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Jimmies' offense struggles in Iowa

University of Jamestown's Kat Miska fires to home plate on Friday in Sioux City, Iowa. Ryan Mikkelson / For The Sun

Offense was an issue for the University of Jamestown softball team Friday, March 29, in Iowa.

The Jimmies managed just five hits in dropping a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference games to Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. The Chargers topped the Jimmies 3-1 and 9-1, improving to 7-13 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

Jamestown (18-2, 2-2 GPAC) continues GPAC play Saturday with two games at College of Saint Mary (7-14, 0-2) in Omaha, Neb.

Chargers 3, Jimmies 1

Jamestown's Morgan Geiszler connected for an RBI triple in the first inning, but Briar Cliff sophomore pitcher Alayna Allen would only allow a sixth-inning Allie McCain single the rest of the way.

Junior shortstop Mikayla Frost, appearing in her first game for the Jimmies since breaking her left hand on opening day back on Feb. 9, led off the game with a walk and scored from third on Geiszler's extra-base hit. Allen, however, cruised in the Chargers' first GPAC win of the season, allowing just one walk and punching out a pair of UJ batters.

Sophomore Kat Miska, UJ's No. 1 pitcher, recorded nine strikeouts in the start but walked five, which included a pair of free passes in the bottom of the sixth that helped the Chargers load the bases in front of senior catcher Madison Deane. Deane promptly launched a bases-clearing, two-out double to left-center, accounting for all three of the Chargers' runs scored.

Chargers 9, Jimmies 1

Briar Cliff broke up a 1-1 game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth, taking game 2 in five-inning, walk-off fashion.

Junior Courtney Espinoza drove in the first run of the contest for the Jimmies with an RBI double in the third. But the next nine runs belonged to the Chargers.

Briar Cliff junior pitcher Lanae Shiley stumped the UJ bats for a second consecutive game, allowing just three total knocks. Shiley walked two and struck out three.

Freshman starter Katie Merchant shouldered the loss for Jamestown, which received votes in the latest NAIA top 25 coaches' poll. Merchant was credited with allowing four total runs on a hit and four walks before being chased out of the circle with no outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.

Jamestown's Saturday opponent, the College of Saint Mary Flames, has won three of its last six contests, including a split of 20-12 Bellevue University (Neb.) on Thursday, March 28.

Briar Cliff 3, (RV) Jamestown 1

UJ 100 000 0 -- 1 2 0

BC 000 003 X -- 3 5 2

Kat Miska and Katie Reisdorfer. Alayna Allen and Madison Deane. W--Allen. L--Miska.

Highlights: UJ, Miska 3 ER, 9 SO, 5 BB; Morgan Geiszler 1-3, 3B, RBI. BC, Allen 1 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB; Deane 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI.

Briar Cliff 9, (RV) Jamestown 1 (five inn.)

UJ 001 00 -- 1 3 1

BC 001 53 -- 9 7 0

Katie Merchant, Meghan Ramage (4) and Reisdorfer. Lanae Shiley and Deane. W--Shiley. L--Merchant.

Highlights: UJ, Merchant 3 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 2 SO; Ramage 1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R; Courtney Espinoza 1-2, 2B, RBI. BC, Shiley 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1-1, 2B, RBI; Nicole Wiles 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Taylor Graciano 2-3; Bailey Nichols 1-4, 2 RBI.

Records: Briar Cliff 7-13, 2-2 GPAC. Jamestown 18-8, 2-2.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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