Softball sweeps Dakota Wesleyan to open weekend homestand

Kansas Wesleyan Softball picked up a doubleheader sweep of the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers on Friday at Salina South High School to open a 5-game weekend homestand for the Coyotes.


KWU picked up a 4-3 win in the opener, and rallied late in the nightcap, for a 7-5 win in six innings when the game was called due to darkness.


In the opener Dakota Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when McKinnely Mull stole home on a delayed double steal try, crossing the plate before the Coyotes could tag out Lena McCoy between first and second base.


The Coyotes tied it in the bottom of the inning when Josie Buhr (JR/Buffalo, N.D.) led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and then scored on Mia Hernandez (SO/Hanford, Calif.)’s ground out.


Tiffani Alaniz (FR/Sebastian, Texas) hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead, but the Tigers tied it in the third with a homer by Mull.


Sydnee Fordham (FR/Thornton, Colo.) led off the decisive fifth inning for the Coyotes with a walk and two batters later Jocelyn Alcala (JR/Fullerton, Calif.) doubled to left field bringing in the first run of the inning. After a pitching change, Hernandez drove in another run with a double to score Alcala making it 4-2 Coyotes.


Dakota Wesleyan loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the seventh, but closer Miranda Fogal (JR/Monticello, Ill.) would only allow one run to score, getting two strikeouts and a ground out to end it.


The Coyotes had seven hits in the game, three by Alaniz and two by Buhr. Starter Natalie Zamora (SO/Houston, Texas) picked up the win allowing three runs on seven hits in six-plus innings, with four strikeouts. Fogal picked up her second save of the season getting all three outs in the seventh.


In the second game, DWU took advantage of a KWU error in the top of the first to score a run, but the Coyotes returned the favor in the bottom of the inning. Buhr singled and took second on an error, then scored on a double by Hernandez to tie things up.


KWU scored three in the bottom of the second as Destiny Hackney (SO/Thornton, Colo.) was hit by a pitch and Anne Thibert (JR/Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) walked. After a wild pitch moved the runners up, Buhr connected on a 2-run single and then scored on a double by Hernandez.


The Tigers took a brief 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth on Mull’s 3-run homer and a later wild pitch, but the Coyotes again responded. Alaniz walked, and was followed by Kya Butler (FR/Newton, Iowa)’s 2-run homer out to left center to give the Coyotes a 6-5 lead.


Buhr followed with a triple and then scored on Alcala’s double to put the Coyotes up 7-5.


As darkness crept in, the Coyotes got the Tigers to go in order in the sixth, and tried to add more runs in the bottom of the inning, but could not push one across.


After the sixth, officials determined it was too dark to continue and the game was called.


Buhr had three of KWU’s eight hits, while Hernandez had two hits, both doubles. Fogal picked up the win for the Coyotes in relief allowing two runs on two hits, with three strikeouts. Starter Jewell Henry (SR/Kingston, Okla.) went four and a third allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits.


The Coyotes continue their weekend homestand on Saturday, hosting a doubleheader against No. 11 Grand View starting at 1 p.m. at Salina South. The teams will play a single game Sunday at Noon.