May 16, 2018
St. Thomas Softball Notes -- May 17
- The Tommies are in the NCAA playoff field for the 14th consecutive year, with a 75-49 record in 25 all-time trips.
- Next up is a May 18-19 Super Regional test against No. 16-ranked Luther. The Tommies are seeded better, but are unable to host the games due to graduation ceremonies on their campus. The games are set for 4 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. on Saturday in Decorah, Iowa. A second Saturday game will be played at 3:30 if needed in the best of three series.
- UST has reached the Super Regionals four of the last five seasons and twice made the eight-team nationals (2014, 2016).
- The Norse (38-8) are just 7-4 at home this season. They started the season 21-1 and later were 28-3 before slipping during a 4-5 stretch. They rebounded to start 6-0 in the postseason and have outscored foes 41-4 in that span.
- The Norse have two starters batting .420 or better and three other starters batting .333 or better.
- Ace pitcher Samantha Bratland is 24-4 with a 1.38 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 172 innings.
- Luther fielders have only been charged with 37 errors in 46 games (.971 field%).
Follow This Weekend
- The winner of the UST-Luther best-of-three advances to Oklahoma City for the May 24-29 eight-team national tournament.
- UST needs two wins to reach 40 victories for the 11th time in 14 seasons. It has won 35 or more games 15 years in a row, and 30 or more 19 seasons in a row.
- The Tommies three wins last weekend were the program's first NCAA on-campus playoff games. In the prevuous 24 appearances they played 121 games away.
NCAA Tourney History
- Under Coach John Tschida, the Tommies have six top-six national finishes in the last 16 seasons: placed fifth in the nation in 2002; were NCAA champions in 2004 and 2005; were NCAA runner-up in 2006; placed third nationally in 2014; and tied for seventh in 2016.
- St. Thomas had a 3-0 run through last weekend's regional tournament at its own campus at South Field. The Toms topped Northwestern-St. Paul 9-1; beat UW-Oshkosh 7-3; and edged Central 1-0, the latter on Hayley Dunning's second no-hitter in 14 days.
- UST is 11-4 thus far in 2018 against teams in the Division III tournament: a split with UW-Whitewater; 3-0 vs. St. Ben's; 2-0 vs. UW-Oshkosh; wins over Williams, Moravian, Linfield, Central and Northwestern; and losses to Berry, Coe and Texas Lutheran.
- UST is 9-2 this season in games decided in extra innings or by one run.
- UST is 27-0 in games when it allows three or less runs.
- St. Thomas only has one senior starter -- pitcher/DP Sammy Hogan -- and just three seniors on a 24-player roster.
- UST is ranked first in the Midwest Region and seventh in the latest NFCA national poll.
On A Roll
- After a 1-3 start, the Tommies have won 37 of their last 40 games, including a 27-1 run since April 7.
- UST went 14-0 on its home field this season.
- UST is ranked in the top 15 nationally in stolen bases (97, to 19 for foes) and fielding percentage (.975, sixth).
- UST has won its last 23 games when it has one error or no errors, and won its last 13 when its defense records a double play.
- UST relies less on strikeouts than most top teams. It ranks second nationally with 430 assists on putouts (ground outs, force plays, tag outs, dropped third strikes).
- Elise Barnes at third base (136) and Rachel Suter at shortstop (115) have combined for 251 assists on defense.
- Tommie pitchers have allowed just two home runs and 12 total runs in their current eight-game winning streak.
- UST pinch hitters are 11-for-42 (.262) while opposing pinch hitters are 2-for-17 (.118).
- The Toms have outscored foes 64-18 in innings 6-7-8-9.
- UST is 11-3 in run-rule games hallted in the fifth or sixth innings; 26-0 when leading or tied after six innings; and 1-3 in games it trails after six innings.
- The Tommies have seven starters batting .320 or better: Chase Shortly (.398), Melissa Barry (.397), Elise Barnes (.371), Dana Connelly (.357), Sammy Hogan (.344), Jenna Beeso (.328) and Sam Birling (.323).
- Sophomore Hayley Dunning, who pitched sparingly on varsity as a freshman in 2017, is 24-2, with no-hitters in two of her last four starts.
- Senior Sammy Hogan has contributed as a pitcher and DP (.344 BA); in five postseason games this season she's pitched 13 innings and allowed just one earned run.
- In 128 career games, Barry is batting .395 with 154 hits and only six errors in 418 chances.
- In 134 career games, Shortly has a .358 batting average with 138 hits in 134 games to go with 98 RBI, 88 runs, 43 doubles and 35 walks.
- In six postseason games, all wins, Barnes has 11 RBI, seven runs, two walks and 10 hits in 19 at-bats; on her career she has 94 hits in 91 games.
- In her career, Connelly has 123 hits in 127 games with 29 doubles and 23 walks and only two errors in 111 chances.
- UST's Hall of Fame coach John Tschida, who recently surpassed 1,100 college games, has the best winning percentage in NCAA softball history at .842 (930-174).
- In late March he surpassed 900 career wins in 24 seasons at St. Mary's (six years) and St. Thomas; he now has 722 wins in 18 seasons with UST.
- The Tommies have won 15 of 18 MIAC regular-season titles and 13 of 15 conference playoff crowns in Tschida's era, including a 44-6 all-time record in the conference playoffs.
- A two-time National Coach of the Year, Tschida has been named MIAC Coach of the Year 12 of his 24 years at St. Mary's and UST. His Tommie teams have won 93 percent of their games against conference opponents.