April 8, 2014
THIS WEEK: Dakota State (7-16 overall record, 3-1 North Star Athletic Association conference record) continues their 20-game home stand this week at Thue Softball Complex. On Wednesday, the Trojans welcome Presentation (S.D.) (11-14, 0-0 NSAA) in NSAA conference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. DSU continues their action at home Friday afternoon with a non-conference doubleheader versus in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.) (3-17) at 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, Dakota State welcomes future-NSAA member Dickinson State (N.D.) (17-12) in a non-conference 4-game series. The doubleheader is slated to start at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon and 12 noon on Sunday.
TROJANS OPEN INAUGURAL NORTH STAR CONFERENCE PLAY: Dakota State opened their inaugural North Star Athletic Association Softball conference with a 5-4 victory over Mayville State (N.D.) at Thue Softball Complex on April 6. The Comets, however, rallied back with a 10-run seventh inning to defeat the Trojans 12-6 to earn a doubleheader split on the first day of NSAA conference play. Dakota State went on to sweep Mayville State on the second day of the four-game series, earning a 13-10 victory in game one slugfest and cruised past the Comets 8-1 in the second game. The Trojans are 3-1 in NSAA conference play while MSU is 1-3 NSAA record. The Trojans welcome Presentation (S.D.) on Wednesday, where the Saints will be playing their first-ever NSAA conference games.
DSU CONTINUES 20-GAME HOME STAND: DSU kicked off their 20-game home stand with a 3-1 record from April 6-7 four-game series with Mayville State (N.D.). The Trojans continue their home stand, facing six more opponents starting with April 9 versus Presentation (S.D.) in NSAA conference doubleheader. Dakota State steps aside their NSAA conference game with a non-conference doubleheader versus Mount Marty (S.D.) on Friday, four-game series with Dickinson State (N.D.) this weekend and a non-conference doubleheader versus Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on April 15. The Trojans return back to NSAA conference four-game series against Jamestown (N.D.) on April 18 and 19 at Thue Softball Complex. DSU concludes their 20-game home stand with a non-conference doubleheader versus Dordt (Iowa) on April 21.
MITCHELL HIT CYCLE: Samantha Mitchell recorded a hit cycle in Trojans' 13-10 victory over Mayville State (N.D.) on April 7. She was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Mitchell recorded a triple in the second inning, a single in the third inning, a double in the fourth inning and a solo home run in the sixth inning to complete a hit cycle. Mitchell ranks fourth in the nation in slugging percentage with .952 and 38th in total home runs with seven.
EXTRA BASE HITS AND BASE RUNNING: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Tuesday, Dakota State ranks 9th in the nation in triples per game (0.5) and 17th in total triples with 12. DSU is fifth in the nation in stolen bases per game with an average of 2.8 and 24th in total stolen bases with 65. Erica Belter ranks eighth in the nation in stolen bases per game (0.8) and 35th in total stolen bases with 19. Elizabeth Rubalcava averages 0.2 triples per game, which is 9th best in the nation and is 21st in the nation in total triples (4).
POWER HITTING: A total of 11 different Trojan players are recording at least .300 batting average at the plate this season. Mitchell and Hill are hitting at least .400. As a team, Dakota State's batting average is at .321. Mitchell leads the team with a slugging percentage of .952 (seven home runs, three triples and four doubles). Elizabeth Rubalcava have 10 extra bases hits with six doubles and four triples (.534 slugging percentage). Brittany Hill added 11 extra bases hits (seven doubles, one triple and three home runs) for a slugging percentage of .657).
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Dickinson State (N.D.) holds the top spot in the latest North Star/Frontier softball weekly rankings, which was released on Monday. The Blue Hawks are 17-12 overall record. Great Falls (Mont.) is second with an overall record of 14-11. Jamestown (N.D.) is third with 9-11 record, followed by Valley City State (N.D.) at No. 4 (11-13 overall record). Presentation (S.D.) is at No. 5 with 11-14 overall record. The weekly rankings are used to determine the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, which is released every Tuesday in the spring season.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State won all six meetings with Presentation (S.D.) last season. The Trojans swept the four-game series with the Saints on April 6-7, 2013. During the four-game series sweep, DSU outscored PC 57-13. Dakota State earned a doubleheader sweep at Presentation in Aberdeen, S.D. on April 26. The Trojans posted 4-1 and 8-2 victories over the Saints, where the doubleheader was played at Swisher Field (turf field). DSU and Mount Marty (S.D.) split their doubleheader in their last meeting on April 11, 2012. The Lancers won the first game in eight innings 3-2, but the Trojans won the night cap by the score of 6-2. The last time Mount Marty had come to Thue Softball Complex was on April 15, 2010, where both teams split a doubleheader (MMC 9-6 game 1 and DSU 9-1 game 2). Dickinson State (N.D.) won the last meeting with Dakota State, dated back on April 23, 2011 in Rapid City, S.D. The Blue Hawks won the scores of 4-1 and 2-0. The last time the Trojans defeated the Blue Hawks was on April 9, 2007 with a 6-5 victory.
QUICK LEADERS: Samantha Mitchell leads the Trojans with a batting average of .452. Mitchell and Brittany Hill each record 22 runs batted in (RBIs.) with an average of 1.0 RBI per game. In addition, Mitchell and Hill each accumulate a total of 28 hits this season. Erica Belter leads the North Star/Frontier conference with 19 stolen bases (0.8 stolen bases per game). Ellie Kristensen leads the Trojans' pitching with an earned run average of 3.76 (gave up 24 earned runs in 44 2/3 innings). Katie Slibowski records 25 strikeouts on the pitching mound for the Trojans (6.2 strikeouts per game).
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.
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dakota State will be providing live stats/play-by-play in all home contests. The live stats/play-by-play is available on http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamPage.aspx?association=10&sg=WBA&sea=NAIWBA_2014&team=1447 and click on the letter "W' to view the live stats/play-by-play. The link can also be found on the DSU Athletics home page on www.dsuathletics.com.
UP NEXT: Dakota State continues their long home stand stretch at Thue Softball Complex as they are scheduled to play a total of six games next week. The Trojans welcome their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday, April 15. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. On Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, Dakota State returns back to NSAA Softball conference action as they play a four-game series with Jamestown (N.D.). The doubleheader is slated to start at 1 p.m. on both days.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director