SMSU SOFTBALL: SMSU softball holds first practice of the year
MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State University softball team officially started the 2017 season on Monday as it held its first practice of the new season.
The Mustangs fourth-year head coach Jamie Dunn will hold practice inside the PE Gym and R/A Facility throughout the next month in preparation for the season opening tournament Feb. 11-12, in Aberdeen, S.D., hosted by Presentation College. SMSU will face Northern State and Valley City State (N.D.) on the first day of the tournament before playing Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and Jamestown (N.D.) on day two.
Dunn, the 10th head coach in program history, will welcome 18 players on the 2017 roster, including four seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and six freshmen.
Joining Dunn on the coaching staff are assistant coaches Kelsey Gale and Brooke Timmins. Gale begins her first year after a standout four-year playing career at Northern State where she was named second team All-NSIC, CCA second team all-region, and earned an NSIC Gold Glove at second base as as senior. Timmins is also in her first year as an assistant after graduating from Minnesota Crookston where she was a four-year letterwinner for the Golden Eagles’ softball program.
The Mustangs top returner is junior infielder, Sam Flack, who led SMSU in batting average (.315), runs scored (27), hits (47), slugging percentage (.477), and on-base percentage (.407) last season. Flack finished last year with 22 rbi, five home runs, and 13 total extra base hits.
Other returners include the Mustangs’ group of four seniors, Taylor Koloc, Karmann Carroll, Alex O’Connor, and Victoria Brooks. Koloc finished last season batting .258 and led the team in home runs (8), RBI (23), and stolen bases (20) while playing left field on defense for the Mustangs. Carroll, a shortstop, batted .268 with 44 hits, 68 total bases, and 26 runs scored. Brooks added 14 hits in 66 at bats with seven stolen bases last season.
Pitcher, Alex O’Connor, went 11-15 with a 2.81 earned run average. O’Connor pitched 184.2 innings last season with 172 strikeouts and two shutouts last year.
SMSU finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 19-33 with a 12-18 NSIC record.
Following the Presentation College Dome Tournament, SMSU will head to Clermont, Fla., for its annual spring trip before opening up conference play in late March.
The Mustangs will open its home schedule on March 18 with a doubleheader against Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) at Mustang Field. The Mustangs begin their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule at home on March 28 with a doubleheader against Sioux Falls.
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