Leading Off Omaha softball plays its first Summit League road series this weekend, visiting South Dakota for a three-game series, April 8-9. First pitch in Saturday’s doubleheader is set for noon, followed by game two at 2:30 p.m. Sunday’s series finale is set for 11 a.m., and all games will be played at Nygaard Field in Vermillion, S.D.
Quick Hits • Omaha is 9-23 (0-3 Summit League) overall after dropping a three-game series vs. Western Illinois last weekend. • UNO played three nationally rated teams during tournament play this season, going 1-2. The Mavericks defeated No. 16 Utah but lost a doubleheader to No. 9/10 Oklahoma and a single game to No. 16/17 LSU. • Fifteen players have seen playing time for the Mavericks’ this season, with seven players making their first career starts. • Senior Lia Mancuso is hitting a team-leading .347 entering the week and has a team-high 12 stolen bases. • The 2017 season marks Omaha’s second with full NCAA Division I postseason eligibility for the Summit League and NCAA Tournaments. • DJ Sanchez is in her first year leading the Omaha softball program. • The Mavericks opened the year with 25 straight road games. • 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.
Scouting the South Dakota Coyotes South Dakota enters this weekend’s series with a 12-22 (3-3 Summit League) record after dropping a doubleheader at No. 7 Minnesota on Tuesday.
Shelby Keil leads the team with a .346 average with nine doubles and 21 RBI. Emily Winckler has a team-best four home runs and 21 RBI, while Morgan Vasas leads the Coyotes with five stolen bases. Megan Green is the defending Summit League Pitcher of the Week after picking up two wins vs. SDSU. Green is 4-8 with a 6.52 ERA in 23 appearances. Rachel Cue is 3-7 with a 6.74 ERA in 21 appearances.
Head coach Robert Wagner is in his first year at South Dakota with a 12-22 career record. Wagner has more than 20 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level including eight years at Arizona State. He was associate head coach at ASU from 2006-11, the program’s top assistant in 2015 and its co-interim head coach throughout 2016. This weekend’s series marks the 98th all-time meeting between Omaha and South Dakota. UNO holds an 84-14 series edge and swept a three-game set last year in Omaha.
Looking Back Omaha dropped a three-game series to Western Illinois last weekend at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. The Mavericks fell in the first game of the doubleheader, 5-3, before losing the second game 4-1 in eight innings. UNO lost its series finale to Western Illinois Sunday afternoon, falling 5-1 at Bowlin Stadium. Next Up Omaha is in the midst of a 10-game road stretch with a visit to Missouri on Wednesday, April 19. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at the Mizzou Softball Stadium in Columbia and links to live stats will be available on OMavs.com.