The UND softball plays in its final tournament of the season, taking part in the Aggie Invitational II in Davis, Calif. North Dakota starts things off with a solo game against Bryant on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. (CT). On Friday, UND takes on St. Mary’s at 1 p.m., followed by hosts UC Davis at 5:30 p.m. The Fighting Hawks close out the weekend with a second game against St. Mary’s on Saturday at 11 a.m., before closing with Princeton at 1 p.m.
Live stats for all five games over the weekend will be through UC Davis’ website, UCDavisAggies.com.
Last Time Out
The Fighting Hawks went 1-4 at the Cal State Northridge-Loyola Marymount Tournament last weekend, March 10-12. UND’s lone victory came in a 9-0 five-inning win against Hartford on Saturday, in which junior pitcher Hannah Bergh threw UND’s second no-hitter in as many weeks.
Bergh threw a season-high five strikeouts against Hartford to pick up her sixth win and second shutout of the season. She was also just two batters away from a perfect game, as Hartford’s leadoff batter reached on an error and Bergh gave up one walk in the fourth.
Rachael Waynick led UND over the weekend, batting .357 with five hits in 14 at-bats. She also recorded five RBI’s over the course of the weekend. Angel Love also turned in a solid performance, batting .300 over the five-game span with three hits and three runs scored.
Leading the Pack
Redshirt junior pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen leads the Big Sky in four major pitching categories; earned-run average (1.62), opposing batting average (.213), strikeouts (73) and strikeouts per seven innings (7.40). Her two saves also ranks 17th nationally.
Best of the Week
For the third time in four weeks, Kaylin VanDomelen was named the Big Sky Conferecen’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.
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.
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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.