Game Day Outlook
GAMES 32-35: South Dakota State (24-7, 3-0) at Nebraska (12-19); vs. Western Illinois (12-19, 1-5)
South Dakota State softball takes a break from Summit League action for a midweek contest with the Big Ten's Nebraska Cornhuskers, but will return to league play over the weekend as Western Illinois comes to town. The Jackrabbits and Huskers are set for a 5 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday from Lincoln, Nebraska. From there, SDSU's home opener is a Saturday doubleheader at noon against WIU. Game three of the series with the Leathernecks is at 11 a.m. Sunday. State trails 18-0 in the all-time series with Nebraska and 24-11 against Western Illinois. The Jackrabbits have turned the tide against WIU in recent years, going .500 in 14 matchups since 2015 with a 4-3 mark against the Leathernecks in the last two seasons.
Recapping the Week
The Jackrabbits picked up a sweep in its Summit League-opening series last time out, picking up three wins over Omaha on the road, March 22-23. SDSU defeated the Mavericks 4-1 and 8-1 in a Friday doubleheader before completing the sweep with a 13-3 victory Saturday.
, and picked up wins for the Jackrabbits, posting ERAs of 0.00, 1.00 and 1.00, respectively. Conard tossed all seven innings in a game one victory, allowing four hits and a run with a pair of strikeouts. DeMarais threw game two with another complete game for the Jacks, scattering nine hits with five strikeouts. She did not walk a batter and gave up just one run. started the final game of the weekend, but exited in the fourth before Compton entered. Compton earned the win in relief in shutout fashion, allowing just one run and a walk with a strikeout. The Jackrabbit offense hit .330/.593/.465 on the weekend with 10 doubles, a triple and four home runs, scoring 25 total runs over three games. had a team-high five hits with a pair of doubles and a home run, while , , and each had four hits. Crist blasted a pair of home runs and logged a triple alongside a team-high five runs batted in, drawing five walks as well. Andersen, Daugherty and each had a pair of doubles and matched Crist in walks (four).
Scouting the Jackrabbits
South Dakota State sits at 24-7 on the season, continuing its best start at the Division I level while matching the best start in program history, as the 1996 team was also 24-7 through 31 games. The Jacks reached the 20-win mark on March 16, marking the earliest they've done it (date-wise) in program history. The Jackrabbit offense is hitting .292 on the year with 196 total runs, outscoring opponents by 3.2 per game. The Jacks have 53 doubles, 26 home runs and nine triples while drawing 133 walks overall.
leads the Jackrabbits with a slash line of .375/.693/.526, pacing the Summit League in on-base percentage while posting a 1.219 OPS. The senior has 33 hits in 88 at-bats, hitting seven home runs, five doubles and a triple with 28 walks. She has driven in 30 and scored 20 runs.
(.323) has a team-high 10 doubles as part of her 32 hits, with two triples and four home runs. She and are tied for second in RBIs (24). Crist (.306) is 22-of-72 on the year with four doubles, six home runs and two doubles, working 14 walks towards a 1.118 OPS.
has 31 hits (third on the team) with a .316 average, racking up four doubles, two triples and two home runs. She has driven in 20 and scored 21 runs. (25 hits) and (26 hits) are approaching the .300 mark, as Janssen has a trio of doubles and Daugherty has five two-baggers. The Jackrabbit pitching staff has a 2.92 combined ERA over 206.1 total innings, allowing just 97 runs (86 earned) on the season with 90 strikeouts.
(8-0) has tossed four complete games in eight starts (11 appearances), striking out 17 with just 10 earned runs allowed. Conard has allowed 32 hits, 22 walks and holds a 1.171 WHIP.
(2.57 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) is 6-2 in her freshman campaign, tossing 46.1 innings with 21 strikeouts and only four walks allowed.
(6-3, four saves) has transitioned into a relief role midway through the season, holding opponents to a .227 batting average against over 18 appearances (eight starts). Compton's 1.26 WHIP is second-best among Jackrabbits, as she has tossed 67.1 innings with 33 strikeouts.
Jacks Honored by Summit League
South Dakota State's and swept Summit League's Player and Pitcher of the Week awards for the week of March 11. Andersen led the Jacks with 13 hits over 10 games, racking up a pair of triples and four home runs. She accounted for 22 of South Dakota State's 55 total runs for the week, driving in 14 and scoring eight. She had a team-best four multi-hit and five multi-RBI contests. Additionally, the outfielder had nine putouts and one assist in the field and swiped two bases. Conard went 4-0 in the circle last week, posting a 1.05 ERA over 20 total innings. She tossed one complete game and allowed just three runs while walking only two batters. The sophomore threw all seven innings in a 1-0 win over Western Michigan, scattering four hits without a walk while rolling up 16 ground outs for the Jackrabbit defense. These are the first weekly honors for both Jackrabbits, and the first of the season for South Dakota State.
