Dickinson State teams well-positioned for postseason

Softball, baseball teams, track & field men and women performing like potential champs

Dickinson State softball team defeat Dakota State at the grand opening of the Sanford Sports Complex.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

As I shift into “Homer” mode, bear with me … this week is gonna get pretty exciting for us over here in sports-news.

You have no idea how lucky y’all are, having a college – with its respective athletic teams – in your pleasant little hometown. But just having access to the college is no comparison to being there when the postseason rolls around and the teams have earned a spot in the proceedings AND THOSE PROCEEDINGS ARE AT HOME. The next couple of weekends will feature the playoff tournaments and events for baseball, softball and track & field, and it should be a pretty dang good time.

With both the baseball and softball teams ending their seasons on winning streaks – the baseball team is riding a 4-game wave with a weekend sweep over Presentation – it’s easy to get happy and anticipatory for the North Star Athletic Association’s playoff tourney(s) for both.

Speaking of “homers,” over the weekend the DSU baseball team lit up Astoria Field with a 10-homer day on Saturday and wound up giving manager Mike Dahl his 100th career victory on Sunday in a 20-3 combined doubleheader rout. The Blue Hawks clinched the #5 seed in the postseason tournament and it’s not cliche to say we can throw the regular-season records out the window at this point.

The baseball team should be hitting the diamond at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark on Friday, but the official schedule wasn't available at press-time.


And how ‘bout them Blue Hawks softball players, huh? Back-to-back weekend away wins over Waldorf is nothing to sneeze at, and the fact they put up double-digits – 15 runs, 15 runs and 21 runs – in their final three games is a sign that DSU is firing-on-all-cylinders at just the right time. The team is riding a 10-game winning streak as well, and you have to go all the way back to April 8 – when the team was still dodging snowflakes – to find a series loss for the Ladies in Blue Pinstripes. Not to put too fine a point on it, but since the team opened Bravera Field at the Sanford Sports Complex on April 1, 2023 they have gone 17-7 and erased a losing record, while also giving Kristen Fleury her 400th career win. Needless to say, it’s been a bang-up month for DSU on the softball diamond.

The Blue Hawks softball team looks like it will get going on Thursday with a noon starting time for your DSU Blue Hawks, although the opposition wasn't available at press-time. The Dickinson Press will update you as more information becomes available.

For the record, it's such a sweet feeling for athletes to be able to rest their heads on their own pillows in preparation for a big game. It cannot be sufficiently stressed, either, just how draining travel can be on an athlete, and countless coaches have discussed the importance of home-field advantage as it pertains to not being in a bus for six to 10 hours on the road. It means almost as much as the sound of one's own hometown fans cheering them on to victory, to be completely honest.

One other aspect of the weekend is the financial side of things, and you can talk to any hoteliers or restaurateurs or bar & grille owners and they will tell you that it’s gonna be like Black Friday around here for their businesses. Will it be more congested than usual? Heck-yeah, it will be. But is it worth the moderate inconvenience(s) that come along with the increase in visitors?

Oh, yeah ...

But, let’s ALSO not forget the Dickinson State University Last Chance Track & Field Meet is this weekend. DSU has been performing so well on the track and in the field these days, with quite a few athletes qualifying for Nationals and some meet victories and top-5 placing for both the men's and women's teams, that things are bound to get heated up along with the rising local temperatures that should climb into the beloved 70s over the weekend.

Talk about a harmonic-convergence-of-awesomeness … plans to visit Lake Patterson are just gonna haveta wait!

And, for my FINAL reminder: Shortly after that, we can look forward to the men's and women's Outdoor Track and Field Conference Championships for the NSAA on May 11 and 12 right here at the Biesiot Activities Center’s lovely facilities just around the corner.


That’s a LOT of action for a little town like ours, but golly is it gonna be fantastic. I hope to see y’all out there, because we’re fortunate to be a part of it and the kids can use your encouragement.

Opinion by Gaylon Wm. Parker
Gaylon is a sportswriter from Jensen Beach, Fla., but has lived all over the world. Growing up with an athletic background gave him a love of sports that led to a journalism career in such places as Enid, Okla., Alamogordo, N.M., Pascagoula, Miss. and Viera, Fla. since 1998. His main passion is small-town community sports, particularly baseball and soccer.
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