THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University softball team (12-14, 0-2 Association of Independent Institutions conference record) prepares for a busy final regular-season week schedule. The Trojans travel to Ledon Softball Field Thursday afternoon for a doubleheader with Dordt (Iowa) (6-27). The first game of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. in Sioux Center, Iowa. On Friday, DSU plays their future member of the North Star Athletic Associationâ€”Presentation (S.D.) (7-23). The doubleheader hit off at 11 a.m. at the Swisher Field (turf field) in Aberdeen, S.D. The Trojans return home Sunday afternoon for an A.I.I. conference doubleheader versus Jamestown (N.D.) (14-11, 2-1 A.I.I.). The first game of the doubleheader is slated for 2 p.m. at Thue Softball Complex in Madison, S.D.
POWER HIITER: Two Dakota State hitters are ranked in the Top 30 nationally in hitting. Brittany Hill is the nation's leading hits per game with an average of 1.8 hits per game. She is fourth in the nation in batting average of .539. Hill ranks seventh in doubles per game (0.5), 10th in runs batted in per game (1.3), 15th in total bases per game (2.7) and 27th in slugging percentage (.787). Audrey Lorenz is seventh in the nation in hits per game (1.7), 11th in batting average (.487) and 17th in runs scored per game (1.2).
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: In the sixth weekly A.I.I.-Frontier ranking, Dickinson State (N.D.) remains at No. 1 spot with an overall record of 18-13. Jamestown moved up to No. 2 spot with a 14-11 overall record. Great Falls (Mont.) is at the No. 3 spot with an 21-13 overall record. Dakota State is at the fourth spot (12-12), followed by Valley City State (N.D.) at No. 5 with an overall record 3-21. Mayville State (N.D.) is sixth (3-14). The weekly ranking is used to determine the seeding for the upcoming unaffiliated A.I.I./Frontier conference tournament, where it will be held in Dickinson, N.D. due to unfavorable playing conditions in Valley City, N.D.
TROJANS OFFENSE RANKS NATIONALLY: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Thursday, Dakota State is ranked 10th in the nation in both doubles per game (1.9) and triples per game (0.4). The Trojans' batting average is .343, which is 23rd best in the nation. DSU is 24th in the nation in runs scored per game (6.7), 25th in runs batted in per game (6.0) and 26th in hits per game (9.4). Dakota State ranks 30th in the nation in stolen bases per game (1.7) and 39th in total triples.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Brittany Hill leads the Trojans' offense attack with a batting average of .539 (48 hits). She records a total of 35 runs batted in (RBIs). Chelsey John swipes 10 bases this season (0.4 per game). Samantha Deen produces an earned run average of 3.56 on the pitching mound. She allowed 20 earned runs this season, which is 43rd in the nation. Katie Slibowski leads the team with 77 strikeouts and a pitching record of 7-6. She is 35th in the nation in total saves (2). Elizabeth Rubalcava ranks 30th in the nation in triples per game (0.1).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State softball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics.
FOLLOW DSU SOFTBALL ON GAMECHANGER: Fans can follow the Trojan Softball this season on GameChanger (live stats/score/play-by-play website). You can go to http://www.gamechanger.io/t/spring-2013/trojans-50ed80b51bdb1ec741000001 for more information.
UP NEXT: Dakota State plays their final regular-season doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at Thue Softball Complex. The Trojans welcome Iowa Lakes Community College with the first game set for 4 p.m. The unaffiliated A.I.I./Frontier conference tournament will kick off on May 2 and runs through May 4. The pairings for the conference tournament will be announced early next week. The conference tournament will be held in Dickinson, N.D. The winner of the conference tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round on May 13-15.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director