Late inning rallies give BU sweep over Jimmies

Freshman Kaitlyn Kinman drove in the winning run in the nightcap.
Freshman Kaitlyn Kinman drove in the winning run in the nightcap.

NSAA Standings
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Trailing in both games heading into the seventh inning, the Bellevue University softball team used a pair of rallies to record a key conference doubleheader sweep at the University of Jamestown Friday, winning 5-2 and 2-1 in nine innings. 

The two wins move the Bruins' winning streak to 16 games as BU improves to 35-8 on the season and 14-2 in the North Star Athletic Association. Bellevue has now won 27 of their last 28 contests. Jamestown fell to 28-16 overall and 13-5 in league play.  

The two teams will conclude the four-game series with a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader tomorrow (April 15) in Jamestown.

Game 1: Bellevue 5, Jamestown 2

Bellevue used a seventh-inning rally to pull out the 5-2 win in the opener, scoring four runs in the final frame.  

The Jimmies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Hanna Dunnigan's RBI single that scored Mickayla Frost from third. The Bruin offense was stymied until Emily Gigax drove in Alex Tooley with an RBI single to center, tying the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. 

Jamestown responded in the bottom half of the fourth, regaining the lead on Brittany Rheault's RBI double to right field, giving UJ a 2-1 advantage. 

The Bruins took advantage of three UJ fielding errors and an RBI single to left field by Erin Sharpe to score four seventh-inning runnings to take a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. 

Kelli Fisher replaced Sharpe in the bottom of the seventh, allowing just one baserunner and striking out one to earn her team-high fourth save of the season. 

Sharpe (7-0) claimed her seventh win of the season, allowing seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings in the circle. 

Dunnigan (12-6), who struck out 12 BU batters, suffered the loss, scattering five hits and five walks in 6.1 innings of work. 

Game 2: Bellevue 2, Jamestown 1 (9 innings)

Neither team could muster any offense until a squeeze bunt by Kelly Halverson scored Emma Gilbert from third to give the Jimmies a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth. 

Faced with a full count, a solo home run to right center field by Sharpe tied the contest at 1-1 in the top of the seventh. It marked Sharpe's team-leading 18th homer of the season. 

The Bruins threatened in the top of the eighth after Emily Gigax doubled to right field and pinch runner Sarah Zeleny advanced to third on a wild pitch by Dunnigan. The Jimmies got out of the jam when Dunnigan forced a popout and a strikeout to end the threat. 

An RBI single to right field by Kaitlyn Kinman gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, but with bases-loaded and only one out, the Jimmies forced a pop out and a ground out to avoid any more damage.  

Fisher retired the side in the bottom of the ninth to secure the 2-1 victory and the Bruin sweep. Fisher improved to 20-3 on the season, scattering five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in nine innings in the circle.