THIS WEEK: Dakota State (8-8 overall record, 0-0 Association of Independent Institutions conference record) plays their first home softball games of the season this week at Thue Softball Complex. The Trojans welcome their A.I.I. conference foe Valley City State (N.D.) (1-17, 0-2 A.I.I.) Wednesday afternoon in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. On Thursday, DSU visits their in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan (0-12) in Mitchell at 3 p.m. The doubleheader takes place at the Drake Field/Caldwell Park. The Trojans return home at Thue on Saturday afternoon, hosting Presentation (S.D.) (7-13). The doubleheader is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
CHASING NO. 100: Dakota State's softball head coach Ken Prorok is four victories away from recording his 100th career coaching victory at DSU. He is currently at 96 victories.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Trojans have scheduled 12 home games at the Thue Softball Complex this month. Dakota State will host Valley City State on Wednesday, Presentation on Saturday, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on April 10, Mount Marty (S.D.) on April 15, Midland (Neb.0 on April 19 and Dordt (Iowa) on April 25.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: In the third weekly A.I.I.-Frontier ranking, Dakota State remains at the No. 4 spot with an 8-8 overall record. Great Falls (Mont.) took over the top spot in the ranking with an overall record of 18-11. Dickinson State (N.D.) dropped to No. 2 in the ranking (11-12 overall record). Jamestown (N.D.) is third with 9-7 overall record. Mayville State (N.D.) ranks fifth with 2-11 record, followed by Valley City State (N.D.) at No. 6. 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.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Audrey Lorenz leads the Trojans' offensive attack with 21 hits and a batting average of .457. She ranks 15th in the nation in hits per game with an average of 1.8 hits and 31st in doubles per game (0.4). Brittany Hill produces 15 runs batted in (RBIs) and averages 0.9 RBI per game. She is 35th in the nation in triples per game (0.1) and 48th in hits per game (1.4). Samantha Deen produces an earned runs average of 3.39 on the pitching mound, allowing 15 earned runs this season. Katie Silbowski records 42 strikeouts (7.8 strikeouts per nine innings). She ranks 36th in the nation in saves (2). Chelsey John swipes eight bases this season (John and Lorenz are 49th in the nation in stolen bases per game-0.5). Lexy Miller and Shai-Lee Hill rank first in the nation in fielding percentage of 1.000.
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS: Dakota State ranks eighth in the nation in hits per game (10.2), according to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website. DSU ranks 12th in doubles per game (2.0), 13th in triples per game (0.4), 15th in batting average (.354) and 20th in RBIs (6.2).
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.
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: All Dakota State home softball games will have live stats and play-by-play. The live stats link is available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
UP NEXT: Dakota State continues their busy April schedule as they play four games next week against members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The Trojans host their in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan in a doubleheader on April 10 at Thue Softball Complex, starting at 3 p.m. DSU will visit Dordt (Iowa) in a doubleheader on April 12 in Sioux Center, Iowa. The doubleheader is slated for 5 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director