Softball hits the road for a wild six-game stretch

The Mavericks look to continue to dominate their opponents after a long stretch of games this weekend

Aaron Young
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State softball team hits the road for six road games this weekend, playing three different teams, in three different cities.

After losing back to back games against St. Cloud State, the No. 20 Mavericks look to pick up the pace a little bit in their season, as they head to Winona, MN first, looking to bounce back in a battle with the 9th ranked Warriors.

Perhaps McKenzie Paap can be the catalyst for the Mavs, as she has been on a tear as of late. The junior outfielder is putting up ridiculous numbers: a .563 BA, and a team-high nine hits, five runs, and 17 steals, which is fourth most in the conference. She will be certainly getting ready for the road trip, looking to extend a four-game hit streak.

Alongside Paap is sophomore outfielder Carly Esselman. Someone call the doctor. We have an emergency. Carly is putting up a clinic! She has a team-best .443 BA this year, and that’s just the beginning. The outfielder has also made a mark on the conference, with 41 RBI’s (1st), six triples (2nd), 47 in hits (7th), and a .708 slugging percentage (6th). Cannot forget about the lone senior Jessica Meidl, who has a team-best 39 runs, putting her at second in the conference.

These powerhouses contribute to seven of the Mavericks 24 home runs, almost a third of them! The squad leads the conference in hitting the ball out of the park. Numbers never lie and as can be seen, Meidl, Paap, and Esselman are the pillars to the Mavericks success and foundation for that matter.

Not only have the seasoned athletes been putting up numbers, the freshmen have caught the eyes of many as well. Hannah McCarville and Hailey Forshee both boast above .500 BA in the last games, connecting on 14 hits combined. Courtney Potter has been on the run, stealing seven bases on seven attempts. Time will tell how well she will do going forward as the Mavericks new catcher.

As mentioned before, the Mavericks face an additional two teams along with Winona State, being Bemidji St. and Minnesota-Crookston.

Unlike Winona St. who is at the top of the ranks, Bemidji State finds themselves in the middle of the pack, with a 13-13 record on the year, 2-2 conference play. The Beavers are coming off a 4-3 loss to MSU Moorhead. They will probably be hungry to get a victory against the Mavericks on Friday. Minnesota-Crookston has not had the best of years, sitting at a 5-23 record, 1-5 in conference play. The Golden Eagles are in last place and in the midst of a struggle, losing their last five.

Let’s hope the Mavs can bounce back from adversity and get themselves rolling. If we know one thing, it’s that these girls don’t give up easily, and why would they? They are the conference Champions. Follow the softball team online, unless you like traveling then be my guest, and get your cheers out for the Minnesota State Mavericks this weekend.

Photo: Amber Kral (#7) receives a throw to get the runner out at first base during a past softball game for the club. The team hopes to continue to play well, as they go into this weekend ranked No. 20 in the country. (Courtesy of photos.paap.net)

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