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Courtesy: Matt Schill, UNDsports.com
Fighting Hawks take on Bears in Colorado
Courtesy: UNDsports.com
Release: 04/20/2017
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This Week
The Fighting Hawks head to Greeley, Colo., for a Friday-Saturday Big Sky Conference series against Northern Colorado. Friday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (CT), with Saturday’s contest starting at 3 p.m.

Out of Big Sky opponents, North Dakota has fared the best against Northern Colorado, posting a series record of 11-17 against the Bears. Last year, UND won two of three against UNC in Grand Forks.

Media Coverage
Live stats for all three games this weekend will be available at UNCBears.com. There will be no audio or video coverage available this weekend.

Last Time Out
The Fighting Hawks went 2-2 over the past week, picking up two wins against Sacramento State at home. UND dropped a midweek contest to North Dakota State on April 11, 3-1, and lost the second game of the doubleheader against the Hornets, 12-6.

Kaylin VanDomelen continued to dominate in the circle for North Dakota, conceding just four earned runs over 21.0 innings of work. She recorded 23 strikeouts in that span, including a career-high 11 in the opening game against the Hornets.

Both VanDomelen and Marina Marzolino recorded six hits in 12 at-bats over the four-game span for UND, with VanDomelen leading the team with seven RBI’s. Victoria Minor turned in a .417 average with five hits in 12 at-bats, while both Taylor Nadler and Dani Romero also hit over .300 during the week.

Leading the Pack
Redshirt junior pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen leads the Big Sky in four major pitching categories; earned-run average (1.86), strikeouts (140), opposing batting average (.214), and strikeouts per seven innings (7.2). Additionally, her 140 strikeouts ranks 41st in the nation and her 1.86 ERA ranks 84th.

On offense, senior Rachael Waynick is 16th among batters in the Big Sky with a .324 average. Junior Taylor Nadler and VanDomelen are both tied for fifth in the conference with seven home runs, while VanDomelen ranks tied for second in the Big Sky with 12 doubles.

Best of the Week
Redshirt junior pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen earned her league-leading fifth Big Sky Pitcher of the Week honor on April 17. She became the Division I wins leader at UND, earning her 27th career victory in a 6-1 win over Sac State on Saturday, April 15. She finished the week with a 1.33 earned-run average, only giving up four earned runs over 21.0 innings of work. She struck out a total of 23 batters, including a career-best 11 in Friday’s 4-1 win over Sac State. On offense, VanDomelen tied for the team lead with a .500 batting average, earning six hits in 12 at-bats. Half of her hits went yard as she also led UND with three home runs over the week. She scored three runs and batted in seven more.

The Fighting Hawks swept the Big Sky weekly awards for the second time this season as Lindsey Harford was named the Player of the Week with Kaylin VanDomelen earning her fourth Pitcher of the Week honor on April 10. Both Harford and VanDomelen tied for a team-leading .462 batting average with six hits in 13 at-bats over the week of April 3-9. VanDomelen had one of the best weeks of her career, as she did not concede a single run over 13.1 innings of work. She threw two shutouts and earned her fourth save of the year, as she helped UND go a perfect 4-0 with doubleheader sweeps of South Dakota State and Idaho State over the past week. Harford recorded a hit in all four games, including two hits in both the first game against SDSU and the second game against ISU.

For the third time in four weeks, Kaylin VanDomelen was named the Big Sky Conference’s Pitcher of the week on March 8. VanDomelen threw UND’s first no-hitter against a Division I opponent in a 4-0 win over UConn on March 5. She only conceded three earned runs over 19.0 innings for a weekend ERA of 1.11, while also striking out 24 batters. On offense, she also helped her own cause out on offense, as she hit a two-run homer to get on the board in the win against UConn. Overall, she batted .357 for the weekend with five hits in 14 at-bats, hitting two home runs, scoring three runs and recording 4 RBI’s.

VanDomelen earned her second-straight Pitcher of the Week honor from the Big Sky for her performance at the Eastern Michigan Madeira Beach Spring Invitational, Feb. 17-19. Throwing a team-high 15.1 innings and two complete games, she only conceded two earned runs and nine hits, while also striking out 14 batters. On offense she recorded the team’s second-best batting average with five hits in 15 at-bats (.333).

For their efforts at the 2017 Louisiana Tech Invitational, Feb. 10-12, both Taylor Nadler and VanDomelen earned player of the week honors from the Big Sky Conference. Nadler batted .385 over the weekend with a team-high five hits in 13 at bats, while also hitting two home runs, scoring four runs and batting in three more. VanDomelen was named the Pitcher of the Week after throwing 14 innings without giving up a single earned run. She struck out 13 batters over the weekend and recorded one win and her first career save.

Looking Back at 2016
The Fighting Hawks closed out the 2016 season with a 17-37 overall record and a 4-15 mark in Big Sky play. It marked the second season for head coach Jordan Stevens and also his second straight improving the team’s overall winning percentage since arriving to Grand Forks.

The 2016 season also marked the most Big Sky wins UND has recorded in a single season, as the Fighting Hawks picked up two wins against Northern Colorado, and wins against Portland State and eventual league champions Weber State.

Who’s Returning
North Dakota returns its No. 2 and No. 3 leading hitters from last season in Mary Martin and Kaylin VanDomelen, respectively. Both recorded a .298 average last season, while VanDomelen led the team with 51 hits and 77 total bases.

Around the diamond, Martin behind home plate for her sophomore season. Autumn Cervantez enters her senior year and will return at second base for the Fighting Hawks. Cervantez hit .238 last season and started in 49 games for UND.

In the circle, UND returns its two starting pitchers in VanDomelen and Hannah Bergh. VanDomelen threw in 35 games last season and recorded a 14-20 record. She threw 20 complete games and recorded four shutouts, a 3.19 ERA and struck out a career high 151.

One of the Youngest
North Dakota has the third-youngest team in the nation, based on the number of underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores). UND has nine freshmen and seven sophomores, for a total of 16 underclassmen out of a total of 24 players on the 2017 roster.

School FR SO Total Roster Size Pct.
George Mason 11 9 20 23 .869
New Mexico St. 9 8 16 22 .727
North Dakota 9 7 16 24 .667
Tennessee 8 8 16 24 .667
Auburn 9 6 15 26 .577

New Faces in the Lineup
With UND fielding such a young team, coach Stevens expects some new Fighting Hawks to start in the games at LA Tech. Taylor Nadler (transfer from Valparaiso), Angel Love (FR), and Lindsey Harford (FR) will see time in the outfield, while Lexi Mayhood (FR) and Dani Romero (FR) will see time in the infield.

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