April 16, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University softball team (8-22 overall record, 3-3 North Star Athletic Association conference record) looks to snap their four-game losing skid with six games on schedule, all at Thue Softball Complex. The Trojans welcome the NSAA's conference leader Jamestown (N.D.) (15-13, 4-0 NSAA) in a four-game conference series Friday and Saturday. Doubleheaders are slated to start at 1 p.m. on both days. On Monday afternoon, DSU concludes their two-week long home stand as they host Dordt (Iowa) (10-21) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
MITCHELL EARNS CO-NSAA SOFTBALL PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK: The North Star Athletic Association has selected Samantha Mitchell to the fifth edition of the weekly honors. She shared the NSAA Softball Player-of-the-Week honors with Brittany Lehner of Valley City State (N.D.). Mitchell was perfect at the plate twice last week, going 4-for-4. She recorded a hit cycle (a home run, triple, double, single) and produced four runs batted in (RBIs) in 13-10 NSAA conference thriller versus Mayville State (N.D.) on April 7. She also went 4-for-4 with a triple, three singles and two RBIs in an 11-3 victory against in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.). For the week, Mitchell was 12-for-27 at the plate (.444 batting average) with eight runs scored and produced nine RBIs as the Trojans earned three victories last week. She produced six extra base hits with three triples, two home runs and a double, recording a slugging percentage of .926. Mitchell swiped five bases in five attempts.
DSU CONCLUDES HOME STAND MONDAY: Dakota State concludes their two-week long home stand on Monday, against Dordt (Iowa) in a non-conference doubleheader. During the home stand, the Trojans opened with a 3-1 record versus Mayville State (N.D.) in the NSAA conference play on April 6-7. DSU fell short to Presentation (S.D.) after earning a four-run lead in both games on April 9. The Saints swept the Trojans 11-5 and 9-8. Dakota State bounced back in the winning column as they earned a doubleheader split with in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.) on April 11. DSU won the first game 11-3 in six innings, but dropped an 8-4 contest in the second game. Future NSAA member Dickinson State (N.D.) came in on April 12 and swept a tripleheader over Dakota State. Dakota State will play their final home doubleheader on April 24 as they welcome their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
DSU TRIPLES RANKS: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Wednesday, Dakota State is fourth in the nation in triples per game with an average of 0.6 triples. The Trojans racked up a total of 18 triples this season, which is 11th-best in the nation. Individually, Elizabeth Rubalcava leads the team with five triples (12th in the nation) and averages 0.2 triples per game, which is the 10th-best in the nation. Samantha Mitchell added four triples (35th in the nation) and averages 0.1 triples per game (ranks 24th in the nation).
SWIPING BASES: Dakota State had swiped a total of 78 bases this season, ranking 31st as a team in the nation. Erica Belter is 14th in the nation in stolen bases per game (0.7). She recorded a total of 22 stolen bases this season, ranking her 38th in the nation. Belter currently leads the North Star Athletic Association/Frontier conference in stolen bases category. Dakota State is 78-of-83 in stolen bases this season, while DSU's opponents were just 36-of-41 in stolen bases.
TROJANS DEFENSE RANKS: Dakota State averages 30.3 chances per game, which is 31st-best in the nation. Brittany Hill is sixth in the nation in putouts per game (8.5) and seventh in chances per game with an average of 8.8. She ranks 24th in the nation in total putouts with 255 putouts and 29th in total chances (265). Samantha Mitchell is 45th in the nation in assists per game (2.3).
DSU OFFENSE ATTACKS: Samantha Mitchell produced a slugging percentage of .855 this season, ranking her 10th-best in the nation. She is 22nd in the nation in home runs per game and 29th in total bases per game (2.4). Mitchell ranks 40th in the nation in total home runs with eight.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Jamestown (N.D.) and Great Falls (Mont.) switched spots in the latest North Star/Frontier Softball weekly ranking, which was released on Monday afternoon. Dickinson State (N.D.) currently holds the top spot with an overall record of 21-13. UJ is No. 2 (15-11 overall record) followed by Great Falls at No. 3 (14-13 overall record). Valley City State remained at No. 4 spot with an overall record of 15-15, followed by Presentation (S.D.) at No. 5 with 13-20 record. The weekly rankings are used to determined the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, which the national office released on every Tuesday afternoons.
LAST MEETING: Jamestown (N.D.) swept a doubleheader with Dakota State in both teams' last meeting at Thue Softball Complex on April 28, 2013. The Jimmies won the first game by the score of 15-1 in five innings and defeated DSU 11-4 in the night cap. The last time Dakota State defeated Jamestown was on May 1, 2011 at Thue Softball Complex. The Trojans scored the first four runs of the game in the first two innings and held on to shutdown UJ by the score of 4-0. 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.
QUICK LEADERS: Samantha Mitchell leads the Trojans' offensive attack with a batting average of .422, tallying a total of 35 hits in 83 plate appearances this season. Brittany Hill produces a batting average of .398 and leads the team with 28 runs batted in (RBIs). Erica Betler swipes 22 bases this season. Ellie Kristensen leads DSU on the pitching mound with an earned runs average of 4.15 (31 earned runs) in 52 1/3 innings. Katie Slibowski records a total of 37 strikeouts from the pitching mound to lead the Trojans. She have a 3-1 pitching record for DSU.
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 heads to Aberdeen, S.D. on Wednesday, April 23. The Trojans visit Presentation (S.D.) in North Star Athletic Association conference doubleheader, starting at 2 p.m. DSU returns home on Thursday, April 24 as they welcome their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.). First pitch from the Thue Softball Complex is set for 5 p.m. Dakota State heads on the road for a four-game NSAA series at Valley City State (N.D.) on April 26-27. The doubleheader starting time is set for 1 p.m. on both days.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director