Buffalo City with a sweep — 5-3 and 6-2 — at McElroy Park.

“It seems like we don’t put much pressure on them at the beginning of the game,” Jamestown coach Kevin Gall said. “It seems like a lot of teams are having their way with us early.”

DSU got out to a 3-0 advantage in the opening game and then jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the nightcap. Not surprisingly, Blue Hawks coach Kristen Fleury said that’s been a big part of her team’s success. DSU improved to 32-12 on the season.

“We try to get on teams early and take the momentum,” Fleury said. “We were able to do that, and that sets the tone.”

DSU scored two in the second inning and one in the third in the opener, holding a lead until the Jimmies (19-21) struck for two in the fifth on Sarah Money’s two-run homer and one in the sixth thanks to an errant throw to third on a stolen base by Olivia Knott.

However, Jamestown starter Emily Snow had problems finding the strike zone in the top of the seventh, walking the bases loaded. A Jimmie error with two outs led to two runs scoring, and Jamestown couldn’t muster enough offense to respond in the bottom half.

“You’ve got to give Jamestown credit — they played a good game all the way through,” Fleury said. “In the last inning, we were able to capitalize on their mistakes. That was the difference in the game.”

Blue Hawks starter Regan Lawrence earned the win, going the distance. She allowed just three runs, despite scattering nine hits.

Jamestown found itself behind the 8-ball in the second game, as starter Mandy Thiessen allowed a two-run home run to Alex Vargas in the third inning. Before Jamestown finally responded in the bottom half, it was already 5-0.

DSU starter Tiffany Morgan pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits for the win.

Jamestown starter Mandy Thiessen didn’t fare as bad as the box score appears, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits in seven innings. Her defense made four errors behind her.

Catcher Sydney Greenlund led the Jimmies at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a run scored.

Hits have come at a regular pace for the Jimmies, but they’ve struggled turning them into runs. DSU scored 11 runs on 11 hits in the doubleheader, while Jamestown plated 5 runs on 14 hits.

“We’ve just got to work through it,” Gall said. “Eventually, they’ll find the holes. We’ve got to keep working hard and hope good things happen.”

Jamestown not having to hit the road anymore should help the team’s comfort level. The Jimmies host Presentation College (S.D.) in their final regular-season action on Saturday and Sunday, both set for 1 p.m. The Jimmies will host the North Star Athletic Association tournament a week later.

“Presentation’s gonna be tough,” Gall said. “We’re gonna have a hard time beating them, unless we all of a sudden can come out and score a bunch of runs, which hasn’t been our forte. I expect some tough games this weekend.”

Dickinson State 5,

University of Jamestown 3

Dickinson  021 000 2 — 5 6 2

Jamestown  000 021 0 — 3 9 2

Regan Lawrence and Brianna Grayson. Emily Snow and Megan Heriot. W—Lawrence. L—Snow.

HR—J, Sarah Money.

Highlights: DSU, Grayson 1-2, run, RBI. UJ, Sarah Money 2-3, run, 2 RBIs, Courtney Van den Bussche 2-4, run, Emily Newman 1-3, double.

Dickinson State 6, Jamestown 2

Dickinson  203 010 0 — 6 7 0

Jamestown  001 100 0 — 2 5 4

Tiffany Morgan and Brianna Grayson. Mandy Thiessen and Sydney Greenlund. W—Morgan. L—Thiessen.

HR—DSU, Alex Vargas.

Highlights: DSU, Vargas 2-4, 2 RBIs, three runs. UJ, Greenlund 2-2, run, Newman 1-2, run.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or