March 26, 2014
Photo courtesy by Scott Voigt
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University softball team (9-10 overall record) looks to extend their winning streak as they play a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) foes. The Trojans visit Dordt (Iowa) (4-14) Friday afternoon at Open Space Field. First game of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. in Sioux Center, Iowa. On Monday afternoon, DSU continues their action on the road at Mount Marty (S.D.) (2-8) in Yankton. The doubleheader action takes place at the Riverside Park, starting at 3 p.m.
TROJANS SNAP LOSING SKID: Dakota State ended their seven-game losing streak with a doubleheader sweep over Sterling (Kan.) in the Sterling Softball Tournament on March 22. The Trojans, who started the 2014 season with a 5-1 overall record, defeated the Warriors 10-5 in the first game and 7-2 in the second game. The second game was called early after the completion of the fifth inning due to cold temperatures below 30 degrees.
DSU VS. GPAC: The Trojans will be playing their second and third opponents from the GPAC conference on Friday and Monday. DSU dropped a pair of games to Briar Cliff (Iowa) on March 19 and is searching for their first win against the GPAC this season. Dakota State will play eight more games against the members of the GPAC in the month of April, all games at Thue Softball Complex in Madison versus Briar Cliff, Mount Marty, Dakota Wesleyan and Dordt.
LOOKING FORWARD TO BE HOME: Dakota State is slated to kick off their 22-game home stand at Thue Softball Complex on April 3 versus Briar Cliff (Iowa). During that span, the Trojans are scheduled to play their first six North Star Athletic Association conference games versus Mayville State (N.D.) on April 5-6 and Presentation (S.D.) on April 9. DSU continues their action at Thue Softball Complex with non-conference doubleheader action versus Mount Marty on April 11, Dickinson State (N.D.) on April 12-13 and Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on April 15. Dakota State hosts Jamestown (N.D.) in the NSAA Softball 4-game series on April 18-19 and concludes their home stand with a non-conference doubleheader versus Dordt (Iowa) on April 21.
DSU RANKS IN STOLEN BASES: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Wednesday, Dakota State is fourth in the nation in stolen bases per game with an average of 3.2. The Trojans are 17th in the nation in total stolen bases with 60. DSU is 60-for-62 in stolen bases attempts this season. Erica Belter ranks 11th in the nation in stolen bases per game (0.8) and 27th in total stolen bases with 16.
SANDOVAL NAMED TO NSAA SOFTBALL PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK: The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) has selected Stephanie Sandoval as its softball player-of-the-week, the second edition of the weekly honor was announced Monday. She went 11-for-16 at the plate last week with a batting average of .688. Sandoval added a double, triple, 4 RBIs and recorded a slugging percentage of .875. She was perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases attempts. She is currently on a seven-game hitting streak, where she had at least two hits in the last four games.
TROJANS DEFENSIVE RANKS: Ellie Kristensen ranks first in the nation in fielding percentage (1.000) for Dakota State. Brittany Hill is seventh in the nation in putouts per game (8.5) and ninth in chances per game (8.8). She is 33rd in the nation in total putouts (161) and 36th in total chances (168). Samantha Mitchell averages 2.6 assists per game, 28th-best in the nation. As a team, Dakota State ranks 44th in chances per game (30.2) and 46th in assists per game (8.9).
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Dickinson State (N.D.) (12-8 overall record as of Monday) moved in the sole possession for No. 1 spot in the second edition of the NSAA/Frontier conference weekly rankings, released Monday. Great Falls (Mont.) is second with an overall record of 12-9. Jamestown (N.D.) moved up one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 with a 7-9 record. Valley City State (N.D.) is fourth with an overall record of 11-13, followed by Dakota State (S.D.) fifth with 9-10 overall record.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State won the last two meetings with Dordt (Iowa) last season in Sioux Center, Iowa. The Trojans won by the scores of 9-7 and 5-3 on April 25, 2013. DSU and Mount Marty (S.D.) split their two meetings on April 11, 2012 at Riverside Park in Yankton, S.D. The Lancers rallied back to defeat the Trojans 3-2 in eight innings in the first game of the doubleheader. The Trojans, however, bounced back in the winning column by earning a 6-2 victory in the second game.
QUICK LEADERS: Samantha Mitchell, Brittany Hill and Erica Belter each lead the Trojans with 21 hits. Mitchell leads the team with .429 batting average and ranks 25th in the nation in home runs with six. Mitchell records a slugging percentage of .837, which ranks her 29th in the nation. Brittany Hill re cords 15 RBIs this season and averages 0.8 RBIs per game. Erica Belter swipes 16 bases, averaging 0.8 stolen bases this season. Ellie Kristensen leads the team in earned runs average of 4.11 and 19 strikeouts.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State softball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State returns home for the first time this season on Thursday, April 3 to kick off their 22-game home stand. The Trojans welcome Briar Cliff (Iowa) in a non-conference doubleheader at 3 p.m. On April 5-6, DSU hosts Mayville State (N.D.) in their first-ever North Star Athletic Association softball conference games. The doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. on both days. All games will be held at the Thue Softball Complex in Madison.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director