SOFTBALL: Dolan, Stevenson named Players to Watch, Beavers picked 12th in NSIC

Stella Dolan has a career ERA of 3.94 and 151 strikeouts over 202.2 innings. Mariah Stevenson is coming off a red-hot freshman campaign where she led BSU with a .322 batting average and .851 OPS.

042322.S.BP.BSUSOFT Stella Dolan.jpg
Bemidji State's Stella Dolan (10) throws a pitch in the first game of a doubleheader against U-Mary on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BURNSVILLE – The Bemidji State softball team was voted to finish 12th in the 2023 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll announced by the league on Wednesday.

Junior Stella Dolan and sophomore Mariah Stevenson were tabbed as the Beavers' Preseason Pitcher and Player to Watch.

For the fourth consecutive season, Augustana was chosen as the favorite in the NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches' Poll. This marks the fifth time (including 2012, 2020, 2021 and 2022) that the Vikings have been selected by the coaches to win the league.

The Vikings amassed 217 points and 10 first-place votes (coaches cannot rank their own team). Minnesota State was second with 208 points and three first-place votes, while St. Cloud State and Winona State tied for third with 187 points.


The preseason coaches' poll is based on each coach ranking each team from 15 to one, with the top team receiving 15 points, second 14, third 13, etc.

Bemidji State garnered 66 points in the poll to finish 12th and 21 points shy of Upper Iowa and Wayne State, who each totaled 87 points to tie for 10th. Second-year head coach Jordan Petersen hopes to build upon a 2022 season where the Beavers finished 12th in the NSIC standings and posted an 11-39 record, going 8-22 in conference play.

042322.S.BP.BSUSOFT Mariah Stevenson.jpg
Bemidji State's Mariah Stevenson (6) throws the ball to first base for an out in the second inning during game one of a doubleheader against U-Mary on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Dolan returns for her third season with the green and white and posted a 5-18 record in 2022. She pitched 152.1 innings to lead the team and posted a 4.00 ERA with 93 strikeouts. Dolan has compiled a career ERA of 3.94 over 202.2 innings and has totaled 151 strikeouts over her career.

Stevenson is coming off a red-hot freshman campaign where she led the team with a .322 batting average and posted a team-high .851 OPS. She appeared in 49 of the team's 50 games through the course of the season and made 48 starts, totaling 47 hits, including a team-high 13 doubles, one triple and two home runs. She also led the team with 22 RBI.


The 2023 Bemidji State softball season officially gets underway Feb. 11-12 when the Beavers travel to St. Cloud to compete in the Kelly Laas Memorial Tournament hosted by St. Cloud State at the Husky Dome. Bemidji State will play four games over two days against NSIC opponents SCSU, Minnesota Duluth and U-Mary.

The 2023 NSIC Softball Tournament will expand to four days of competition and consist of the top 10 teams in the NSIC final standings competing in a double-elimination format May 3-6 at the RYFSA Complex in Rochester.

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