THIS WEEK: Dakota State (9-9 overall record) returns home Wednesday afternoon as they welcome Mayville State (8-6) in a battle of former Dakota Athletic Conference members. The Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference doubleheader kicks off at 3 p.m. at Thue Softball Complex. The second game will start at approximately 20-25 minutes after the completion of the first game.
LAST MEETING: Mayville State had won the last five meetings with Dakota State, including a four-game series sweep at Thue Softball Complex last season. The Comets defeated the
Trojans by the score of 8-7 and 9-3 on April 9, 2011 and a pair of 15-4 victories on April 10, 2011. The last time Dakota State defeated Mayville State was on April 18, 2010 in Mayville, N.D as the Trojans recorded a 12-2 win in five innings.
ABOUT MAYVILLE STATE (N.D.): Tracy Marback is in her first season as Mayville State head coach. The Comets are currently 8-6 on the season. Mayville State travels to Sioux Center, Iowa on Tuesday (today) for a doubleheader with Dordt, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference before traveling to Madison on Wednesday.
MACKEY NAMES A.I.I. FEMALE ATHLETE THE WEEK: The Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) named Dakota State's Taylor Mackey as its Female Athlete of the Week. Mackey, a 5-foot-11 sophomore pitcher from Burnsville, Minn., compiled a .600 batting average and a 1.067 slugging percent for the Trojans. She went 9-for-15 at the plate with two home runs, a double, four runs scored and recorded seven RBIs despite a 1-3 week for DSU.
NATIONAL TEAM RANKINGS: According to DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, March 27, Dakota State ranks 9th in the nation in stolen bases per game (2.5), 23rd in chances per game (31.1), 24th in batting average (.335) and 27th in assists per game (9.4). The Trojans are 28th in the nation in total stolen bases (28) and hits per game (9.3). DSU ranks 35th in the nation in slugging percentage (.471), 36th in runs batted in per game (5.2), 40th in home runs per game (0.6) and 46th in doubles per game (1.6).
INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL RANKINGS: Brittany Hill leads the nation in batting average (.565) and second in hits per game (1.9). She is eighth in the nation in total bases per game (3.1) and 13th in slugging percentage (.903). Hill is 16th in home runs per game (0.3). Alisa Balesteri ranks second in total walks allowed (1) and third in walks allowed per nine innings (0.3). Taylor Mackey is seventh in the nation in total saves with three (3) and 27th in hits per game (1.6). Jessica McLane ranks 16th in chances per game (8.3). Renaye Gamson is 20th in the nation in runs scored per game (1.2). Leslie Neiman is 20th in stolen bases per game (0.7).
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Brittany Hill leads the Trojans with 35 hits and a batting average of .565. Hill also leads the team with 21 RBIs (1.2 per game) and a slugging percentage of .903. Taylor Mackey recorded an earned run average (ERA) of 2.51. She records 51 strikeouts this season (6.1 strikeouts per nine inning). Leslie Neiman leads DSU with 12 stolen bases (0.7 stolen bases per game).
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY RANKINGS: The Association of Independent Institutions softball weekly ranking was released on Monday, March 26. The rankings are:
(1) Cal State San Marcos (32-3 overall record)
(2) Houston-Victoria (Texas) (17-5)
(3) Louisiana State-Alexandria (15-12)
(4) Valley City State (N.D.) (9-6)
(5) Jamestown (N.D.) (9-8)
(6) Dickinson State (N.D.) (11-12)
(7) Thomas (Ga.) (12-21)
(T-8th) Mayville State (N.D.) (8-6)
(T-8th) Patten (Calif.) (9-14)
(10) British Columbia (B.C.) (7-21)
(11) Dakota State (S.D.) (9-9)
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/DaSUAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State plays in the Morningside Tournament this weekend in Sioux City, Iowa. The Trojans will play three games on Saturday (March 31) versus Midland (Neb.) at 1 p.m., Northwestern (Iowa) at 3 p.m. and Bellevue (Neb.) at 5 p.m. DSU concludes the tournament on Sunday, April 1 with a match-up with Mount Marty (S.D.) at 1 p.m. and Morningside at 3 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director