BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University softball team will continue Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play with a six-game homestand beginning Thursday against University of Minnesota Duluth beginning at 2 p.m. BSU will then host Southwest Minnesota State University Saturday at 1 p.m. and University of Sioux Falls at noon Sunday.
Scouting the Beavers: Bemidji State enters the week with an 11-15 (0-10 NSIC) mark. As of late, the Beavers’ hottest hitter has been sophomore Lyndsey Peterson (OF, So., Cottonwood, Minn.). Peterson leads the Beavers with a team-best .320 batting average, three home runs and nine RBI in NSIC games. In addition to Peterson, Nicole Dupay (OF, Sr., Woodbury, Minn.) enters the week batting .286, with 14 runs scored, three home runs and 11 RBI.
Bemidji State has stuck with three pitchers this season, two of which are underclassmen. Freshmen Danielle Jecmen (P, Fr., Bloomingdale, Ill.) and Jessica Yost (P/1B, Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) have started 19 of 26 games this season, while Allison Roberts (P, Jr., Crystal, Minn.) has started the other seven. Jecmen leads the staff in wins (five), innings pitched (67) and strikeouts (45).
Scouting Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs have had an up and down 2014 after winning the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference a year ago. UMD currently has a record of 17-14 (3-3 NSIC). Offensively, Minnesota Duluth is a patient squad as it averages three walks per game, which ranks second in the NSIC.
Individually, Jordan Rice leads UMD’s offense with a .379 batting average, eight home runs and 28 RBI. Rice has reached base in 30 of 31 games she has played in this season.
Cayli Sadler who is 13-8 with 2.52 ERA in a NSIC-leading 130.2 innings pitched, leads UMD in the circle. Sadler is also no slouch with a bat in her hands, as she has a .327 batting average in 52 at bats.
Scouting Southwest Minnesota State: The Mustangs are under the leadership of first-year Head Coach Jamie Dunn. Dunn has led the Mustangs to a 7-20-1 (4-7-1 NSIC) record.
SMSU’s offense is largely predicated upon manufacturing runs as the Mustangs have hit just three home runs in 2014. Junior Chelsey Rodenkirch has been the Mustangs’ igniter this season with a .300 batting average, 14 runs scored and a .456 on-base percentage.
The Mustangs have a pair of pitchers that have accounted for all but two outs this season. Rachel Hoeppner leads the way with a 4-9 record, 4.42 ERA in 106 innings pitched, while Alex O’Connor has a mark of 3-11 and a 4.66 ERA in 76.2 innings.
Scouting Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls has arguably been the surprise of the NSIC so far this season. After being picked to finish 13th in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Cougars currently sit in fourth place in the conference standings with a 21-7 (9-3 NSIC) mark. Like SMSU, a first-year head coach leads USF. Kelsey Thompson is in her first year at the helm for USF, but she is no stranger to NSIC softball, as she played at Minnesota State University, Mankato and St. Cloud State University and was an graduate assistant coach at Augustana College the past two seasons.
The Cougars have a balanced offense as seven hitters have batting averages over .300, led by Kellen Dewey (.397). Dewey has also been a threat on the base paths with 12 stolen bases.
Senior Amanda Walters has been USF’s workhorse in the circle this season. Walters currently leads the NSIC in strikeouts with 141 in just 106 innings pitched. The Sioux Falls, S.D. product has a record of 14-3 with a 2.25 ERA.
Numbers to keep in mind:
6 – Lyndsey Peterson has already set a career high in home runs this season with four. The sophomore has six career home runs, which puts her in sixth place on BSU’s all-time home run list.
11 – Bemidji State has hit 11 triples so far this season, which is the second-most in the NSIC. Kaitlyn Shea (OF, Fr., Woodbury, Minn.) leads BSU with three three-baggers.
7-4 – The Beavers are 7-4 when scoring first this season. When its opponents cross the plate first, BSU is 4-11.
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).