Bulldogs Set To Play In MVC Tournament
THIS WEEK IN DRAKE SOFTBALL
Drake will be the No. 3 seed at the 2012 MVC tournament in Carbondale, Ill. The Bulldogs will play the winner of Bradley-Missouri St. at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night. The winner advances to face No. 2 Illinois State on Friday at 2:35 p.m.
Same Old, Same Old
In 2012, the State Farm MVC Softball Championship is sticking with the double-bye, single-elimination format that was played during the 2008-2009 and 2011 Championships.
DRAKE AT THE MVC
The Bulldogs have a 27-35 all-time record at the MVC tournament, which has been played every year since 1983. Drake has won three tournament titles and finished runner-up twice.
Bradley (21-29, 11-15 MVC) was swept by Drake this season at Ron Buel Field. Sophomore Madeline Lynch-Crumrine is the top hitter and pitcher for the Braves. At the plate she is hitting .300 with two home runs and 20 RBI. In the circle she is 11-17 with a 2.70 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 189.1 innings pitched.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE
Missouri State (24-25, 12-14 MVC) dropped two out of three against Drake this season at Buel Field. Natalie Rose (16-15) is the top pitcher for the Bears with a 1.86 ERA and she has struck out 193 batters to just 31 walks. At the plate, Ashley Brentz is the top hitter at .310 with 14 RBI. MSU defeated Drake, 7-4, last season in the title game of the MVC tournament in Springfield, Mo.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bulldogs celebrated senior day with a 7-2 win over Wichita State to clinch the No. 3 seed for the tournament. Drake swept WSU and eliminated the Shockers from the MVC tournament.
Torey Craddock (Tucson, Ariz.) has started in 213 out of 214 games in her four seasons and has not missed a start in the past three seasons. Jaimie Duffek (Brookfield, Ill.) has started 92 games in her four seasons. She was named to the 2010-11 All-MVC Academic Honor Roll and is the recipient of the Drake Presidential Scholarship. Rose Magaddino (Tucson, Ariz.) has started 39 games this season behind the plate and over ninety games in her four seasons. This season she has helped the Bulldog's young pitchers rank in the top 10 of nearly every Missouri Valley Conference pitching statistical category.
Three Drake freshman: Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.), Nicole Randel (Alpine, Calif.) and Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) are on a tear over the past ten games both at the plate and on the rubber and the Bulldogs have won eight of 10 games. Nybo is hitting .438 (14-of-32) with two home runs, four doubles, seven runs scored and 10 RBI. Randel is hitting .400 (10-of-25) with one double, one home run, three runs scored and six RBI. Schmidt is hitting .417 (5-of-12) with one double, two home runs, five runs scored and six RBI and on the mound the freshman is 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA and two saves in 39.1 innings pitched. She has struck out 43 and walked 13 in that span.
Nybo and Schmidt were named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week and MVC Pitcher of the Week, respectively this past week. Nybo was 8-of-15 (.533) at the plate last week in five wins for the Bulldogs. The freshman blasted two home runs and had seven RBI with 15 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage. She currently has a seven-game hitting streak and on the season is hitting .333 with nine home runs, 42 RBI and a .580 slugging percentage. Schmidt had a great week on the mound and at the plate. The right-hander went 2-0 with two saves and compiled a 0.75 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched. She struck out 19, walked three batters and allowed just two earned runs. At the plate, she was 4-of-6 (.667) with her first two career home runs, a double, five runs scored and four RBI.
Drake is tied with Missouri State for the best fielding percentage in the MVC at .969 and the Bulldogs trail MSU (45) in total errors with 48.
Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa) and Schmidt are the only two Bulldog pitchers to see action this season. Gronewold leads the Valley in innings pitched (228.1), starts (46) and appearances (48). She is third in wins (19) and strikeouts (194), eighth in ERA (2.79) and eighth in opponent batting average (.242). Schmidt is tied for second in the Valley in appearances (38), fourth in opponent batting average (.211) seventh in strikeouts with 149 and 10th in ERA at 2.89. The freshman has pitched 140.2 innings in her first season and is first in games finished (32) and saves (9) in the MVC. She has made the second most appearances behind Gronewold in the MVC with 41.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
The Bulldogs have swiped a conference-best 94 bases this season and have been caught just 23 times. Drake has the top three stolen base leaders in the Valley led by sophomore Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.), who has 24. Macie Silliman (Winterset, Iowa) is next with 21 and Lindsey Vande Wall (Prairie City, Iowa) is third with 19.
IN A PINCH
Randel has delivered in pinch hitting situations this season. The California native is 7-for-23 (.304) this season when called from the bench. She leads the MVC in pinch hits and pinch hit attempts.
LOCK IT DOWN
Schmidt's nine saves lead the MVC and she has the second most in the nation. The Bulldogs 10 saves lead the MVC.