NCAA SOFTBALL: Dunn debuts at SMSU
The Southwest Minnesota State softball team will open up the 2014 season on Feb. 15-16, with a pair of non-conference doubleheaders in Golden, Colo., versus Colorado School of Mines. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m., while Sunday’s first pitch of game one is set for 12 p.m. SMSU finished the 2013 season 19-21 overall, 12-16 in the NSIC?and missed qualifying for the NSIC?tournament for the second consecutive season.
A new era of Mustang softball is on the horizon with Jamie Dunn entering her first season as head coach of the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs. She was named SMSU’s 10th head softball coach in the program history on June 21, 2013. Dunn recently completed her first season as an assistant coach at NCAA II Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colo. CCU, which started its softball program in 2012, finished 25-23 overall this spring and recorded a third place in the 13-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a mark of 21-11.
The 2013 season started off slow and on an ugly note, with SMSU losing its first four games by a combined score of 45-8. But the Mustangs rebounded in the middle of the season – putting together a six-game winning streak and evening their record to 9-9. The Mustangs pulled their winning percentage to .500 with a pair of 6-3 wins at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., on March 14 versus Northwood (Mich.) and Ferris State (Mich.). The Mustangs struggled against top teams in the Northern?Sun Intercollegiate Conference, finishing just 7-15. SMSU finished the season 19-21 overall, 12-16 in conference play and missed the NSIC?tournament for the second consecutive season. SMSU went 5-1 down the homestretch but it was too little too late. It marks only the second time SMSU has missed the NSIC?tournament in program history. SMSU lost just one senior and returns eight starters, including starting pitcher Rachel Hoeppner. Hoeppner logged 164 innings pitched in 28 starts for a 3.84 ERA last season.
Southwest Minnesota State returns eight starters and 13 letterwinners from the 2013 squad that finished 19-21 overall. In total, head coach?Jamie Dunn welcomes 22 players on the 2014 roster, including two seniors, 10 junior