Beaver Fever Friday – Molly Houts – Softball
Bemidji State makes its return to the NSIC Softball Tournament Wednesday
Beavers Softball opens double-elimination NSIC Tournament against Minot State
For the first time in six years, the Bemidji State University Softball team secured a spot in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Softball Tournament and will start its postseason run Wednesday, May 3 against Minot State University in Rochester, Minn. The Beavers finished the regular season with a record of 23-25 and an NSIC record of 12-14, finishing 10th in the conference and earning the final spot in the NSIC Tournament.
The Beavers open the double-elimination tournament against Minot State at 10 a.m., which is held at the RYFSA Complex in Rochester. Bemidji State is guaranteed to play two games on day one and if it wins, will play Augustana University at 2 p.m. If it loses, it will play the loser of Minnesota State University, Moorhead and St. Cloud State University at 4 p.m. The last time the Beavers were in the NSIC Softball Tournament they fell one game shy of reaching the championship game in 2017.
All games of the tournament can be watched online at: NSICNetwork.com
BSU and Minot State matched up once earlier this season in nonconference play with Minot State winning 6-5 in the eighth inning. Bemidji State found itself down 3-1 in the sixth inning before Mariah Stevenson hit her first home run of the season to take a 4-3 lead. The conference series between BSU and MSU was canceled this season due to snow.
Bemidji State ended its regular season last week going 4-2 to secure the final spot in the NSIC Tournament. The Beavers started the week against University of Minnesota, Crookston sweeping the Golden Eagles 3-2 and 6-2 then splitting games with Southwest Minnesota State University and University of Sioux Falls. Kyla Damerow had an impressive week on the mound pitching three complete games with two complete game shutouts to go 3-0. She only gave up two runs through 23 innings for an ERA of 0.60.
For the second consecutive season, Stevenson leads the Beavers in batting average at .331. Sophomore Alexa Christenson leads BSU in hits (47), RBIs (24) and runs scored (29). Bemidji State has hit 14 home runs this season with Emmarie Yeager sending four over the fence. Stevenson, Alexa Christenson, Molly Houts and Ashely Herold all have a pair of homers and Elaina Christiansen and Morgan Benedict each have one. The Beavers have a team batting average of .254, 14th best in the NSIC.
Kyla Damerow (12-12) and Stella Dolan (10-12) are the first pitching duo since 2016 to both record double digits in the win column. Damerow has an ERA of 3.26, has pitched 13 complete games with four being shutouts and tied the BSU record in saves at four. Dolan has a 4.55 ERA with 11 complete games with one shutout and one save. Dolan has 92 strikeouts on the season and ranks sixth all time at BSU with 243 career strikeouts. The Beavers rank 10th in the conference with a team ERA of 4.31.
Scouting Minot State
The Beavers are 29-21 overall and 16-12 in the NSIC. In the final week of the regular season, MSU went 3-3 splitting its series against Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Concordia University-St. Paul. At the plate freshman Paige Kellogg leads the team with a .333 batting average with junior Gabi Dawyduk is right behind her at .330. The Beavers have three starting pitchers in Reegan Floyd (3.46 ERA), Calley Olson (3.89 ERA) and Kierra Fournier (4.66 ERA). Floyd leads the trio with 98 strikeouts. Coaching the Beavers in her first season with the team is Bailey Gaspar.