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St. Thomas Softball 48-Game NCAA Tournament notes

St. Thomas Softball 48-Game NCAA Tournament notes

St. Thomas Softball Notes -- May 21

 

What's Next

  • The No. 3-ranked Tommies (43-5) are in the NCAA playoff field for the 16th consecutive year, with an 82-50 record in 26 all-time trips.
  • Only eight of those 82 NCAA playoff wins have come on the St. Thomas home field -- all eight in the last two seasons. Tommie Softball played 121 consecutive NCAA playoff games off campus through 2017.
  • Next up is a May 23-28 national tournament in Tyler, Texas. The Tommies are seeded first this week with the best won-loss record and highest NFCA poll ranking among the eight remaining teams.
  • St. Thomas faces Eastern Connecticut State Thursday at 11 a.m. in the opening game of the double-elimination tournament.
  • UST has reached the Super Regionals five of the last six seasons and has made the eight-team nationals three times in the last six seasons (2014, 2016, 2019).

Thursday's Games

  • Game 1, 11 a.m.: Eastern Connecticut State (8) 34-11 vs. St. Thomas (1) 43-5
  • Game 2, 1:30 p.m.: Williams (5) 38-5 vs. Texas Lutheran (4) 35-8
  • Game 3, 4 p.m.: Trine (7) 35-6 vs. Illinois Wesleyan (2) 38-8
  • Game 4, 6:30 p.m.: Randolph-Macon (6) 30-15 vs. Emory (3) 36-12
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Superlative

  • St. Thomas has reached 40 victories for the 12th time in the last 16 seasons. It has won 35 or more games 16 years in a row, and 30 or more 20 seasons in a row.

 

John Tschida

  • UST's Hall of Fame coach John Tschida has the best winning percentage in NCAA softball history at .843 (974-181).
  • First college softball coach to win NCAA team titles at two different schools
  • He has coached for 25 seasons at St. Mary's (six years) and St. Thomas (19); he now has 766 wins in 19 seasons with UST.
  • The Tommies have won 16 of 19 MIAC regular-season titles and 14 of 16 conference playoff crowns in Tschida's era, including a 47-6 all-time record in the conference playoffs.
  • A two-time National Coach of the Year, Tschida has been named MIAC Coach of the Year 13 of his 25 years at St. Mary's and UST. His Tommie teams have won 93 percent of their games against conference opponents.

 

NCAA Tourney History

  • Under Coach John Tschida, the Tommies have six top-six national finishes in the last 17 seasons: they 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.

 

Postseason Surge

  • St. Thomas is 8-0 in its three conference playoff games and five NCAA playoff games. The Toms have outscored those teams by a combined 30-1 margin, and have not trailed in any of those contests.

 

Defense

  • St. Thomas' .981 fielding percentage ranks second in D-III and ranks fifth among all 989 NCAA softball teams. The Toms have only two errors in their current 10-game win streak.
  • The Tommie starting infield of catcher Jenna Bromen, pitcher Kierstin Anderson-Glass, 1B Chase Shortly, 2B Melissa Barry, SS Rachel Suter and 3B Elise Barnes has converted 139 consecutive defensive plays over 55 consecutive innings without an error (224 assists and putouts).

 

She's Back

Tommie pitching ace Kierstin Anderson-Glass was named MIAC Pitcher of the Year; MVP of the conference playoffs; and Most Outstanding Pitcher of both the NCAA Regional and Super Regional.

  • Junior eligibility, native of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., (Visitation HS)
  • Currently on national ballot for both NFCA All-America and CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration
  • On Tuesday announced as one of 10 finalists for the Schutt NFCA Division III National Player of the Year.
  • Missed 2017 and 2018 seasons for medical reasons after suffering a concussion during the 2016 national tournament after a hard tag at home plate
  • On her two-year career has a 56-8 record with 0.88 ERA, and a 10-to-1 K-to-walk ratio
  • This season in Division III stats she ranks first with 15 shutouts; ranks second in wins (26); and ranks third in ERA (0.66)
  • She's 8-0 so far in the postseason, with an 0.12 ERA (one run in 58 innings); had a streak of 48 innings without a run allowed end May 11 whe she gave up back-to-back doubles in seventh inning of 6-1 victory over UW-Eau Claire
  • Since April 6, she's 20-0 with an 0.28 ERA and 72 strikeouts and just nine walks (two intentional)
  • Was named All-Region in 2016 when she led all freshmen pitchers at all 974 NCAA softball programs in Divisions 1, II and III in both strikeouts (233) and wins (30)
  • Her mother Dana Anderson was a two-time all-state pitcher and five-year starter at her Iowa high school in the early 1980s.

 

Top Tomcat

  • Junior 3B Elise Barnes was voted conference Player of the Year and won All-MIAC honors for the third time in her three-year career.; she was second-team All-Region last season and first team this season... on career she has 163 hits and 145 runs in 142 games... In 48 games this season is batting .414 with 67 hits, 56 runs, 39 RBI, eight home runs, 14 walks and 23 steals. She ranks in top 15 in Division III in hits (67) and total bases (115).

