THIS WEEK: Dakota State (12-15 overall record) heads to Caldwell Park to face their in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan (8-21) in a softball doubleheader on Saturday. It was originally scheduled to be held at Thue Softball Complex, but with recent rain Thursday night and Friday forced to make a location change to Mitchell, S.D.. Stay tuned to DSU Athletics website for any future updates on postponements and cancellations.
LAST MEETING: The last time Dakota State and Dakota Wesleyan (a member of Great Plains Athletic Conference) met was over two years ago on April 8, 2010 at the Caldwell Park. The Tigers won the first game 2-0, while the Trojans won the second game 6-1 to earn a doubleheader split. DSU recorded five wins in the last six games versus Dakota Wesleyan, all games at Caldwell Park in Mitchell, S.D.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: Dakota State softball announced its schedule changes for the next two weeks. The Trojans' home doubleheader scheduled for Saturday (tomorrow) has been moved to Caldwell Park in Mitchell, S.D. with the first game starting at 1 p.m. DSU's final home doubleheader with Mount Marty (S.D.) on Monday, April 16 had been moved to Thursday, April 19. The doubleheader will be played at Riverside Park in Yankton, S.D.
FOR THE RECORDS: Dakota State is 2-1 against teams from the state of South Dakota (defeated Mount Marty twice and lost to the Lancers once). The Trojans will face Dakota Wesleyan in a doubleheader on April 14 and 18. DSU heads to Mount Marty on April 19 and visits the University of Sioux Falls on April 24. Dakota Wesleyan is 3-3 versus teams from South Dakota. The Tigers split with Black Hills State on March 5. DWU dropped a doubleheader to University of Sioux Falls on April 7, but bounced back to sweep the Lancers on April 10. The Tigers are 2-5 against former members of the Dakota Athletic Conference, including a 1-4 record in the Morningside Tournament (defeated Mayville State on March 31 and lost to Jamestown twice, Valley City State and Dickinson State).
NATIONAL TEAM RANKINGS: According to DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Friday, April 13, Dakota State ranks 15th in the nation in chances per game (31.9), 16th in assists per game (10.1), 24th in stolen bases (1.9), 40th in stolen bases (51) and 46th in putouts per game (19.9).
INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL RANKINGS: Alisa Balesteri ranks fourth in the nation in total walks allowed (3) for the Trojans. She is 21st in total runs allowed (19) and 22nd in total earned runs allowed (13). Brittany Hill is fifth in hits per game (1.7) and eighth in batting average (.484). She is 18th in total bases per game (2.6) and 38th in slugging percentage (.742). Taylor Mackey ranks seventh in the nation in total saves (4). Jessica McLane is 11th in chances per game (8.6) and 15th in putouts per game (7.7).
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Brittany Hill leads the Trojans with 45 hits and a batting average of .484. Hill also leads the team with 24 RBIs (0.9 per game). Taylor Mackey records an earned run average (ERA) of 2.52. She records 78 strikeouts this season (6.2 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 9. The rankings are:
(1) Cal State San Marcos (38-3 overall record)
(2) Houston-Victoria (Texas) (23-5)
(3) Louisiana State-Alexandria (18-13)
(4) Dickinson State (N.D.) (18-15)
(5) Jamestown (N.D.) (16-13)
(6) Valley City State (N.D.) (14-15)
(7) Dakota State (S.D.) (11-13)
(T-8) Thomas (Ga.) (14-23)
(T-8) Mayville State (N.D.) (14-13)
(10) British Columbia (13-24)
(11) Patten (Calif.) (9-14)
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 continues their busy April schedule as they head on the road next week. The Trojans head back to Mitchell, S.D. for another doubleheader with Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday, April 18. DSU will face Mount Marty in Yankton, S.D. on Thursday, April 19 before heading for a triangular at York, Neb. with York College and Hillsdale Baptist (Okla.) on April 20-21.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director