BSU set for twin bills versus Bulldogs, Cougars, Mustangs
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
BSU set for twin bills versus Bulldogs, Cougars, Mustangs

Looking to snap a 10-game losing skid, the Bemidji State University softball team will hit the road for six Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) games over a four-day span this week. The Beavers will start out by traveling to the St. Paul Dome to play the University of Minnesota Duluth in a doubleheader. After having Friday off, BSU will play pairs of games against the University of Sioux Falls Saturday and Southwest Minnesota State University Sunday. Due to uncertain weather conditions, the locations for both series this weekend are not yet determined.

Last Time Out
Last week, Bemidji State played three NSIC doubleheaders last week, falling 9-1 and 8-1 to red-hot league newcomer Minot State University on the road Wednesday before dropping a 3-2 nine-inning decision and a 2-0 game to Wayne State College. The Beavers finished of the week with 7-2 and 14-1 losses to Augustana College. The games against the Wildcats and Vikings were moved to Wayne, Neb. and Sioux Falls, S.D., respectively after originally being scheduled in Bemidji. They were still considered home games for the Beavers. 

About the Beavers
Bemidji State enters the week carrying a 10-game losing streak that began on the second day of NSIC play. Over that span, the Beavers have played doubleheaders against five of the conference top seven teams in win percentage. The five opponents have a combined 114-34 record on the season, good for a .770 winning percentage. All 12 of BSU’s conference games have been reschedule in some form and the team’s six games this weekend will not prove to be an exception.

Nicole Dupay has been Bemidji State’s most productive offensive player thus far in 2013. The junior outfielder’s .391 batting average is the 11th best average in the NSIC and she also ranks in the top 20 in slugging percentage, runs scored per game, and doubles. The Woodbury, Minn. native leads the team in all those categories and is one of 15 players in the league with a perfect fielding percentage. Senior Crystal Bowen has also been a solid source of offense this season, leading the team with 17 RBI and three home runs.

In the pitching circle, Kelsey Saralampi leads the way with a 4-11 record and a 5.23 earned runs average. She is 16th in the NSIC with 72.1 innings pitched and has 45 strikeouts, tied for 19th-most in the conference. Newcomer junior Allie Duellman is 2-7 with a 6.23 ERA, while Allison Roberts is 1-2 in nine relief appearances, the second-most in the league.

About the Bulldogs
Minnesota Duluth will not give Bemidji State an escape from its grueling schedule of late. The Bulldogs sit in a tie for second place in the conference with a 7-1 NSIC ledger and a 27-7 record overall. The Bulldogs have won 12 of their last 13 games and defeated BSU 13-2 in NSIC Crossover play in Minneapolis in the first week of the season.

UMD’s potent offense includes three of the NSIC’s top-20 hitters in Ashely Lewis (.390), Tyra Kerr (.386), and Kierra Jeffers (.367) and Michaela Goris, whose 38 runs are a conference-best. Jeffers is also second in the league in RBI with 39 and in home runs with 10. The Bulldogs also boast one of the league’s top hurlers in Julia Nealer, who is third in the NSIC with a 1.49 ERA and innings pitched with 117.1—she also has 16 wins and pitches a conference-high 6.18 innings per game.

About the Cougars
Sioux Falls comes into the week with a 4-8 record in its first season in the NSIC and is 9-17 overall. USF has lost five straight games after a solid 4-3 start in league play after a spring break trip to Florida.

Shelby Thompson leads the Cougars in batting average at .351 and has a team-best 27 hits. Thompson and Katie Larson are the team’s only players to have started all 26 games and Thompson and Priscilla Quintana are the only players on the team with multiple home runs—each player has two. Pitching-wise, Bailey Bouman leads the way with a 4-5 record on the season. Her 3.54 ERA puts her in the NSIC’s top 20.

About the Mustangs
Like Sioux Falls, Southwest Minnesota State is 4-8 in conference play. The Mustangs, however, have a 11-13 overall record, aided by a five-game winning streak that carried the team into conference action.

SMSU is led at the plate by Amy Dreessen, who has the sixth-best batting average in the conference at .419. Her .522 on-base percentage ranks fifth. 6. Rachel Hoeppner paces Southwest Minnesota State in pitching with 101 innings pitched and eight wins. Her 22 appearances this this season are third in the NSIC.

On Deck for BSU
Depending on field conditions, the Beavers will have as many as six home games next week, starting Tuesday. The homestand is slated to begin Tuesday with two games against St. Cloud State University. Minnesota State University Moorhead and Northern State University are slated to visit Bemidji next weekend