The Bemidji State University softball team plays its final games before heading to Florida for spring training March 12-19 this weekend at the Kelly Laas Invite in St. Cloud, Minn. The Beavers kick the weekend off with a Friday contest against Valley City State University at 6 p.m. before playing three games Saturday against Dickinson State University, St. Cloud State University, and Minot State University.
About Bemidji State
Picked to finish 15th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) coaches’ poll following a 10-37 year in 2012, Bemidji State is off to a 1-3 start to its 2013 campaign after playing four games at the NSIC Crossover in Minneapolis last week. After falling to Northern State University 3-1 and Minnesota State University, Moorhead 7-4 on the first day of play, the Beavers fell 13-2 to Minnesota Duluth and avenged their loss to MSU Moorhead later in the day with a 7-4 win.
After this weekend, BSU will play 13 games in a six-day span over spring break in Titusville and Clermont, Fla. for spring training before opening conference play with a doubleheader at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Beavers open at home with a pair of games against Wayne State College April 6.
About Valley City State
Valley City State will open its 2013 slate with its game against the Beavers Friday night and will finish the day with a game against St. Cloud State right after. The Vikings played two fall games against MSU Moorhead, splitting a doubleheader with an 8-5 win and a 4-2 loss. VCSU is coming off a 26-win season in 2012, the second-highest win total in program history. The team lost five starters and their top two pitchers from a year ago, but returns 11 players, including shortstop and .381 hitter Adrianna Boychuk.
About Dickinson State
Like Valley City State, Dickinson State will kick off its season against BSU. The Blue Hawks are turning the page after a 28-23 season in 2012 and will have a young squad that features eight freshmen in 2013. Offensively, DSU is led by returning senior Lidnsey Sullivan, who led the team in batting average at .407 and RBIs with 51 a year ago. In the circle, sophomore Regan Lawrence had a team best ERA of 3.08 last year in her first season of collegiate softball.
About St. Cloud State
St. Cloud State is off to a 4-5 start after going 2-3 at the Desert Stinger in Las Vegas and splitting four games at the NSIC/MIAA Region Crossover at the H.H.H. Metrodome in Minneapolis. Picked to finish ninth the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll, SCSU has lost both of its games against fellow NSIC teams—the Huskies dropped a 5-4 contest against the University of Mary and fell 8-2 to Minnesota State University, Mankato, the team picked to win the league. SCSU is led by NSIC Players to Watch Mikayla Hogan, a senior catcher who posted a .310 average in 2012, and sophomore pitcher Kelly Franks, who pitched her way to a 10-9 record with a 2.11 ERA a season ago.
About Minot State
NSIC newcomer Minot State has had a solid start to the season, going 4-1 at the Desert Sting in Las Vegas. The Beavers, who were picked to finish 12th in their first season in the conference capped their first week of play with a 5-2 win over highly-touted Minnesota Duluth. At the plate, MSU’s headline players are Jen Dixon and Stacy Fournier, who enter the weekend with .529 and .500 batting averages, respectively. Dixon has also added two home runs. Mandy Greenberg has been the team’s top hurler, scattering 10 hits over 10 innings with 17 strikeouts in a 2-0 start. She was named the NSIC Pitcher of the Week for her efforts.
BSU Pitcher/Player Notes
Bemidji State recorded a home run in each of its first four games…Freshman catcher Mikayla Osterman (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) hit two of those homers…The other home runs came from the bats of fellow first-year player Lyndsey Peterson (P/IF, Cottonwood, Minn.) and Crystal Bowen (Sr., IF, Duluth, Minn.), who went deep for the first time since April 28, 2010…Nicole Dupay (Jr., OF, Woodbury, Minn.) leads the Beavers behind the plate with a .583 average after posting seven hits in her first 12 at-bats of the season; Dupay also walked once and stole two bases…Peterson and Kelsey Saralampi (Sr., P, Esko, Minn.) pitched all 24 innings last week…Saralampi enters the weekend with a 4.20 ERA and 11 strike outs in 15 innings of work…The Beavers await the arrival of Molly Arola (Sr., IF, Walker, Minn.) and Allie Duellman (Jr., P, Maplewood, Minn.) who will join the team at the end of the Bemidji State women’s hockey team’s season.
For more information on the Bemidji State University softball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@Beaver_Softball or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers), or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).