Scouting the Huskers
Nebraska's Rhonda Revelle is in her 27th season on the bench with a 980-556 record. The Huskers (12-19) won two games of a three-game set against Illinois over the weekend, snapping a 12-game losing streak. UNL is hitting .259 as a team, led by Tristen Edwards' .333/.472/.738 showing. Edwards has 10 home runs and four doubles, driving in 28 while working 20 free passes. Bri Cassidy (.306) has six doubles and nine RBIs, while Bree Boruff (.302) has driven in seven with a pair of doubles. The Huskers' pitching staff holds a 4.87 ERA through 195.2 innings, as four pitchers have tossed 43.1 or more innings. Lindsey Walljaspe (4.93 ERA) is 6-7 on the year with 55 strikeouts and Regan Megele (1-6, 3.83 ERA) has thrown 49.1 innings with 41 strikeouts. Olivia Ferrell (5.17 ERA, 3-4) and Courtney Wallace (5.64 ERA, 2-2) have struck out 28 and 26, respectively, over 43.1 frames.
Scouting the Leathernecks
Beth Golitko is in her second season leading Western Illinois and has a 25-48 mark. WIU (8-17, 1-5 Summit League) was swept by North Dakota State last weekend, but prior to that won the series finale against South Dakota alongside a 10-1 victory at Iowa. The Leathernecks are hitting .236 as a team with a .673 OPS, scoring 3.44 runs per contest with 44 extra base hits. Sydney Hollings is the lone WIU hitter above .300, as she is 25-of-78 at the plate with 10 doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs. Hollings is third on the team in RBIs (11) behind Hailey Duwa (15) and Payton Abbott (20). Duwa and Abbott each have four doubles, while Abbot has hit four home runs to Duwa's three. Also near the top for hitting is Jasmine Lara, who holds a .295 average with 23 hits and two doubles, drawing 19 walks. WIU holds a 4.00 staff ERA over 171.1 frames, striking out 118 batters with a 1.37 WHIP. Emily Ira (5-6) leads the team with 78.1 innings pitched. She has a 2.95 ERA and has struck out 69. Abby Carlin has thrown 51.1 frames towards a 107 record. She has 22 strikeouts and a 3.95 ERA.
Jackrabbit Quick Hits
Triple Crown Chaser
South Dakota State has shown patience at the plate all season, working 133 total walks through 31 games at a rate of 4.29 per contest. SDSU started strong with 32 total walks in its season-opening weekend. On Feb. 9 against Drake, the Jacks worked 10 free passes against Drake to match the second-most in a game for South Dakota State. The record of 11 walks has occurred four times in SDSU's history.
SDSU swiped seven bags in a 9-7 win over Colgate (Feb. 15), tying the school's Division I single-game record. It was the sixth occurrence of the record and first since the 2014 season. SDSU has stolen two or more bags in seven games this year.
became the school's all-time leader in doubles (currently with 39) on March 16, breaking a tie with previous record-holder Shelly Brandel, who originally set the record between 1995-98. is second all-time with 35 two-baggers.
became the school's all-time leader in career home runs with her solo shot in the first inning against Colgate (Feb. 16). She broke a tie with after drawing even with the top spot on Feb. 15. She now has 39 career bombs (tied for fourth in Summit League history). is tied for fourth at SDSU with 20.
took a no-hitter late into the sixth inning of the season opener against Saint Louis, striking out six in the performance and going 5.2 frames before allowing a hit.
The Jackrabbits' offense has scored five or more runs in 21 of 31 contests this season, and has broke the 10-run barrier five times.
SDSU has held opponents to three or fewer runs in 18 games, and one or fewer 14 times with six shutouts. The Jacks have allowed five or more in only nine games.
South Dakota State's 196 team hits has included 88 extra base hits, with 53 doubles, nine triples and 26 home runs.
moved into a tie for first in Jackrabbit history with six career saves, alongside 2018 graduate .
has 108 career walks to sit first in the Jackrabbit record books, and second in Summit League history while is second in SDSU history with 76 free passes.
Jackrabbit senior broke the school's career home run, runs batted in and total base records during SDSU's stay in Jacksonville, Florida (Feb. 15-17). Additionally, she already held the program's career walks record and is closing in on doubles and runs scored. Should Herdliska match her season average in hits from the last two seasons (54 in both), she would end up with 210 total hits as a Jackrabbit, placing her fifth in SDSU history. She is currently seventh on the list. A look at the latest Jackrabbit records to watch is on page five of the game notes.
