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Softball is ‘back where it belongs’ according to Canada coach Mark Smith

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

CANADA WILL BE AMONG THE MEDAL FAVOURITES IN THE WOMEN’S SOFTBALL AT TOKYO 2020, AND THEIR COACH MARK SMITH – A WORLD CHAMPION AS A PLAYER – BELIEVES THAT JAPAN IS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR THE SPORT TO ENJOY AN OLYMPIC RENAISSANCE.

Ottawa, ON – Softball is ‘back where it belongs’ according to Canada coach Mark Smith.

“I think Tokyo will put on an absolutely phenomenal show for softball,” said Mark Smith, coach of the Canada women’s team. “Japan is the ideal place to profile the intensity of this great game. Last year I was at the Tokyo Dome for a match between Japan and USA, and there were 31,000 fans, all absolutely loving it.

Smith is a softball veteran. He has experienced the dizzying highs of winning a world championship gold as a player for Canada’s men’s side in 1992, and two world championship bronze medals as a coach of the women (2010 and 2016). He also had to face the disappointment of seeing the sport lose its Olympic status.

“It’s funny, when you’re in the middle of your career as a player and win a big title, you don’t really appreciate it – you’re naive enough to think you’re going to be doing it again next time around,” he said.

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Minnesota State University Mavericks Upend Angelo State in Game One of NCAA Softball National Championship Finals

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

COLEY RIES pitched six scoreless innings in leading Minnesota State to a 5-1 victory over Angelo State in the NCAA Division II Softball National Championship game, Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Salem, Virginia. Contributed Photo

SALEM, V.A. – Second-seeded Minnesota State upended first-seeded Angelo State, 5-1, in game one of the NCAA Championship Finals Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota State moves to 63-7 on the season and takes a 1-0 lead in the best of three series. Angelo State falls to 60-6 on the season and suffers its first loss of the NCAA postseason. Both teams will return to the field tomorrow for game two at 11:00 a.m. (CST) with an if necessary game three to follow.

Senior pitcher Coley Ries (40-3) earned her 40th win of the season with 11 strikeouts in a complete game. She tossed six scoreless innings before Angelo State tallied its first run of the game in the seventh inning. Junior Brandy Marlett (29-5) takes the loss with four strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched. Senior Kennedy Urbany also appeared in the circle to walk a batter in the sixth inning.

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Minnesota State University playing for national softball championship

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

SALEM, VA – The Mavericks of Minnesota State University Mankato defeated three opponents to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship game set for Sunday.

The Mavericks (62-7) and seeded No. 2 will meet No. 1 seed Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas (60-5) to decide the national championship at Moyer Stadium in Salem at 11 a.m. (ET).

MSU-Mankato opened the tournament with a 5-0 shutout over Southern Indiana followed by an 8-4 victory over Armstrong, and then reached the title game by defeating West Virginia Wesleyan, 5-2.

  • To watch the championship game, click on 2017 Div. II Softball Championship
  • Minnesota State softball team advances to nationals

    Monday, May 22nd, 2017

    The Mankato Free Press
    May 21, 2017

    SEARCY, ARK. — It took two days to conclude the game, but the wait was well worth it for the Minnesota State softball team.

    The Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks on Sunday afternoon scored four runs in the final two innings and defeated Harding 7-6 to win the NCAA Division II Central Super Regional and claim a berth into the national championship tournament May 25-29 in Salem, VA.

    The Mavericks (59-7) and ranked No. 6 in the coaches’ poll, open play against No. 9 Southern Indiana (46-12) Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET).

    “It took every ounce of energy and every ounce of fight to come through and get this game,” coach Lori Meyer said. “What can I say about this team? They’ve just been phenomenal. They’ve been fighters all year.”

    Continue reading in the Mankato Free Press

    University of Minnesota Gophers softball season ends with loss in Alabama rematch

    Monday, May 22nd, 2017

    A second 1-0 loss to the Crimson Tide ended the Gophers’ record season.
    By TOMMY DEAS Special to the Star Tribune

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Gophers softball team’s saga didn’t end how players wanted it to, nor where.

