Beyond Football, Part 1
Football is the main attraction for Bison fans. I am of the opinion that the affinity for it goes beyond just the successes on the field and rise to prominence across the country due to some native sons but that's neither here nor there. Sometimes the attention becomes myopic and doesn't rightfully account for the accomplishments of fellow Fall athletes or Winter's & Spring's. No one post or person or account or company could make up for the lack of attention but here's a baby step in that direction.
As the last two Summit League pitchers of the year faced off for the second time in as many days, the Bison faced a regular season finale, win & clinch scenario at the freshly face-lifted Ellig. With one half of NDSU's dynamic duo looking to close out another Pitcher of the Year campaign there was little time wasted in dominating Western Illinois. Jacquelyn Sertic came two outs short of a perfect game, fanning another 13 would be batters along the way.
The Leathernecks had an ace of their own who stifled the Bison's bats to a mere five hits and four runs. But when a pitcher is able to deal the way that Sertic was, it doesn't take much offense to lock up another victory and the regular season title that it ensured.
But the win has benefits far beyond just another #1 seed in the soon to be hosted Summit League Softball tournament. It ensures that Fargo will continue to be the home of the tourney through at least 2019. Maybe it's common knowledge but I think that granting the regular season champ the following season's post season tournament is a pretty special reward. So for Darren Mueller and the ladies, things will stay cozy for a while longer.
Speaking of the coach Mueller, the seventeen year man has built quite a program for himself on the north side. 30+ wins in 10 of the last 11 seasons. He just notched win number 600 at the helm. There's always going to be talk of coach Klieman taking his talents to bigger & higher paying U's but I think the same sort of talk should be happening for Spring's dynasty maker! With no major professional league to it's name, maybe there isn't as much money in Softball coaching so that NDSU can stay competitive contract wise. And I think the fact that Oklahoma has the highest paid coach at a "mere" $280,000 supports that. Yeah, you're thinking correctly - the same Oklahoma that NDSU can claim to have been the last to defeat last year on their way to another national championship!
So NDSU can aim even higher than a NCAA regional tournament appearance this year! Depending how far they manage to go in the post season they may even be able to supplant the other top story of the year - North Dakota's own Alyssa Olin. Yeah, I think that the pride of Mott, ND has been the best that NDSU has achieved this year but the Softball team has a great chance to challenge and take that nod away!
So as the ladies run out of the dugout on Thursday at noon, take your lunch breaks and show em the support that they have earned and so well deserve!
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