The University of South Dakota softball season is nearly over and the Coyotes’ season has been up and down, with a current record of 25-16. They will wrap up their regular season play with games against Kansas City and North Dakota State.
The team has experienced a small rough patch recently following losses to Fort Wayne and Omaha. But, senior pitcher, Erica Denney, said the team is hoping to turn those rough patches into learning experiences to help them in their upcoming games.
“I think we have hit a little bit of adversity and the team has really come together to turn that around,” Denney said. “It’s our first rough patch of the year, and we think that has stopped. So, we look to go out ready against Kansas City.”
The Kansas City Kangaroos are currently 16-17 overall this season. The team’s batting average is .289, with opponents averaging .300. Marlee Maples leads the Kangaroos in RBIs this season with 28 and has a .274 BA in 106 plate appearances. Pitcher/infielder Emily Ott leads the team in hits along with Liz Broyles with 34 apiece. The team’s starting pitchers, Deanna Friese and Cinda Ramos have a combined ERA of 6.17.
Weather has also caused problems for the Coyotes. The team has had nine games postponed because of weather, with six of those coming in the last two weeks.
Junior infielder Lindsey Boyd said the team is hoping to use that extra time off to come back even better than before.
“It was a little weird to have all of those games off, since we’re so used to playing every week,” Boyd said. “But, that just means we have to come back even better and harder against Kansas City.”
Following the set of games against Kansas City and North Dakota State, the Coyotes will find out if they will be playing in the post season. The team will look to get wins against both teams in order to receive a high enough seed to make the post season.
“We really need these games against Kansas City and NDSU to get a good seed to make postseason,” Denney said. “We really want to show people just how good we are and if we were to make it to the postseason in our first year that would be amazing.”
The Coyotes final series of the season is May 3-5, and Boyd said the team will have to be on top of it’s game when they travel to North Dakota State.
The Bison are currently 22-13 overall and 9-0 in the Summit League. The team is led by Jenina Ortega, who currently has a .389 BA with 31 hits and five homeruns. Ortega also leads the team in RBIs with 21. The team has a combined ERA of 2.74 runs per game. North Dakota State senior Whitney Johnson was named Summit League Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season and 11th time in her career this past week. The senior currently has an ERA of 1.53.