Summit League Softball Tournament: Everything You Need to Know


Dave Eggen (Inertia) |

The South Dakota State softball team gathers around to celebrate at a game on Friday, May 5 in Brookings.

Brayden Byers, Managing Editor

The road to the NCAA Division I Softball Championships, once again, goes through Brookings.

Because the South Dakota State softball team was the regular season champions last year, the 2023 Summit League Softball Championships will be held at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium May 10th – 13th.

Here is everything you need to know heading into the action Wednesday.

No. 1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-15, 17-0 SL)

The Jackrabbits earned its third straight regular season title this year and will be awarded the top seed in this week’s tournament.

SDSU just completed the seventh undefeated conference season in Summit League history, finishing unbeaten for the first time in program history. The last team to accomplish this feat was NDSU in 2016. The Bison went 17-0 that year.

The Jacks were just one of two teams to finish the conference season with a perfect mark alongside top ranked Oklahoma, who went 18-0.

The Yellow and Blue were led by their pitching staff highlighted by Tori Kniesche. The junior slinger currently holds an 11-0 record striking out 124 batters without allowing a single earned run. She has completed nine of those 11 wins including the programs first perfect game Friday against USD.

Jocelyn Carrillo leads the team on the offensive side boasting a league-best .423 in the 17 league games. Her sister, Rozelyn, hit .407 in those 17 games. Mia Jarecki holds the team’s best overall batting average sitting at .354 alongside a team-high 57 hits and .571 slugging percentage.

The Jacks will take on the winner of Game 1 between No. 4 USD and No. 5 UND Thursday at 11 a.m.

No. 2 Omaha Mavericks (29-15, 15-5 SL)

The Mavs secured the second seed in the Summit League Championships for the third straight year.

Senior Pitcher Kamryn Meyer leads the most strikeouts in the conference with a total of 242. She became the program’s all0time strikeouts leader boasting 737 of them in her career which ranks eighth on the all-time Summit League charts. She holds an 8-2 record in league games. Her peer Sydney Nuismer has a 7-2 record in the Summit season recording 45 punchouts boasting a 1.95 ERA.

Catcher Sydney Ross has a team-best .356 batting average in the conference season while leading the team with three home runs and 14 RBI. Also helping on offense is Lynsey Tucker who is one of five Mavericks to start all 20 league games. She holds a .342 batting average with a team-high 25 hits.

Omaha will play the winner of Game 2 between No. 3 NDSU and No. 6 Kansas City Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

No. 3 North Dakota State Bison (29-19, 13-8 SL)

NDSU enters competition Wednesday as the third seed for the third time in the championships.

A pitching duo consisting of seniors Lainey Lyle and Paige Vargas will look to lead the Bison through the tournament. Lyle holds a 6-2 record recording a 0.65 ERA giving up only 5 earned runs in league action. Vargas backs her up with a 7-5 mark with 79 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched.

Freshman Bella Dean has jumped out to a great start this year leading the league with seven home runs and 26 RBI in league play. She has 9 home runs which is good for the league lead. Carley Goetschius is second with 5 home runs boasting a .333 batting average. She is also tied for the league lead with 15 doubles. The two are tied at 35 RBI for fourth in the Summit League.

The Bison will play No. 6 Kansas City Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The winner will advance to take on No. 3 Omaha Thursday.

No. 4 South Dakota Coyotes (22-26, 11-9 SL)

The Coyotes are the fourth seed for the fifth time in the Summit League Softball Tournament.

Senior Third Baseman Aleesia Sainz is second in league play with a .420 average and an OPS of 1.236 which is the top in the conference. Senior Courtney Wilson leads the team with a .353 average ranking fifth overall with 54 hits.

Clara Edwards leads the Yotes with 29 strikeouts in the conference schedule registering a 1.74 ERA with seven wins. Kori Wedeking has 38 punchouts in 10 league games striking out 76 batters in total.

The Coyotes will face off against No. 5 North Dakota at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will advance to take on top seeded South Dakota State Thursday.

No. 5 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (12-37, 9-10 SL)

The Fighting Hawks are in the Summit League Championships for the fourth time since 2019, when they joined the league. They are in the fifth seed for a second time.

Katie Joten currently has a .333 batting average with two home runs and 21 RBI this season. Catcher Cassie Castaneda has 22 hits in league play which is second behind Joten’s 24. Castaneda also has two home runs in league play which is tied for the most on the team.

Pitcher Makaela Carr has recorded a 4.42 ERA throughout the year with 5 wins, 29 strikeouts and four complete games.

The Hawks will play No. 4 South Dakota Wednesday at 2 p.m. for the right to take on the top seed in South Dakota State Thursday.

No. 6 Kansas City Roos (9-42, 4-17 SL)

The Roos qualified for the Summit League Championships on the final day of the regular season clinching the final spot available. Kansas City earned the trop to the championships for the 11th time overall.

Senior infielder Ally Vonfeldt currently leads the Roos with a .305 batting average, 46 hits, 12 doubles, 3 home runs and a .444 slugging percentage.

Katie Noble and Camryn Stickel both have 3 wins for Kansas City with Stickel leading the team with 59 strikeouts.



WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday – Saturday at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium in Brookings

TELEVISION: Midco Sports Network

STREAMING: Summit League Digital Network; Midco Sports Plus



Wednesday, May 10

G1: No. 4 South Dakota vs. No. 5 North Dakota | 2 p.m.

G2: No. 3 North Dakota State vs. No. 6 Kansas City | 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 11

G3: No. 1 South Dakota State vs. G1 Winner | 11 a.m.

G4: No. 2 Omaha vs. G2 Winner | 1:30 p.m.

G5: G3 Loser vs. G4 Loser | 4 p.m.

Friday, May 12

G6: G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner | 1 p.m.

G7: G6 Loser vs. G5 Winner | 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 13

G8: G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner | 1 p.m.

G9: If Necessary | 3:30 p.m.