This weekend, the Minnesota State University, Mankato softball team is set to compete in their final non-conference tournament of the season at the Fairfield Classic in St. Joseph, Mo. The No. 21 Mavericks come into the tournament with a 13-4 overall record and have yet to see any NSIC conference action.
MSU is on a seven-game win streak, which started at the NTC Spring Games in Florida this past week. During the Spring Games, Minnesota State dominated their opponents, outscoring them 39-9.
The Mavericks are coached by Lori Meyer, who is in season 38 with the team. Over her long, accomplished history with the Mavs, Meyer holds a record of 1,300-704-3. Meyer entered 2022 as the winningest coach in NCAA Division II. She is also the second coach in NCAA Division II softball history to win at least 1,300 games behind Gary Bryce of Wayne State who had 1,340.
On the offensive side of things, sophomore outfielder Kylie Sullivan leads the Mavericks with a .383 batting average through 47 at-bats. Sullivan also leads the Mavs in hits this season with 18, two of which went the distance for home runs.
As for pitching, senior Mackenzie Ward leads the team with a 0.86 earned run average (ERA) and boasts an 8-2 record on the season. Sophomore pitcher/infielder Katie Bracken has also proven herself to be successful with a 1.88 ERA and a 4-1 record on the season.
Minnesota State will open their trip to Missouri on Friday with a pair of games against Missouri Southern and UW-Parkside at 2 and 4 p.m., respectively. Missouri comes into the tournament sporting a 14-8 overall record. The last meeting between these two teams was Mar. 21, 2021, with the Mavericks taking that game 4-0.
UW-Parkside currently owns a 3-13 overall record. This will be the matchup number 10 between the two teams, with the Mavericks winning the last game 10-6.
The Mavericks will continue tournament play the next day as they take on University of Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State University at 12 and 2 p.m., respectively. Central Oklahoma currently owns an impressive 21-3 overall record and are ranked eighth in the nation. This will be the eighth meeting between these two programs with MSU winning the last game 2-0.
Northeastern State comes into the tournament with a 12-11 overall record. This will be the fifth meeting all-time between the two programs with MSU taking the last game by a score of 2-0.
The Mavs will then conclude their tournament action on Sunday taking on Pittsburg State University and University of Nebraska-Kearney at 12 and 2 p.m. Pittsburg carries a solid 17-8 overall record heading into the tournament. This will be the 16 meeting between the programs, with MSU winning the most recent one 2-0.
Nebraska-Kearney currently owns an 8-12 overall record heading into the tournament. Sunday’s game will be the 19 matchup between both programs, with Minnesota State taking the most recent game by a score of 2-1.
Write to Karson Buelow at email@example.com.