    The Gophers fell 1-0 to Alabama on Sunday in the championship game of the Tuscaloosa Regional at Rhoads Stadium.

    The Big Ten champions finished the season with a 56-5 record, and with some lingering indignation over how they were sent on the road as an unseeded team despite their record and credentials.

    “This should have been a Super Regional game,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said.

    “At least,” said Gophers coach Jessica Allister, indicating that the epic pitching duels between the teams could have been played at the Women’s College World Series.

    Instead, it happened on Alabama’s home turf in front of more than 1,900 fans.

  • Continue reading in Star Tribune
  • Championship Sunday in NCAA D1 Softball Regionals

    Sunday, May 21st, 2017

    Follow the results of NCAA Div. I softball by clicking on this link: Regional Softball Information

    Click here for ESPN viewing schedule.

    Alabama’s bases-loaded walk ends Gophers’ winning streak at 26

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    By TOMMY DEAS Special to the Star Tribune
    May 20, 2017

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – The pitcher who never walks a batter walked in the run Saturday that ended the Gophers softball team’s 26-game winning streak and put it in the losers’ bracket at the Tuscaloosa Regional.

    Two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Sara Groenewegen issued her first walk of the day, and only her 30th of the year, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to give 16th-seeded Alabama a 1-0 victory at Rhoads Stadium.

    “Heck of a softball game,” Gophers coach Jessica Allister said of the extra-inning affair. “You’re looking at two of the best pitchers in the absolute country. You’re not going to find two better than them. That was a battle.”

    Story continues in Star Tribune

    Gophers softball team crushes Louisiana Tech 11-3 in NCAA tournament opener

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    St. Paul and Minneapolis StarTribune
    By TOMMY DEAS Special to the StarTribune

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – The Gophers grabbed a bat Friday and took out their frustrations.

    Fortunately, they did so on a softball.

    Minnesota, the No. 1-ranked team in the coaches’ poll that didn’t get seeded in the NCAA tournament, opened play in the Tuscaloosa Regional with an 11-3 victory over Louisiana Tech at Rhoads Stadium. The Gophers won in five innings by the mercy rule, but they weren’t in a particularly merciful mood.

    The Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions improved to 55-3 and advanced to the winners’ bracket semifinal against host and 16th-seeded Alabama, which beat Albany 5-1. First pitch has been moved up two hours to 11:30 a.m. Saturday because of weather concerns.

    “We just wanted to get out there really,” second baseman McKenna Partain said. “Just attack early, go for it early, get ahead early.”

    Continue reading in the Star Tribune.

  • Watch NCAA Regional Softball games on ESPN
  • After Gophers’ NCAA softball snub, it’s Big Ten vs. the world

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    By JACE FREDERICK | jfrederick@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
    PUBLISHED: May 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm | UPDATED: May 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Big Ten softball coaches are a tight-knit group.

    Illinois coach Tyra Perry has received many well wishes from the conference’s other coaches leading into the Illini’s NCAA tournament opener against Marshall on Friday.

    Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle, knowing her team wouldn’t be playing in the postseason, only watched the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night for one reason.

    “To try to decide if I was going to drive to Minneapolis the first weekend (for regionals) or the second weekend (for Super Regionals) to watch (the Gophers),” Revelle said.

    Continue reading in Pioneer Press.

    In losing a chance to host NCAA regional, Gophers became the country’s Cinderella

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    By DANE MIZUTANI | dmizutani@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
    PUBLISHED: May 18, 2017 at 7:00 am | UPDATED: May 18, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    A week surrounded by controversy will come to a head for the Gophers softball team Friday when it starts regional play in the NCAA tournament at the University of Alabama.

    More than 1,000 miles away, Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus — home to the top-ranked team in this week’s USAToday/NFCA Coaches poll — will sit idle.

    As early as last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the Gophers would be host to an NCAA Regional, and maybe even a Super Regional. Instead, the NCAA deemed there were 16 teams more deserving.

    It raises the obvious question: What does Minnesota stand to lose?

    Continue reading in the Pioneer Press.