Morningside will face Concordia for the right to go to the NAIA Softball National Tournament.
Great Plains Athletic Conference Softball Tournament Championship Series
Saturday, May 2
At Sioux City, IA
Morningside College (27-19) vs. Concordia University (25-22)
Game 1 – 11 a.m.
Game 2 – 1 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary) – 5 p.m.
Morningside Head Coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann
Jessica Jones-Sitzmann, a 1993 graduate of South Dakota State University, is in her 17th season as the Mustangs’ head coach. Jones-Sitzmann is the winningest coach in Morningside history with a 566-325 career record for a .635 winning percentage. She has led Morningside to five GPAC regular season championships, six GPAC Post-Season Tournament championships, and six consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances. Jones-Sitzmann, who led the Mustangs to a school-record nine consecutive 30-win seasons from 2003 to 2011, earned GPAC Coach of the Year honors in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2014 after she led the Mustangs to GPAC regular season titles. She was a NCAA Division II All-America pitcher during her collegiate career and a first-team all-stater as a prep senior at Sioux City East High School.
Morningside Probable Starters (27-19 Record)
1B- Jacey Tomhave, Sr., Valparaiso, NE, .353, 4 HR, 25 RBI
2B- Taylor Daas, Sr., New Brighton, MN, .271, 2 HR, 22 RBI
SS- Mara Amsberry, Fr., Bennington, NE, .219, 3 HR, 10 RBI
3B- Kristina Neumann, Jr., Sioux City, IA, .289, 1 HR, 19 RBI
RF- Anna Milone, Jr., Omaha, NE, .282, 2 HR, 20 RBI
CF- McKenzie Anderson, So., Lincoln, NE, .331, 8 HR, 47 RBI
LF- Morgan Fogelman, So., Elkhorn, NE, .274, 4 HR, 20 RBI
C- Elin Landgren, So., Des Moines, IA, .275, 4 HR, 19 RBI
DH- Rachel Koch, So., Denison, IA, .299, 2 HR, 18 RBI
P- Faith Schmidt, Jr., Emmetsburg, IA, 16-9, 2.22 ERA, 93 K or
Carlie Maasz, So., Sleepy Eye, MN, 4-4, 2.15 ERA, 51 K or
Andrea Medinger, Fr., Dubuque, IA, 7-6, 3.13 ERA, 54 K
Final Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Standings
1.Doane, 17-3; 2.Midland, 14-6; 3.Hastings and Northwestern, 12-8; 5.Morningside and Nebraska Wesleyan, 11-9; 7.Concordia, 10-10; 8.Dordt, 9-11; 9.Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan, 5-15; 11.Mount Marty, 4-16.
Last Time Out
Morningside came back from a 1-0 opening round loss against Northwestern College to win the Doane bracket of the GPAC Tournament held Wednesday and Thursday in Crete, Neb. The Mustangs won four consecutive games after the Northwestern setback with a 6-3 victory against Dordt College, a 7-2 win against Northwestern, and 4-0 and 7-1 triumphs against GPAC regular season champion Doane.
Faith Schmidt, a junior pitcher from Emmetsburg, Iowa, is 10-2 with a 1.32 earned run average and three shutouts over her last 13 appearances to lower her season’s ERA from 3.08 to 2.22. She has allowed three hits or less in four of her last six starts.
Rachel Koch, a sophomore infielder from Denison, Iowa, is riding a four-game hitting streak. She is eight-for-13 for a .615 batting average with two doubles, one home run, and seven RBIs during that stretch to raise her season’s average from .250 to .299. Koch, who was hitting .196 on April 13, has hit safely in 12 of her last 14 games with 19 hits in 46 at-bats for a .413 batting average.
Taylor Daas, a senior second baseman from New Brighton, Minn., has hit safely in each of her last four games. She is five-for-13 for a .385 batting average with two doubles over the last four games.
Kristina Neumann, a junior third baseman from Sioux City, also has a four-game hitting streak. She is four-for-14 for a .286 batting average during her streak.
Jacey Tomhave, a senior first baseman from Valparaiso, Neb., has hit safely in 17 of her last 20 games. Tomhave has 24 hits in 61 at-bats for a .393 batting average with four home runs and 15 RBIs over her last 20 games to raise her season’s average from .310 to .353.
Morningside has won each of the last five GPAC Tournaments and has made six consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances. . .The Mustangs, who were 14-17 overall and 2-8 in the GPAC after they were swept by Midland University on April 13, have gone 13-2 over their last 15 games to climb a season’s high eight games over the .500 mark at 27-19. . .Faith Schmidt, a junior pitcher from Emmetsburg, Iowa, pitched a no-hitter in the Mustangs’ 1-0 loss against Northwestern in Wednesday’s GPAC Tournament opener. Schmidt pitched her fourth shutout of the season with a three-hitter in Thursday’s 4-0 win against Doane and blanked the Tigers for the first six innings in the Mustangs’ 7-1 win in the Doane bracket finale. Schmidt is the Mustangs’ ace with a 16-9 record and a 2.22 earned run average. . .Elin Landgren, a sophomore catcher from Des Moines, Iowa, hit a home run to lead off the game in the Mustangs’ 7-2 win against Northwestern and their 7-1 victory against Doane during Thursday’s GPAC Tournament action. She has a .333 batting average with two doubles and two home runs so far in the GPAC Tournament. Landgren has been hit by a pitch 25 times this season for the third highest total in NAIA history. . .Carlie Maasz, a sophomore pitcher from Sleepy Eye, Minn., allowed six hits and struck out six batters to get the win in Thursday’s 7-2 win against Northwestern. Maasz has one win and three saves in her last five outings. . .Jacey Tomhave, a senior first baseman from Valparaiso, Neb., is the Mustangs’ leading hitter with a .353 batting average, while McKenzie Anderson, a sophomore outfielder from Lincoln, Neb., tops the team with eight home runs and 47 RBIs.
The winner of the GPAC Softball Tournament Championship Series will advance to the 2015 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round to be held May 11-13 at various campus sites.