The Omaha softball team opens Summit League Tournament play on Wednesday against South Dakota.
Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Omaha Set for Summit League Tournament

Omaha Athletics | May 09, 2017

Leading Off
The fifth-seeded Omaha softball team heads to the Summit League Softball Championship this Wednesday, May 10, facing No. 4 seed South Dakota in first round action.  First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at the Ellig Sports Complex in Fargo, N.D.  Links to live stats and video will be available on

Quick Hits
• Omaha is 15-29 (6-8 Summit League) overall after taking two of three games against North Dakota State last weekend.
• The Mavericks have four players hitting .330 or better this season, led by Lia Mancuso's .340 average.  Mancuso ranks fifth in the league in batting average and is the conference leader with 17 stolen bases.
Vicky Kinney leads Omaha with eight home runs, 35 RBI and a .630 slugging percentage.
Nicole Warren is tops with a .463 on-base percentage.
• Right-hander Laura Roecker picked up her second Summit League Pitch of the Week honor on Monday.
• The 2017 season marks Omaha's second with full NCAA Division I postseason eligibility for the Summit League and NCAA Tournaments.
• The Mavericks have played four teams receiving national votes this season.  In tournament play earlier this season, Omaha defeated No. 16 Utah but lost a doubleheader to No. 9/10 Oklahoma and a single game to No. 16/17 LSU.  UNO also fell 7-4 to #RV Missouri in April.
• Fifteen players have seen playing time for the Mavericks' this season, with eight players making their first career starts.
• UNO returns seven letter winners, including four position starters: Mancuso, senior Lizzie Noble, junior Kelly Pattison and senior Nicole Warren. Senior Abbie Clanton and sophomore Laura Roecker return to the circle this season for the Mavericks.
• Three All-Summit selections highlight the Mavericks' returning corps: Mancuso, Roecker and Warren.
• Omaha was picked second in the Summit League preseason Coaches' Poll.
• The Mavericks opened the year with 27 straight road games.
DJ Sanchez is in her first year leading the Omaha softball program.

Field Set for 2017 Summit League Softball Championship
The field has been set for this week's Summit League Softball Championship.  Omaha is one of six teams scheduled to compete in the tournament, May 10-13 at the Ellig Sports Complex in Fargo, N.D.  The tournament champion advances to the NCAA Tournament as the league's automatic bid.

2017 Summit League Softball Championship Schedule
Wednesday, May 10
Game 1: (4) South Dakota vs. (5) Omaha – 3 p.m.
Game 2: (3) Western Illinois vs. (6) South Dakota State – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 11
Game 3: (1) IUPUI vs. Game 1 Winner – Noon
Game 4: (2) North Dakota State vs. Game 2 Winner – 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser – 5 p.m.

Friday, May 12
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner – 1 p.m.
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 13
Game 8: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner – 1 p.m. (MidCo/ESPN3)
*Game 9: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser – 3:30 p.m. (MidCo/ESPN3)

*If necessary
NOTE: Games 1 & 2 will be single elimination with the remainder of the tournament being double-elimination.

Scouting the South Dakota Coyotes
South Dakota enters the Summit League Tournament as the No. 4 seed after finishing the regular season with a 21-30 overall record and a 10-8 conference mark.  The Coyotes come into the game losers of three straight after dropping two games to Colorado State and one to Texas Tech to wrap up the season. 

Jessica Rogers leads the team with a .343 batting average with seven doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI.  Emily Winkler has a team-leading five homers and 36 RBI.  In the circle, Rachel Cue is 11-9 with a 4.64 ERA in 33 appearances.

Head coach Robert Wagner is in his first season at USD with a career mark of 21-30. 

Omaha holds an 86-15 series edge and won two of three games in Vermillion, S.D. earlier this season.

Tourney Time
Wednesday marks Omaha's second appearance in as many years eligible for the Summit League Tournament.  The Mavericks made their debut as the No. 2 seed in 2016 and went 1-2 with losses to North Dakota State and IUPUI.

Looking Back
Omaha went 2-1 vs. North Dakota State to wrap up the regular-season last weekend. Home runs from Vicky Kinney, Lizzie Noble and Nicole Warren propelled the Mavericks to a 4-1 win in the series opener. Laura Roecker hurled a complete game four-hitter with five strikeouts in the victory.

In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, Omaha shut out NDSU 11-0 in six innings. Kinney again led the UNO offense, going 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBI. Noble finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Emily Klosterman, Lia Mancuso and Kelly Pattison each had two RBI. Roecker (10-14) picked up the win, allowing two hits in the complete game shutout.

Omaha dropped the series finale to North Dakota State, 3-2. Kinney and Pattison each went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.