 

Savvy Seniors

  • St. Thomas has 13 seniors plus one other fourth-year junior leading its lineup. The senior class has a four-year record of 162-32 (.835) with two trips to the eight-team national finals.
  • Melissa Barry is a four-time first-team all-conference honoree at second base and was on the NFCA's 25-Player Watch List for National Player of the Year. The conference Player of the Year in 2018, she's twice been first-team All-Region. On her career in 179 games Barry has 225 hits, 154 runs, .403 BA. In 48 games this season she's batting .415 with 66 hits, 51 runs, 24 RBI, 29 steals and only two errors in 188 chances; and has struck out just five times in 48 games (181 plate appearances). She ranks 13th in Division III with 66 hits. Her 225 career hits rank fifth best in conference history.
  • Chase Shortly is a four-year starter, twice All-Region and three-time all-conference honoree. She was named Most Outstanding Player at last weekend's Super Regional as she had three hits and five RBI in two shutout wins over UW-La Crosse. In 185 career games she has 205 hits, 152 RBI and 120 runs.... In 48 games this season she's batting .405 with 63 hits, 31 runs, 53 RBI, 17 doubles, and only four errors in 317 defensive chances; has struck out just five times in 48 games (170 plate appearances). She ranks in the top 16 in Division III this season in RBI and doubles.
  • Dana Connelly is among just 23 softball players in conference history to get All-MIAC honors four consecutive seasons... on her career in 178 games she has 176 hits, 111 RBI, and a .352 BA... In 48 games this season she's batting .350 with 48 hits, 27 runs, 45 RBI, 17 extra-base hit, 13 walks and one error in 39 chances.
  • Jenna Bromen made all-conference and in 44 games is batting .278 with 30 hits and 15 RBI with only two errors in 210 defensive chances; on her career in 168 games she has 123 hits while batting .295 with a .988 fielding percentage.
  • Rachel Suter has started all 48 games at shortstop and is batting .300 with 21 hits, 23 runs, eight walks and 11 steals. She has played in 193 games on her career and has compiled a .279 batting average with 79 hits, 83 runs and 29 walks while turning 35 double plays.

 

Young Guns

  • Freshman DP-RHP Megan Baniecke is hitting .250 in 32 games (18-of-72) with nine walks, seven runs, six RBI; no errors in 91 defensive chances as a pitcher; 10-2, 2.79 ERA in 21 pitching appearances, 40 Ks and 24 walks in 66 innings
  • Sophomore OF Sam Birling is hitting .282 in 45 games (29-of-102) with 27 RBI, six doubles, four home runs, 10 walks and no errors in 38 chances

 

Trends

  • UST is 10-3 thus far in 2019 against teams that made the Division III tournament: 1-1 vs. St. Ben's; 0-1 vs. MIT; 1-0 vs. Tufts (1-0 loss); 0-1 vs. UW-Whitewater (1-0 loss); 4-0 vs. UW-La Crosse; 3-0 vs. UW-Eau Claire; 1-0 vs. Northwestern-St. Paul
  • UST is 31-2 in games when it allows two or less runs.

 

Poll Talk

  • UST is ranked first in the Midwest Region and third in the latest NFCA national poll.

 

On A Roll

  • After a 15-4 start, the Tommies have won 28 of their last 29 games, all since April 6.
  • UST went 16-2 on its home field this season.
  • Ten different Tommies had at least one hit in the May 17 Super Regional 4-0, 5-0 sweep of UW-La Crosse

 

Slick Stats

  • UST is 27-2 in games when it has no errors and 10-2 in games when it has one error.
  • UST pinch hitters are 20-for-68 (.294) while opposing pinch hitters are 3-for-35 (.086).
  • UST is 39-1 in games when it scores two or more runs (33-0 when it scores four or more); the Toms scored one or no runs in four of their five losses.

 

Postseason Pros

  • In 36 career postseason games, Melissa Barry has 43 hits in 112 at-bats with 22 runs and just two errors in 130 infield chances.
  • In 25 career postseason games (three seasons), Elise Barnes has 31 hits, 21 runs, 23 RBI and eight walks while batting .392.
  • In 32 career postseason games, Chase Shortly is batting 30-for-99 with 16 RBI.
  • In 35 career postseason games, Dana Connelly is batting 32-for-98 with 19 RBI

 

Team Players

  • Senior Kristin McGonigal is batting .304 with 21 hits, 22 runs and 23 steals in 42 games
  • Junior Jaylen Heller is batting .406 in 36 games (10 starts), 13-of-32, eight runs, six steals
  • Senior Jenna Beeso is 4-for-10 this season and 5-for-14 on her career as a pinch hitter
  • Senior Sarah Bueno is 2-for-3 this season and 7-for-10 on her career as a pinch hitter
  • Junior Kaitlyn Massman is 4-for-15 this season and 8-for-32 on her career as a pinch hitter
  • Freshman Kendall Hopkins is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 10 mound appearances with 26 Ks and 10 walks in 27 innings
  • Senior Izzy Marketon is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 mound appearances with 10 Ks and four walks in 29 innings; at the plate, she's 5-for-13 with three doubles and three RBI

 

Injury List

  • Tommie junior Hayley Dunning, a preseason All-America pitcher, suffered a season-ending injury in late March. She had a breakout season in 2018 when she went 24-3 in 37 appearances with seven shutouts. Her stats included a 2.33 ERA and just two losses over her final 31 games. In contests against MIAC opponents, she won her last 12 decisions. She also had a hand in three no-hitters.