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HomeAthleticsEmily Dix, Big Bats Shine in Yavapai Softball’s Sweep of No. 2-Ranked...

Emily Dix, Big Bats Shine in Yavapai Softball’s Sweep of No. 2-Ranked Phoenix

Emily Dix, Big Bats Shine in Yavapai Softball’s Sweep of No. 2-Ranked Phoenix

Ranked No. 2 in NJCAA Division I, the Yavapai College softball team welcomed the No. 2-ranked (NJCAA DII) Phoenix College Bears (also the defending NJCAA DII National Champions) to Bill Vallely Field on Saturday afternoon for one of the biggest, marquee matchups in the country this season. 

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While the teams split earlier this season in Phoenix, the Roughriders had no intention of splitting on Saturday afternoon and instead swept the Bears in dominating fashion, winning game one 8-0 and winning game two 12-8. 

“You would think that with a 41-2 overall record this season, we would have seen the best of this team,” Head Coach Doug Eastman said after the wins. “I feel, however, that the best is yet to come! I’m truly a fan of watching this team perform.”

Eastman’s first sweep of Phoenix in his tenure at Yavapai also pushed the Roughriders’ win streak to 21 games to go along with the aforementioned 41-2 overall record and 33-1 conference record. 

Game One

Sophomore pitcher Emily Dix was the story throughout the day (though several YC bats did their best to steal the spotlight at times) as she twirled a no-hitter (her second of the season) in game one with six scoreless innings, just three walks and an incredible 14 strikeouts. 

With the Phoenix bats completely shut down, Yavapai wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard as sophomore outfielder Mia Weckel walked to lead things off and came around to score just one pitch later on a two-run homer off the bat of fellow sophomore outfielder Kayla Rodgers. 

Two pitches after Rodgers’ blast, freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii launched a solo homer to make it back-to-back jacks and give the Riders a 3-0 advantage. 

In the bottom of the second, freshman outfielder Sierra Griego served a single into right field to lead things off and advanced to second on a Weckel fielder’s choice that saw her reach first base safely as well. 

The pair of baserunners brought Rodgers to the plate who then demolished a 2-0 pitch over the centerfield fence for a three-run homer that gave YC a commanding 6-0 lead. Later in the frame, the Roughriders scored on a Phoenix error to balloon their advantage to 7-0. 

The Roughriders were held scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings, before Rodgers led the bottom of the sixth inning off with her third homer of game one, giving Yavapai the 8-0 walk-off run-rule victory. 

At the plate, Rodgers led the way with a perfect 4-for-4 performance that featured the aforementioned three homers, a single, three runs scored and six RBIs. Weckel, Kaaialii (homer), freshman catcher Jasmine Moreno (double) and Griego each had one hit in game one. 

Game Two

The Bears came out of the gate roaring in game two as they tallied five hits in the top of the first and led 3-0 before the Roughriders picked up their bats. 

In the blink of an eye, the three-run Phoenix lead turned into a four-run deficit in the bottom of the first as Weckel led off with a single, Rodgers smoked an RBI double, Kaaialii tallied an RBI single to center, freshman shortstop Lovey Kepa’a smashed a two-run homer, Moreno followed with a solo homer, freshman catcher Ashley Fields walked and freshman infielder Makena Riggs ended the madness with a two-run homer to left. 

All in all, the first seven Roughriders all scored, giving Yavapai a 7-3 lead before it recorded a single offensive out. 

With a four-run cushion, Dix took over inside the circle in the top of the second in game two and willed her team to victory with a gutsy performance to finish off the ballgame. Dix tossed the final six innings of the game, struck out 10 Bears and allowed just three earned runs, after tossing the aforementioned no-no in game one. 

While Dix guided the Roughriders to victory on the defensive side of the ball, the bats cashed in some insurance runs on an RBI double from Fields in the second, solo homer from Kaaialii in the fourth, RBI single from Riggs in the fourth and two-run single from Griego in the fourth. 

The insurance runs were much needed as Phoenix never gave up and continually chipped away at the YC lead with two runs in the fourth, two runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh. 

When Dix finally induced a flyout to Rodgers to end the game and complete the sweep, the scoreboard read 12-8 in favor of the Roughriders. 

At the plate, Kaaialii led the way with three hits while Fields, Riggs, Griego and sophomore infielder Alyssa Rosales all had two. Weckel, Rodgers, Kepa’a and Moreno all finished with one hit apiece as each Roughrider starter in game two finished with at least one hit. 

Up Next

Yavapai is back on the softball field on Saturday, April 23, at home against Scottsdale with game one of the doubleheader set for noon. 

– D.J. Irwin

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