BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University softball team was voted to finish 13th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Coaches’ Poll announced Wednesday. Junior outfielder Jessica Burlingame and freshman pitcher Stephi Dullum were tabbed as the Beavers’ Preseason Players to Watch.
The Beavers garnered 84 points in the poll after finishing sixth in the NSIC standings during the 2017 regular season and a program-best third place finish in the NSIC Softball Tournament. Bemidji State returns six starters and 13 letterwinners from a team that finished 28-19 (14-12 NSIC) last season.
Burlingame was selected as a player to watch after starting 45 games in 2017 and led the team in at bats (158), hits (54), runs (29) and triples (3) while also batting .342 at the plate to finish third. The Andover, Minn., native was selected to the All-NSIC Second Team for her efforts.
Dullum comes to Bemidji State after leading West Fargo High School to four-consecutive Class A State Championships in North Dakota and was selected as the Gatorade North Dakota Softball Player of the Year after posting a 29-2 record in the circle and an under 1.00 earned run average.
Winona State University was voted to finish first in the conference after garnering 11 first place votes while Augustana University was selected to finish second.
|2018 NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll||Points|
|1. Winona State University (11)||221|
|2. Augustana (2)||206|
|3. Minnesota State (3)||202|
|4. Minnesota Duluth||183|
|5. Sioux Falls||157|
|6. St. Cloud State||146|
|7. Northern State||119|
|8. Southwest Minnesota State||108|
|9. Concordia-St. Paul||102|
|University of Mary||102|
|11. Minot State||99|
|12. Upper Iowa||91|
|13. Bemidji State||84|
|14. Wayne State College||51|
|15. MSU Moorhead||29|
|16. Minnesota Crookston||20|
|First place votes in ( )|
Winona State’s Jessica Meidl and McKenna Larsen were selected as the NSIC Preseason Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
The Beavers open the 2018 season Feb. 17 with a non-conference doubleheader with St. Cloud State University at the St. Cloud Dome.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).