THIS WEEK: Dakota State softball team (12-17 overall record) prepares for their busy week on the road this week. DSU will play a total of eight games in four straight days. The Trojans head back to McWhirter Field on Wednesday evening to take on their in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan (10-21) in a doubleheader at 5 p.m. in Mitchell, S.D. On Thursday, DSU visits Mount Marty in another doubleheader at Riverside Park in Yankton, S.D. First game is set for 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the Trojans participate in the York (Neb.) triangular with Hillsdale Baptist (Okla.). DSU will play two games each versus the Panthers (13-20) and the Lady Saints (4-17) in York, Neb.
LAST MEETING: Dakota Wesleyan swept Dakota State in their last meeting on April 14 at McWhirter Field in Mitchell, S.D. The Tigers swept the Trojans by the scores of 4-2 and 7-3. DSU is currently 2-1 against Mount Marty this season, including the first two meetings that went into extra innings. The Trojans won the first meeting 5-4 in eight innings on April 1 in the Morningside Softball Invitational in Sioux City, Iowa. DSU and MMC split their doubleheader on April 11 in Yankton, S.D. The Lancers came back to defeat the Trojans 3-2 in eight innings in the first game, but the Trojans bounced back in the second game to beat MMC 6-2. DSU will face York (Neb.) (member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference) and Hillsdale Baptist (Okla.) (Association of Christian College Athletic and National Christian College Athletic Association members) for the first time.
DSU SCHOOL RECORDS: Brittany Hill broke a new DSU school record for most doubles in a single game Mount Marty on April 11. She recorded three doubles in Trojans' 6-2 second game victory over the Lancers. The previous old mark was two, which was set by multiple players. Taylor Mackey recorded nine assists (the most assists in DSU school record book) in a 5-4 victory over Mount Marty on April 1. The old mark was set on March 25, 2010 when Ashley Stevenson had eight assists in a game against the University of Sioux Falls.
NATIONAL TEAM RANKINGS: According to DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, April 17, Dakota State ranks 12th in the nation in chances per game (31.9), 13th in assists per game (10.2), 26th in stolen bases (1.8) and 49th in total stolen bases with 52.
INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL RANKINGS: Alisa Balesteri ranks third in the nation in total walks allowed (3) for the Trojans. She is 16th in total earned runs allowed (14) and 19th in total runs allowed (20). Brittany Hill ranks sixth in hits per game (1.7) and batting average (.485). She is 17th in total bases per game (2.6) and 39th in slugging percentage (.747). Taylor Mackey ranks sixth in the nation in total saves (4) and 46th in total innings pitched (125 innings). Jessica McLane is 11th in chances per game (8.6) and 15th in putouts per game (7.8).
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Brittany Hill leads the Trojans with 48 hits and a batting average of .485. Hill also leads the team with 26 RBIs (0.9 per game). Taylor Mackey records an earned run average (ERA) of 2.82. She records 81 strikeouts this season (5.8 strikeouts per nine
inning). Leslie Neiman leads DSU with 12 stolen bases (0.4 stolen bases per game).
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY RANKINGS: The Association of Independent Institutions softball weekly ranking was released on Monday, April 16. The rankings are:
(1) Cal State San Marcos (42-3 overall record)
(2) Houston-Victoria (Texas) (28-6)
(3) Louisiana State-Alexandria (20-13)
(4) Dickinson State (N.D.) (23-18)
(5) Jamestown (N.D.) (19-16)
(6) Valley City State (N.D.) (15-18)
(7) Thomas (Ga.) (15-26)
(8) British Columbia (13-24)
(9) Dakota State (S.D.) (12-17)
(10) Patten (Calif.) (11-14)
(11) Mayville State (N.D.) (15-18)
A.I.I. SOFTBALL INDEPENDENT TOURNAMENT: The Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) softball independent tournament will take place in Columbus, Ga., hosted by Thomas (Ga.) University. Besides the host-team Thomas, five other teams will qualify to the independent tournament to be played on May 3-5 at Golden Park (where the 1996 Olympics softball competitions were held).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State softball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State concludes their regular-season schedule on Tuesday, April 24 as they take on their in-state rival University of Sioux Falls in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director