Watson Named NSAA Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week

Watson Named NSAA Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week

MADISON, S.D. – The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) conference has announced its seventh edition of the Softball Players-of-the-Week honors Monday by the conference office.  Cejay Hilhorst of Valley City State (N.D.) was named to its Player-of-the-Week.  Alex Watson of Dickinson State (N.D.) was selected as its Player-of-the-Week.

North Star Athletic Association Softball Player-of-the-Week
Cejay Hilhorst – Valley City State (N.D.) – 5'7" – Senior – Third Base – Killarney, Manitoba – Hilhorst recorded a hit in all eight games this week, including a walk-off home run versus Waldorf (Iowa), as Valley City State (N.D.) went 5-3 record for the week.  She extended her hitting streak to 15 games.  Hilhorst's best game came in an 11-2 victory over the Warriors, where she hit a 2-run home run to give VCSU a 2-0 lead and then a hit a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom sixth frame, finishing the game with six RBIs.  For the week, Hilhorst posted a batting average of .536 by going 15-of-28 at the plate, drove in 13 runs and scored 9 runs.  She recorded a slugging percentage of 1.036 with four home runs and two doubles.  She swiped two bases.

North Star Athletic Association Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week
Alexzandria Watson – Dickinson State (N.D.) – 5'10" – Sophomore – Pitcher – Bellflower, Calif. – Watson earned three victories and a pair of saves as No. 16-ranked Dickinson State (N.D.) went 6-0 record for the week.  She shut down Mayville State (N.D.) 8-0 in six innings, giving up three hits and striking out 12 batters.  Watson added a victory and a save in relief in Blue Hawks' doubleheader sweep over NCAA Division II Mary (N.D.).  She notched a complete victory in a 2-0 win 11-inning over Jamestown (N.D.), recording 14 strikeouts in the game.  She closed the week with a save in another Blue Hawks' 7-4 victory over UJ.  For the Week, Watson worked for 24 innings and did not give up a run and allowed eight hits.  She struck out a total of 34 batters in five games (6.8 strikeouts per game).

Recap from last week's games
Dickinson State (N.D.), ranked No. 16 in the latest NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, remained undefeated during the month of April.  The Blue Hawks extended their winning streak to 17 games after going 6-0 record for the week, all games on the road. DiSU swept Mayville State (N.D.) 10-5 and 8-0 on April 18, NCAA Division II Mary (N.D.) 7-6 and 6-2 on April 21 and Jamestown (N.D.) 2-0 in 11 innings and 7-4 on April 23.  Dickinson State raised their overall record to 36-7 and 15-1 in NSAA conference play.

Jamestown – receiving votes in the national poll – split a pair of non-conference games with Valley City State (N.D.), winning the first game 6-4 before falling in the second game in 11 innings by the score of 6-3.  UJ is 27-10 overall record and 11-4 NSAA conference record.

VCSU split a pair of NSAA games versus Bellevue (Neb.) on April 18.  The Vikings won the first game 9-7 before losing the second game 8-3.  Valley City State went 3-1 record in the NSAA four-game series versus Waldorf (Iowa), winnin ght first two games by the score of 5-3 and 11-6 (6 innings) on April 22. The Warriors won the first game on April 23 2-1 and the Vikings closed out the series with a 6-2 victory.  VCSU is 30-11 overall record and 11-5 NSAA.

Waldorf split a pair of non-conference doubleheader at Dordt (Iowa) on April 21.  The Warriors lost the first game 8-4 but won the second game by the score of 5-4.  WU is 15-25 overall record and 8-12 NSAA.

Bellevue swept all four games at Viterbo (Wis.) on April 23-24.  The Bruins won 10-2 and 7-1 on April 23, as well as 8-0 (6 innings and 6-5 (8 innings) on April 24.  BU is 29-17 overall record and 16-4 NSAA record.  VU – which dropped a non-conference doubleheader at Mount Mercy (Iowa) on April 21 – lost their 12th straight games, dipping their overall record to 8-39 and 2-17 NSAA record.

Presentation (S.D.) went 3-1 record in the NSAA conference triangular with Mayville State and Dakota State (S.D.).  The Trojans won the first game of the triangular with a 4-3 8-innning thriller over the Saints on April 22.  PC went on to win the next three games in the triangular, defeating MSU 3-1 on April 22 and 10-1 in five innings on April 23 as well as 2-1 nail-biter over DaSU.  Presentation improved to 22-24 overall record and 10-10 NSAA conference record.

