DICKINSON, N.D. -- After suffering a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in nine innings in the opener, the Bellevue University softball team bounced back with 1-0 win in the nightcap over the University of Jamestown, forcing a third game tomorrow for the North Star Athletic Association Tournament championship.
The two teams will meet on Monday at 2:30 p.m. (central time) to determine the league tournament title.
The top-seeded Bruins are now 49-13 on the season. UJ, the No. 2 seed, moved to 40-19 overall.
Game 1: Jamestown 4, Bellevue 3 (9 innings)
Neither team scored until the eighth inning when both teams plated three runs each, but a solo homer by Emma Keller in the top of the ninth proved to be the game-winner as the Bruins' fell in the first championship game, 4-3 in nine innings.
After the Jimmies loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth with two-straight singles and a walk, UJ scored the game's first run on an RBI single to left field by Kelly Halverson. The Jimmies added two more runs on a bases-loaded fielding error by BU third baseman Erin Sharpe, to take a 3-0 lead.
Keller's solo home run to left field gave UJ a 4-3 advantage in the top of the ninth.
The Jimmies preserved the win in the bottom of the ninth after inducing three fly-outs sandwiched in between an intentional walk to Sharpe.
Sharpe finished 3-for-3 on the day and scored a run. Michaela Miller finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Kelli Fisher fell to 29-5 on the season, scattering 10 hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in nine innings of work.
Hanna Dunnigan (20-8) earned the win, allowing five fits with one walk and three strikeouts in the final three innings of relief.
Game 2: Bellevue 1, Jamestown 0
In a real pitcher's duel between Sharpe and Dunnigan, Sayde Woten's solo homer in the top of the seventh, combined with Sharpe's perfect game lifted the Bruins to the 1-0 victory, forcing a third, if necessary, game on Monday.
A double to left field by Alex Tooley in the top of the third was the only hit of the game for either team until Woten's game-winning solo homer in the top of the seventh.
Sharpe faced the minimum 21 batters, as she did not allow a hit or a walk while striking out three batters to improve to 11-1 on the season.
Dunnigan (20-9) suffered the loss, after allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of work.