UMD Ready for NCAA Softball Despite Inexperience

Bulldogs Have Not Been to National Tournament Since 2012

The University of Minnesota Duluth is back in the Division II NCAA Softball Tournament for the first time since 2012.  If you do the math, you’ll realize none of the current Bulldogs could have been part of that team, including head coach Jen Walter.

The Bulldogs outperformed expectations in Walter’s first season guiding the program.  UMD has a record of 35-15, and tied for second in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Confernce regular season standings.

But Walter is also no stranger to the NCAA Tournament afterleading St. Scholastica to four of the last five Division III tournaments, before trading in blue and gold for maroon and white last summer.

None of her players have been on this stage though, so the Bulldogs look to walter for guidance.

“Knowing that she’s been there it makes us comfortable and ready, said senior Ashley Lewis.  “She’s going to do what’s right for this team, and she’s done that this whole year.”

Walter has been a steading influence on the Bulldogs this season.

“She’s definitely experienced and she’ll help us along the way,” said sophomore Natalie Wright.  “She’s calm, she tells us to go play ball and she knows we can do it.”

Meanwhile, Walter gives credit to her players.

“Even though they don’t have experience there, they’re poised to do well,” said Walter.  “{We’ve had 45 games this year to prepare ourselves for that.  I think they’re ready.”

The Bulldogs are the No. 6 seed in the Central Region and open the tournament Thursday against No. 3 seed Missouri Western State.  First pitch set for about 4 p.m. in Magnolia, Ark.

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