With a record of 18-10, the University of South Dakota softball team is in business. The team picked up steam with a three-game sweep of Western Illinois last weekend, outscoring the Bulldogs by a score of 16-9. A big reason for the team’s success has been the play of freshman first baseman and outfielder Yvon Minogue and Sophomore catcher and first baseman Allie Daly. Minogue, a native of California, instantly brought credibility as the team’s number three hitter in the order, batting .410 on the season.
Minogue credits her confidence as a lead factor in her success.
“My confidence has really been going up all season,” Minogue said. “The first week or so was a big adjustment period. After that I have felt good and have been seeing the ball really well.”
Daly already has a season under her belt, but by no means is a veteran, as she is only a sophomore. A native of Sioux Falls, Daly has shown incredible improvement this season, seeing her batting average increase from .225 last year to a remarkable .340 this season. She has anchored the line-up as the team’s cleanup hitter, leading the team with seven home-runs and 31 runs batted in.
Daly said the team is really picking up lately and gaining momentum.
“It’s exciting how well we have played lately,” Daly said. “Everyone is hitting the ball well, we are getting runners on-base and most importantly hitting them home. Some really good team softball.
Another young member of the team has flourished as of late, freshman pitcher Madison Frain, who was just named Summit League Pitcher of the Week. Frain pitched against Western Illinois on Friday, March 15 and had a complete game victory. Frain finshed with one unearned run, while allowing three hits and striking out six batters.
Minogue said as a fellow first-year player it’s really nice to see Frain pitch at such a high level.
“Madison has come in and been great for us this year,” Minogue said. “It’s only her first year and its awesome to watch. Erica (Denney) has also pitched well. The pitching has been really good.”
In the three game sweep the team came from behind, as well as jumping out to leads. For such a young team they have been finding ways to win.
Daly said playing with so many underclassman has made this season pretty special thus far.
“It’s exciting (playing with so many underclassman). It has been a lo of fun seeing our players come together,” Daly said. “It’s a different paced game (than high school) and I think the girls are getting more and more used to it.”
The team had it’s first tournament at home vs. Creighton delayed. Instead, their next string of games is this weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana where they will take on IUPUI.