Mayville State took two games from Dakota State in the NSAA triangular, winning 11-5 on April 22 and 6-4 on April 23.  MSU is 13-26 overall record and 6-14 NSAA.  Dakota State, which lost to Dordt (Iowa) in a non-conference doubleheader on April 20, is 8-24 overall record and 4-16 NSAA.

Looking Ahead
The NSAA conference members are heading into their final week of regular-season play.

Jamestown (N.D.) visits Valley City State (N.D.) in the North Star conference doubleheader on Tuesday.  Viterbo (Wis.) returns home to host Mount Mercy (Iowa).

On Wednesday, Dakota State (S.D.) travels to No. 14-ranked Morningside (Iowa) for a doubleheader.  Waldorf (Iowa) stays on the road and visits Clarke (Iowa) in a doubleheader.

Jamestown (N.D) is scheduled to play at No. 16 Dickinson State (N.D.) on Thursday for a pair of NSAA conference games.  Bellevue (Neb.) returns home to host College of Saint Mary (Neb.).  Dakota State will be at home versus Mount Marty (S.D.).  Waldorf heads home, hosting Dordt (Iowa).

Viterbo will be hosting the NSAA conference triangular with Waldorf and Dickinson State on Saturday and Sunday.  Presentation is scheduled to play a four-game series at Bellevue.  Dakota State will host Valley City State in a four-game series.  Mayville State (N.D.) and Jamestown will play home-and-away four-game series, with a doubleheader in Jamestown on Saturday and another doubleheader in Mayville on Sunday.

            Tuesday's Games
            
(RV) Jamestown (N.D.) @ Valley City State (N.D.) – 3 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Mount Mercy (Iowa) @ Viterbo (Wis.) – 3 p.m. – Doubleheader

            Wednesday's Games
            
Dakota State (S.D.) @ (14) Morningside (Iowa) – 3 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Waldorf (Iowa) @ Clarke (Iowa) – 4 p.m. – Doubleheader   

            Thursday's Games
            (RV) Jamestown (N.D.) @ (16) Dickinson State (N.D.) – 3 p.m. (CT)/2 p.m. (MT) – Doubleheader
            College of Saint Mary (Neb.) @ Bellevue (Neb.) – 4 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Mount Marty (S.D.) @ Dakota State (S.D.) – 4 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Dordt (Iowa) @ Waldorf (Iowa) – 4 p.m. – Doubleheader     

            Saturday's Games
 
           Waldorf (Iowa) @ Viterbo (Wis.) – 12 p.m.
            Presentation (S.D.) @ Bellevue (Neb.) – 1 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Valley City State (N.D.) @ Dakota State (S.D.) – 1 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Mayville State (N.D.) @ (RV) Jamestown (N.D.) – 1 p.m. – Doubleheader
            (16) Dickinson State (N.D.) vs. Waldorf (Iowa) – 2 p.m. @ La Crosse, Wis.
            (16) Dickinson State (N.D.) @ Viterbo (Wis.) – 4 p.m. @ La Crosse, Wis.

            Sunday's Games
            Dickinson State (N.D.) @ Viterbo (Wis.) – 11 a.m.
            Presentation (S.D.) @ Bellevue (Neb.) – 12 p.m. – Doubleheader
            Valley City State (N.D.) @ Dakota State (S.D.) – 1 p.m. – Doubleheader
            (RV) Jamestown (N.D.) @ Mayville State (N.D.) – 1 p.m. – Doubleheader
            (16) Dickinson State (N.D.) vs. Waldorf (Iowa) – 1 p.m. @ La Crosse, Wis.
            Waldorf (Iowa) @ Viterbo (Wis.) – 3 p.m. @ La Crosse, Wis.

2016 NSAA Softball Conference Standings

School

Overall
Record

NSAA
Record

Games
Behind

Streak

(16) Dickinson State (N.D.)

36-7

15-1

----

Won 17

Bellevue (Neb.)

29-17

16-4

1.0

Won 5

(RV) Jamestown (N.D.)

27-10

11-4

3.5

Lost 3

Valley City State (N.D.)

30-11

11-5

4.0

Won 1

Presentation (S.D.)

22-24

10-10

7.0

Won 3

Waldorf (Iowa)

15-25

8-12

9.0

Lost 1

Mayville State (N.D.)

13-26

6-14

11.0

Lost 1

Dakota State (S.D.)

8-24

4-16

13.0

Lost 3

Viterbo (Wis.)

8-39

2-17

14.5

Lost 12


Nick Huntimer, North Star Athletic Association Sports Information Director