BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University softball team begins its second-consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Softball Tournament appearance Thursday, May 4 by facing Augustana University (S.D.).
The Beavers (24-17, 14-12 NSIC) earned the sixth seed in the tournament, the program’s highest ever seeding, and face-off with the third-seeded Vikings (36-12, 21-5 NSIC) at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.
BSU and Augie were supposed to meet earlier in the regular season April 23, but had their series cancelled due to snow.
Scouting the Vikings
The third-seeded Vikings enter the tournament after posting a 21-5 league record and are 36-12 overall. The Vikings last played on April 28 after having their series scheduled for April 30 against St. Cloud State University cancelled. Augie split its home series with University of Minnesota Duluth (Apr. 28) and have won three of their last four games.
Augustana is one of the top batting teams in the league and rank second in the NSIC with a .347 team batting average. They have the most home runs (47) in the NSIC and are third with 256 RBI. The Vikings’ pitching staff is less dominant but still rank fifth in the conference with a 2.72 team ERA.
The Vikings are led at the plate by the nation’s top hitter in Sarah Kennedy. Kennedy leads the NCAA Division II in batting average (.522) and also leads the NSIC in hits (82), doubles (27), slugging percentage (.930) and on base percentage (.563). Led by Kennedy, the Vikings have six student-athletes batting over .300 on the season.
Augie is led in the circle by Lexy Pederson who has posted an 18-4 record and is seventh in the NSIC with a 1.97 ERA. Olivia Wolters has spent the most time in the circle this season however, and in 145 innings, is 16-7 with a 2.75 ERA.
The Beavers and Vikings will face-off at noon from Sherman Park with the winner advancing into the next round of the double-elimination tournament.
For more information on the Bemidji State University softball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeaversSB or @BSUBeavers) or like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers).
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).