2018 Season Recap
South Dakota State is coming off a historic season that saw the program reach the postseason for the first time in its Division I history, earning an automatic bid to the 2018 National Invitational Softball Championship, where the team reached the championship round and forced a winner-take-all at the regional in Greeley, Colorado. The Jackrabbits finished second in the 2018 Summit League standings and broke the 35-win mark for the second time in history and won all four of their three-game Summit League series' a year ago, splitting a two-game, weather-shortened set with NDSU. SDSU hit .322 as a team last season and set new school records for doubles (94), runs batted in (324) and runs scored (356). In the circle, the Jackrabbits put together a 3.89 team ERA with 194 strikeouts over 352.2 total innings. This year's South Dakota State softball program brings a roster of nine seniors, 14 total returners and nine newcomers into the 2019 campaign with high hopes of building on the achievements. Jacks Tabbed Second in Summit League Poll The Jackrabbit softball program earned three first-place votes and sat second in the 2019 Summit League Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Feb. 1 by the league office. The Jackrabbits received 33 votes in the poll, just one tally behind North Dakota State, who had 34 points and four first-place votes. Western Illinois sat third in the poll with 25 points, while the next four featured South Dakota (19 points), Omaha (14), North Dakota (11) and Purdue Fort Wayne (nine).
Andersen, Compton Named to League Watch Lists
and were announced as a Player and Pitcher to Watch, respectively, by The Summit League for the 2019 season, announced in February alongside the coaches' poll. A 2018 NFCA All-Midwest Region Second Team performer, Andersen is back after starting all 55 games for the Jackrabbits a year ago. She finished second on the team with a .397 average, tying the school's single-season hits (77) and doubles (19) records en route to being named an All-Summit League First Team pick. Compton started 20 games last year and posted a 9-8 record, tossing 111.2 total innings with a 4.51 ERA. She threw six perfect innings of relief in the National Invitational Softball Championship to help the Jacks reach the title game. Smarty Jacks South Dakota State was one of 107 Division I softball programs to earn a spot on the 2018 Easton / National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Academic Teams award list, announced this fall. The rankings recognize the academic prowess of softball teams within the NFCA. The Jackrabbits had a 2017-18 team grade point average of 3.478 with 17 team members boasting grand point averages above the 3.00 mark, finishing 39th nationally in team GPA. , , , , , , , , , and earned 3.50 or above GPAs and were honored as NFCA scholar-athletes in the same release. Herdliska (who was also named to the Academic All-Summit League team in 2017 and 2018), Mullen, Murphy and Steffo are repeat selections from the 2017 team. SDSU posted a 3.44 team GPA this fall with six student-athletes achieving 4.0 GPAs, nine at or above a 3.7 and 19 with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
A Look in the Dugout
returns for her fifth season as head coach of the Jackrabbits alongside second-year assistant , rookie assistant and volunteer coach Jeff Lewis. Wood holds a 105-118 record at South Dakota State and a 375-272 mark in her 13th season of overall head coaching experience. She won her 100th game at SDSU during the 2018 National Invitational Softball Championship last year and is 38 victories shy of becoming the winningest coach in Jackrabbit softball history. Villar came to SDSU in the summer of 2017 after seven years as head coach at Northern State University. In her first season as the primary hitting coach for the Jackrabbits, Villar helped the team reset season records in total bases, runs and doubles while tallying the second-highest totals in home runs, at-bats and wins. All told, Villar helped the Jacks raise their team batting average by sixty points (.322) in her first season at State. Stokes was hired in August of 2018 after a standout career at Nebraska. The former Husker had a career .350 average, was a two-time All-American (2015, 2016) and holds the school record in runs scored (200). From Olathe, Kansas, Stokes was the No. 6 overall pick by the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs in the 2016 National Pro Fastpitch league and led the team to its first NPF Championship in 2017. She recently completed her third season with the professional franchise. Jeff Lewis in his second season as volunteer assistant coach for the Jackrabbit softball program, joining them in the fall of 2018. He is a member of the USA Junior Men's National Fastpitch Softball team, competing in the WBSC in 2016 and 2018 and received an invitation to try out for the USA Men's National Fastpitch Softball team in January 2019.
Six Sign NLIs with Jackrabbit Softball
South Dakota State softball coach announced six signees to the Jackrabbit softball program as part of November's national signing day: Jocelyn Carrillo (Palmdale, California), Lindsey Culver (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Mia Elliot (Des Moines, Iowa), Grace Glanzer (Sioux Falls), Cyle Halvorson (Sioux Falls) and Isabel Martinez (Oak Lawn, Illinois). All six additions will enroll at SDSU for the 2019-20 school year as incoming freshman and be eligible to play immediately for the Jacks.