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) has announced its final edition of the Softball weekly honors Monday by the conference office, based on the performances during the conference postseason tournament last weekend in Aberdeen, S.D.  Cejay Hilhorst of Valley City State (N.D.) was selected as its Player-of-the-Week, while Alexzandria Watson of Dickinson State (N.D.) was named to its Pitcher-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 had recorded a hit in all six games as Valley City State (N.D.) went 4-2 record in the NSAA conference tournament, despite falling short in the championship game series.  She blasted a 2-run home run and drove in three runs in the second game of the championship series, forcing a decisive and Game 3 with Dickinson State (N.D.).  During the tournament, Hilhorst posted a batting average of .375 and recorded a slugging percentage of .750 with three doubles and a home run.  She drove in six runs in the tournament and walked twice versus the Blue Hawks in the final game of the NSAA Championship Series. 

North Star Athletic Association Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week
Alex Watson – Dickinson State (N.D.) – 5'10" – Sophomore – Pitcher – Bellflower, Calif. – Watson dominated her pitching during the NSAA conference tournament, going 5-1 record in propelling Dickinson State (N.D.) to their back-to-back conference postseason tournament championship.  She opened up the tournament by recording 13 strikeouts in 1-0 victory over Dakota State (S.D.).  She added another complete game victory in 3-1 DiSU victory over Presentation (S.D.).  Watson won the battle of the top two pitchers in the NSAA conference with a 1-0 victory over Bellevue (Neb.), striking out nine BU's batters.  She extended her scoreless innings to 15 in 5-0 shutout victory over Valley City State (N.D.) in the first NSAA Championship Game Series.  Watson suffered her first loss of the tournament in the second championship game, but bounded back with a victory in the deciding game after holding the Vikings scoreless in the final 4 2/3 innings of the game.  For the week, Watson tossed a total of 35 2/3 innings, allowed only six runs (one unearned) with an earned run average (ERA) of 0.98.  She accumulated a total of 39 strikeouts (6.5 strikeouts per game).

Recap from last week's games
Presentation (S.D.) hosted the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Softball Conference Tournament at Players Softball Complex in Aberdeen, S.D.  Dickinson State (N.D.) earned the automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round, which is played at ten different campus sites announced by the NAIA national office on May 16-18.  The NAIA Softball Selection Show will be held on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.

Below are the results from the NSAA Softball Postseason Conference Tournament in Aberdeen:

Friday, May 6
Bracket A
• Game 1: No. 1 Dickinson State def. No. 8 Dakota State 1-0
• Game 2: No. 5 Presentation def. No. 4 Bellevue 1-0
• Game 3: No. 4 Bellevue def. No. 8 Dakota State 7-0
• Game 4: No. 1 Dickinson State def. No. 5 Presentation 3-1

Friday, May 6
Bracket B
• Game 1: No. 2 Valley City State def. No. 7 Mayville State 7-6
• Game 2: No. 3 Jamestown def. No. 6 Waldorf 9-0 (5 innings)
• Game 3: No. 6 Waldorf def. No. 7 Mayville State (13-32), 18-7 (5 innings)
• Game 4: No. 2 Valley City State def. No. 3 Jamestown 2-1

Saturday, May 7
Loser's Bracket
• Bracket A Game 5:  No. 4 Bellevue def. No. 5 Presentation 5-2
• Bracket B Game 5:  No. 3 Jamestown def. No. 6 Waldorf 2-0

Championship Bracket
• Bracket A Game 6 (Bracket A Championship Game):  No. 1 Dickinson State def. No. 4 Bellevue 1-0
• Bracket B Game 6 (Bracket B Championship Game):  No. 2 Valley City State def. No. 3 Jamestown 10-2 (5 innings)

Sunday, May 8
Best of 3 Championship Series (Noon, 2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m.)
• No. 1 Dickinson State def. No. 2 Valley City State  5-0
• No. 2 Valley City State def. No. 1 Dickinson State  6-3
• No. 1 Dickinson State def. No. 2 Valley City State 2-1

2016 NSAA Softball Conference Standings






(16) Dickinson State (N.D.)




Won 1

Bellevue (Neb.)




Lost 1

(RV) Valley City State (N.D.)




Lost 1

(RV) Jamestown (N.D.)




Lost 1

Presentation (S.D.)




Lost 2

Waldorf (Iowa)




Lost 1

Mayville State (N.D.)




Lost 7

Dakota State (S.D.)




Lost 9

Viterbo (Wis.)




Lost 3

Nick Huntimer, North Star Athletic Association Sports Information Director