Jimmies hope to catch wave this week in Fremont

·7 min read

May 4—Katie Reisdorfer has caught two no-hitters for University of Jamestown softball, both delivered by the surefire All-American right arm of UJ's Kat Miska.

The senior backstop called a six-inning, 10 strikeout no-no against Concordia University, Nebraska, on the road in 2019, which would ultimately serve as a precursor to arguably the most dominant pitching performance in the history of Jimmies softball.

Miska's 18-strikeout, seven-inning shutout over Dickinson State on February 20 at the Presentation College Dome in South Dakota will live forever in UJ sports lore. Reisdorfer clubbed a solo home run in the third to help lift her pitcher to the 1-0 victory.

"That was probably the most fun game I've ever caught," Reisdorfer said. "She was just so in control and so confident with herself, and so were all of us.

"We were all really playing together and making sure that we got the outs that we needed to if they did put the ball in play."

The Jimmies hope to continue that type of togetherness this week in Fremont, Nebraska. Jamestown opens the double-elimination Great Plains Athletic Conference postseason tournament playing Northwestern College, Iowa, on Wednesday at noon.

The Jimmies earned the tournament's fourth seed after playing to a conference mark of 15-7. Also in Jamestown's bracket is top-seeded Midland and eighth seed Briar Cliff.

Midland has already secured the conference's first berth to the NAIA opening round by winning the conference. The GPAC tournament winner will also advance to the opening round at campus sites beginning May 17, or the second-place finisher if Midland wins.

"We've played 40-some games and now it's time to put it all together and see what we can do," Jamestown softball coach Kevin Gall said. "The goal would be for our pitching staff to have good outings and give us a chance to win. Just put the ball where they need to put it and, hopefully, good things are going to happen."

Miska is 16-2 with an ERA of less than one (0.95) in 118 innings pitched. She's posted five shutouts this season with 207 strikeouts and an opposing batting average of .165 and currently sits second on UJ's single-season strikeout list behind Hanna Dunnigan's 247 in 2017.

Miska recorded an 8-3 victory over Northwestern — Wednesday's opponent — last Month, allowing two home runs to the Raiders' Emily Strasser. Miska has only given up seven homers on the season.

The Jimmies lost game 2 of its conference doubleheader at Northwestern 7-3, but pitcher Katie Merchant was the hard-luck loser as none of the Raiders' seven runs were earned. UJ committed six errors behind Merchant, something that can't unfold at any point this week in Fremont.

"Just can't give a team like that, that many opportunities," Gall said. "That ended up costing us. If we played the way we're capable of up there then we're the No. 3 seed and have a little more viable chance to be at-large (for the national tournament) but it's just the way it went.

"We'll try to keep Miska in the mix as much as possible, and try to make things tough on the other team as much as we can to prevent them from scoring," Gall added. "We've got a number of players on our roster and our bench that can do the job, so hopefully we pick the right batting lineup and pick the girls that are gonna be productive up there and see what happens."

Jamestown is carrying a little bit of momentum into the tournament, having split with No. 11-ranked Morningside College at Trapper Field last Saturday.

Miska and the Jimmies shut down the Mustangs 1-0, with senior first baseman Kassi Ward getting to Morningside's ace Lisa Bolton (17-2) for an RBI single in the third, before falling 6-3 in the nightcap.

"It was just another glimpse of, hey, we can be pretty good and we can do good things," Gall said. "Our work has paid off from the season and we're kinda where we want to be, but at the same time, it's just not a given that we're gonna show up and play well. So the challenge is to find that wave and keep riding it."

Miska nearly tossed a perfect game on April 11 against visiting Briar Cliff, allowing the Chargers one hit with one out in the seventh in a 6-0 victory, and also directed UJ to a 2-1 win at No. 3-ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in March. Miska tossed six scoreless frames against the top five Drovers, using 149 pitches.

"I love catching for Kat," said Reisdorfer, from Fresno, California. "It's just so nice to play with someone who has so much confidence in herself and projects that out to the team."

The Jimmies are 3-0 this season against Briar Cliff but are 0-2 against top-seeded Midland. The Warriors shut out the Jimmies 5-0 and 10-0, getting to Miska for four hits and one earned run in the 5-0 loss.

But for the most part, the Jimmies have enjoyed one of their better seasons at 32-12 overall. Jamestown has outscored its opponents 298-159, while batting .347 as a team, and is looking for more success this week in Nebraska.

Senior shortstop Morgan Geiszler is entering the tournament one run shy of cracking UJ's top five in runs scored in a season at 52. Her 23 doubles this spring currently sits second all-time behind Emily Newman's 27 in 2016.

Geiszler is batting .442 with 40 runs driven in.

"Over my career, I think we've won somewhere around 65%, and this year we're around 73%," said Gall, who earned his 600th career coaching victory with Saturday's win over Morningside. "So this is an above-average year and it's all predicated on the type of players we have and the way the girls work. We're always looking to find ways to do things better, but it's certainly been a good year."

GREAT PLAINS ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

2021 GPAC Softball Tournament

Midland Bracket

Fremont, Nebraska

May 5

G1: (4) Jamestown (32-12, 15-7 GPAC) vs. (5) Northwestern (26-16, 12-10), noon.

G2: (1) Midland (32-7, 20-2) vs. (8) Briar Cliff (23-23, 8-12), 2 p.m.

G3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 4 p.m.

G4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 6 p.m.

May 6

G5: Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, noon

G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, 2 p.m.

G7: If necessary (G6 winner/loser), 4 p.m.

Morningside Bracket

Sioux City, Iowa

May 5

G1: (3) Concordia (29-9, 15-7 GPAC) vs. (6) Doane (25-22, 12-10), 10 a.m.

G2: (2) Morningside (40-7, 18-4) vs. (7) Mount Marty (19-18, 10-12), noon.

G3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 2 p.m.

G4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 4 p.m.

May 6

G5: Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, noon

G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, 2 p.m.

G7: If necessary (G6 winner/loser), 4 p.m.

Championship Series

May 8

At Highest Seed

(Best 2 of 3 Format)

G1: Midland Bracket Winner vs. Morningside Bracket Winner, 11 a.m.

G2: Midland Bracket Winner vs. Morningside Bracket Winner, 2 p.m.

G3: If needed, TBA.

2021 GPAC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

Concordia Bracket

Seward, Nebraska

May 6

G1: (4) Morningside (25-28 GPAC, 16-12) vs. (5) Briar Cliff (32-18, 15-13), noon.

G2: (1) Concordia (34-9, 21-7) vs. (8) Hastings (13-29, 11-17), 3 p.m.

May 7

G3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 9 a.m.

G4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, noon.

G5: Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, 3 p.m.

May 8

G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, noon.

G7: If necessary (G6 winner/loser), 3 p.m.

Doane Bracket

Crete, Nebraska

May 6

G1: (3) Mount Marty (28-17, 16-11 GPAC) vs. (6) Jamestown (28-21, 13-14), noon.

G2: (2) Doane (31-16-1, 21-7) vs. (7) Northwestern (19-25, 12-16), 3 p.m.

May 7

G3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 9 a.m.

G4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, noon.

G5: Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, 3 p.m.

May 8

G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, noon.

G7: If necessary (G6 winner/loser), 3 p.m.

GPAC Baseball Championship Game

May 11

At highest seed, 9 innings

G8: Concordia Bracket Winner vs. Doane Bracket Winner, 3 p.m. (No lights); 6 p.m. (lights).

Note: There is no 10-run rule in the postseason.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting