SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (GoJacks.com) — South Dakota State has been picked to finish second in the upcoming Summit League softball race, according to a preseason poll conducted among the league’s seven head coaches that was announced Tuesday.
North Dakota State, which has won the last six Summit League championships, claimed the top spot with six first-place votes and 36 points. The Jackrabbits claimed the other first-place vote to finish second with 31 points. South Dakota was third with 25 points, followed by Omaha with 19 points.
Rounding out the preseason poll were Kansas City (16), North Dakota (12) and Western Illinois (8).
The Jackrabbits compiled a 15-8 record in an abbreviated 2020 season that was canceled before the start of league play and return a solid nucleus led by Summit League Players to Watch Grace Glanzer and Cylie Halvorson.
A native of Sioux Falls, Glanzer burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2020, leading the league with 74 strikeouts and a 12-2 record. She finished with a 1.73 earned run average and held opponents to a .215 batting average.
Halvorson, also a Sioux Falls native, paced the Summit League with seven doubles while hitting .406 with 19 runs batted in in 22 games. She notched eight multi-hit games and recorded a .641 slugging percentage in 2020.
SDSU opens the 2021 season Friday with games against Iowa State (11:15 a.m.) and Drake (6 p.m.) at the Doc Halverson UNI-Dome Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Summit League play for the Jackrabbits begins March 27 at Kansas City, with the four-team Summit League Softball Championship scheduled for May 12-15 in Fargo, North Dakota.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
1. North Dakota State (6) – 36
2. South Dakota State (1) – 31
3. South Dakota – 25
4. Omaha – 19
5. Kansas City – 16
6. North Dakota – 12
7. Western Illinois – 8
PLAYERS TO WATCH
North Dakota State – Paige Vargas, Jr., Pitcher
North Dakota State – Montana DeCamp, Grad., Infielder
South Dakota Sate – Grace Glanzer, Fr., Pitcher
South Dakota State – Cylie Halvorson, So., Infielder
South Dakota – Camille Fowler, Grad., Outfielder
Omaha – Sydney Hampton, Sr., Pitcher
Omaha – Jamie Whiute, Jr., Infielder
Kansas City – Delainey Fenoglio, Jr., Infielder/Designated Player
Kansas City – Mia Hoveland, Jr., Pitcher
North Dakota – Jannay Jones, Jr., Pitcher
North Dakota – Ashlynn Uvila, Sr., Outfielder
Western Illinois – Abby Carlin, Sr., Pitcher/First Baseman
Western Illinois – Alyssa Ealy, Sr., Outfielder