Bemidji State softball team heads south to begin new season
The Bemidji Beavers softball team will begin its new season today, opening a three-day, seven-game road trip. It begins with a double header at Ft. Hays State today. Tomorrow the team plays at the Emporia State tournament in Kansas facing Northwe...
The Bemidji Beavers softball team will begin its new season today, opening a three-day, seven-game road trip.
It begins with a double header at Ft. Hays State today. Tomorrow the team plays at the Emporia State tournament in Kansas facing Northwest Missouri, Truman State and Missouri Western Friday and Washburn and host Emporia State Saturday.
Like the baseball squad, which has already been south for 16 games, the diamond ballers will be at a decided disadvantage with no outdoor practice while most of their rivals will have played 12-16 games.
There will be a familiar face at the helm with Shane Veenker taking over the reins from Sis Paulsen.
Veenker has coached for several years in the Bemidji youth ranks, producing a number of outstanding players in the process.
He will be dealing with a young squad with only one senior, Littlefork's Lindsey Imhof.
However, the squad shows 11 lettermen back from a team that went 16-22 last spring but only 3-11 in the NSIC.
This will mark the 26th season of BSU softball which began in 1982
Its best league finish came in 1998 when it was co-champion.
The Beavers were ranked ninth in the preseason poll, seven points behind eighth place Northern State. Southwest was the overwhelming pick to win the title with Winona second.
Defending tournament champ CSP was picked third with Moorhead, Mary and Upper Iowa preceding Northern State.
The tem will play nine games before its first league action, the first NSIC crossover tournament at CSP April 6-7.
The second of those meets will be at Aberdeen April 21-22. The Beavers face Winona, Southwest, CSP, Wayne State and Upper Iowa in each of those meets.
They face Mary, Crookston, Moorhead and Northern State in home and home twin bills.
The BSU mound staff will be led by Ali Willard who went 7-7 as a freshman last year and Imhof who was 5-7
At the plate Bemidji is led by two all-conference picks, Bridget Smith who was second on the team with a .328 batting average and Jamie Docken who hit .331. Both started all 38 games last spring.
Veenker is no stranger to the squad, serving as a volunteer assistant last spring as batting and outfield coach. He will be aided this year by graduate assistant Kelly Drozd who played her college ball at Division I Northern Illinois
Mar. 16 at Ft. Hays (2)
Mar. 17 vs. NW Missouri
Mar. 17 vs. Truman State
Mar. 17 vs. Missouri Western
Mar. 18 vs. Washburn
Mar. 18 at Emporia State
Apr. 5 Superior (2) 2:00
Apr. 6 vs. Winona
Apr. 6 vs. Southwest
Apr. 6 vs. Wayne State
Apr. 7 at Concordia
Apr. 7 vs. Upper Iowa
Apr. 10 Duluth (2) 1:00
Apr. 11 at Mary (2)
Apr. 12 St. Cloud (2) 3:00
Apr 18 Moorhead (2) 3:00
Apr. 19 Crookston (2) 3:00
Apr. 20 at Northern State (2)
Apr. 21 vs. Concordia
Apr. 21 vs. Wayne State
Apr. 21 vs. Southwest
Apr. 22 vs. Winona
Apr. 22 vs. Upper Iowa
Apr. 25 Mary (2) 3:00
Apr. 26 at Crookston (2)
May 1 North Dakota (2) 3:00
May 4-5 NSIC tournament (SW)