THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University softball team (12-12 overall record) returns back to action Sunday and Monday. The Trojans had not been in action since their home four-game series sweep versus Presentation (S.D.) on April 6-7. DSU travels to Leavenworth, Kan. to take on Saint Mary (9-15) of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) for a doubleheader on Sunday. On Monday, Dakota State plays Avila (Mo.) (5-23) of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HCAC) in Kansas City, Mo. Both doubleheaders are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
100TH CAREER COACH VICTORY AT DSU: Seventh-year Trojan softball head coach Ken Prorok earned his 100th career victory at Dakota State with an 11-1 five-inning victory over Presentation (S.D.) on April 7 at Thue Softball Complex. He currently holds the DSU school record for most victories by any head coaches at Dakota State.
HOT OFFENSE: Dakota State recorded double-digits runs in each of the last four games versus Presentation (S.D.). The Trojans outscored the Saints 57-13 in the four-game series on April 6-7. DSU produced a batting average of .462 in the series, including a .786 batting average each by Brittany Hill and Audrey Lorenz. The Trojans had 49 hits compared to PC 20 hits. DSU had 14 doubles in the series, recording a slugging percentage of .660.
DSU VS. KCAC: DSU is 4-4 against members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference this season. The Trojans defeated McPherson (Kan.) and Sterling (Kan.) in the McPherson Softball Tournament on March 8 in Wichita, Kan. Dakota State also beat Bethel (Kan.) and Tabor (Kan.) in the Sterling Softball Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. on March 15. The Trojans dropped four games versus Bethel, Kansas Wesleyan, Sterling and Friends (Kan.).
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: In the fifth weekly A.I.I.-Frontier ranking, Dickinson State (N.D.) takes over the top spot with an overall record of 14-13. Great Falls (Mont.) is at the No. 2 spot with an 18-11 overall record. Jamestown (N.D.) is No. 3 (10-10 record), followed by Valley City State (N.D.) (3-17 record). The weekly ranking is used to determine the seeding for the upcoming unaffiliated A.I.I./Frontier conference tournament, hosted by Valley City State (N.D.) on May 2-4 in Valley City, N.D. The top four teams along with host-team Valley City State will be competing in the conference tournament.
TROJANS OFFENSE RANKS NATIONALLY: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Friday, Dakota State is ranked ninth in the nation in doubles per game (2.0) and 11th in triples per game (0.4). The Trojans average 7.2 runs per game, which is 14th-best in the nation. DSU is 15th in the nation in RBIs per game (6.4), 15th in hits per game (9.8), 16th in batting average (.353) and 43rd in slugging percentage (.477).
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Brittany Hill leads the Trojans' offense attack with a batting average of .524 (44 hits). She records a total of 35 runs batted in (RBIs). Hill ranks third in the nation in hits per game (1.9), 5th in RBIs per game (1.5), 6th in batting average (.524), 17th in total bases per game (2.7) and 22nd in doubles per game (0.4). Chelsey John swipes 10 bases this season (0.4 per game). Samantha Deen produces an earned runs average of 3.56 on the pitching mound. Katie Silbowski leads the team with 70 strikeouts and a pitching record of 7-5. Audrey Lorenz ranks second in the nation in hits per game (1.9), 8th in batting average (.514), 10th in runs scored per game (1.4) and 28th in total bases per game (2.5). Elizabeth Rubalcava ranks 40th in the nation in doubles per game (0.4) and 44th in total triples (3).
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 returns home on Thursday for a doubleheader versus Dordt (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Thue Softball Complex at 6 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director