The Golden Eagles get their season underway in Aberdeen, S.D.
The University of Minnesota Crookston softball program will officially open up the season at the Presentation College Indoor Sat., Feb. 10 and Sun., Feb. 11 in Aberdeen, S.D. The Golden Eagles will play four games at the PC Dome.
Minnesota Crookston opens up play Sat., Feb. 10 at 12 p.m. as they take on University of Jamestown. The Golden Eagles will take on host university Presentation College Sat., Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. Minnesota Crookston will then battle NSIC rival Northern State University in a non-conference game Sun., Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. The Golden Eagles will wrap up the weekend by taking on Valley City State University Sun., Feb. 11 at 12 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are looking to continue to improve, which they have done in each of their previous seasons under Head Coach Don Stopa. Minnesota Crookston tied a program record in 2017 with 12 wins. The Golden Eagles are led by Victoria Bayliss (Sr., OF, West Bloomfield, Mich.), who hit .313 as a junior with 24 runs scored. Gabriel Antolak (Sr., C/3B, Zimmerman, Minn.) also returns after leading the team with five home runs and 28 RBIs as a junior. Khailyn Neumayer (Sr., OF, Morgan Hill, Calif.) also returns after hitting .294 with 10 runs scored and six RBI’s. Samantha Proctor (So., C, Champlin Park, Minn.) also returns to the fold after hitting .284 with nine runs scored and nine RBIs.
In the circle, Minnesota Crookston returns four pitchers who saw time last year. The Golden Eagles will look to Paige Pitlick (So., RHP, Jordan, Minn.), who pitched 32.0 innings last season with 13 strikeouts. Kassidy Klaphake (Sr., RHP, Cold Spring, Minn.) was 3-7 with a 6.53 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched. Heather Cunningham (Sr., RHP, Jacksonville, Fla.) and Mikayla Jones (Jr., RHP, Huxley, Iowa) also return to the fray.
Jamestown went 41-21 last season on their way to a North Star Athletic Association Championship in 2017. The Jimmies were NAIA Tournament participants last season. Jamestown returns Mikayla Frost, who had a great freshman season for the Jimmies. She hit .416 with 27 RBIs and 50 runs scored. Senior Emma Keller also returns after hitting .374 as a junior with seven home runs, 35 RBIs and 61 runs scored.
In the circle, senior Brittany Rheault leads the way for Jamestown after putting up a 5-2 mark last season with 124 strikeouts in 128.1 innings pitched.
Presentation is coming off a 21-32 mark in 2017. The Saints return Cortni Mendoza, who hit .328 last season with seven RBIs and 29 runs scored. In addition, Kassandra Orozco is back for Presentation after hitting .324 with two home runs, 44 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
In the circle, the Saints return stand-out Ashlyn O’Keefe who was 11-16 with a 2.95 ERA in 175.2 innings pitched with 149 strikeouts.
Northern State put up a 29-26-1 record on the 2017 season. The Wolves look to Jenna Helgeson, who batted .364 on the 2017 season with eight home runs, 36 RBIs and 40 runs scored. Northern State also returns Kennady Thompson, who hit .319 with 21 runs scored and 25 RBIs.
The pitching staff for the Wolves will be led by Jamie Fisher, who went 12-11 last season with a 3.18 ERA in 143.0 innings pitched.
Valley City State went 21-31 on the 2017 season. The Vikings will look to senior Kelsey Hamade, who hit .362 last season with 14 RBIs and 39 runs scored. Valley City State also brings back Kelli Moore, who hit .360 last season with 28 RBIs and 26 runs scored.
In the circle, the Vikings look to Haley Butterfield, who was 1-56 with a 4.38 ERA in 62.1 innings pitched, while Kathleen Gallais was 1-6 with a 6.25 ERA in 59.1 innings pitched.