2019 MCAC Softball Southern Division Poll & Preview

SCTCC Cyclone catcher Morgan Scheiber and her teammates were tabbed as the team to beat by MCAC Southern Division coaches
SCTCC Cyclone catcher Morgan Scheiber and her teammates were tabbed as the team to beat by MCAC Southern Division coaches

Rochester, MN-

Softball coaches from around the Minnesota College Athletic Conference recently took time out of their preseason practice routines and spring trip preparations to offer their thoughts and predictions for the 2019 MCAC Southern Division softball season. 

Read on for the predicted order of finish and for season previews of the teams which comprise the Southern Division ranks of the MCAC.  In addition, the NJCAA has elevated their game this year with expanded coverage of NJCAA softball programs, including those in the MCAC.  Be sure to follow @NJCAASoftball on Twitter for the latest in NJCAA two-year college softball news, tidbits and information. 

Division coaches emphatically picked St. Cloud Technical & Community College as the likely top team in the Southern Division.  The Cyclones are led by head coach Greg Thorstad and assistant Kassidy Klaphake, as well as former SCTCC standout Ashley Pool who moves from the field to the dugout in her role as an assistant coach this spring. 

Anoka-Ramsey Community College was the clear No. 2 in the polling this year; head coach Dave Alto welcomes back speedster Cleopatra Nystrom who swiped 32 bases last season while batting .432 for the Golden Rams.

 M State-Fergus Falls, Ridgewater College and Rochester CTC all found themselves with similar vote totals in the preseason poll.  The Spartans narrowly captured the No. 3 placement and skipper Steve King will have a freshman-oriented roster taking the field this spring.  Second-year mentor Cori Ronnenberg has assembled a Rochester Community & Technical College team built on local talent and will enjoy early season practices and competition in the UCR dome on campus at RCTCRidgewater College - led by second year coach Datriana Jensen - will begin their season in Florida for 2019; Jensen looks to that trip to jump-start her Warrior squad.

Both Riverland Community College and Minnesota West CTC return to softball action after a one-year hiatus in 2018. Former All-MCAC multi-sport standout Tanner Gunnink leads the way for Minnesota West while Amanda Siskow takes the reigns at Riverland, where she also has assisted with the Blue Devil volleyball and basketball programs. 

For the MCAC Softball home page, please click here or go to: http://mcacsports.org/sports/sball/index



Minnesota College Athletic Conference 

2019 Spring Softball Coaches Poll & Preview 

MCAC South No. 1

St. Cloud Technical & Community College 



     (Morgan Scheiber, C)

                         (Regan Jastram, RHP/OF)



Head Coach: Greg Thorstad, 9th season at SCTCC, 228-115 overall

Coaching Staff: Kassidy Klaphake, Assistant Coach;  Ashley Pool, Assistant Coach

Top returning players

Regan Jastram, West Fargo, ND RHP/OF

Morgan Scheiber, Maple Lake, MN, C

Hannah Mondloch, St. Augusta, MN, 3B/C

Amanda Scherber, Monticello, MN, 2B

Dianna Tirevold, Monticello, MN 1B

Top incoming/new players: 

Samatha Patton, Sauk Rapids, MN, P

Kayla Trisko, Zimmerman, MN, OF

Macee Streich, Howard Lake, MN, OF

Mckenzie Ebert, Eau Claire, WI, SS

Coach Thorstad on Cyclone pitching for the 2019 season: "We return RHP Regan Jastram who will look to be the leader of the staff. We will need the incoming pitcher Sam Patton to step up and provide depth"

Coaches Thorstad on Cyclone hitting & offense for the 2019 season: "We return a handful of players that will need to continue on their success last year. Incoming players will have to get comfortable and produce at the plate."

Coach Thorstad on his Cyclone squad  for the 2019 season: "We look forward to a competitive season in the MCAC Southern Division."

MCAC South No. 2 


Community College


                                       (Bailey Zenk, P-1B)                         (Cleopatra Nystrom, C-OF)

Head Coach: Dave Alto, 9th season at Anoka-Ramsey CC

Overall Record: 165-206

Coaching Staff: Kim Bienfang, Asst. Coach

Top returning players:

Cleopatra Nystrom, Stillwater, MN, C-OF

Ashley Stepaniak, Isanti, MN, SS-C

Bailey Zenk, Blaine, MN, P-1B

Top incoming/new players:

Megan Iverson, Hudson,WI, OF

Sunny Strait, Minnetonka, MN 1B-P

Chloe Vezies, St. Anthony, MN, IF-OF

Anna Wagner, Cokato, MN, IF-OF

Coach Alto on Golden Ram pitching this season: "We return RHP Bailey Zenk who won nine games last year. Sunny Strait, a RHP from Minnetonka,  has been working very hard at stepping up her game."

Coach Alto on Golden Ram hitting & offense this season: " We should have a very good hitting team this year. Cleopatra Nystrom batted.438 last year with 32 stolen bases. While Bailey Zenk batted .431 with 30 RBI's. This group has a lot of potential.

Coach Alto on his Golden Ram squad this season.:  "As is the case every year, we will play many very good teams throughout the season. Our goal is to get better everyday, understand that everything matters and that good isn't good enough."

MCAC South No. 3 

M State-Fergus Falls



(Macky Warne, Park Rapids MN, RHP/IF)

Head Coach: Steve King,10th season at MSFF, 89-153

Top returning player: 

Macky Warne, Park Rapids MN, RHP/IF

Top incoming/new players

Ally Stafki, New York Mills MN, IF

Anna Carlson New York Mills, 1B

Morgan Smith Fargo ND, IF

Rylee Lindquist Perham MN, Catcher

Coach King on Spartan pitching this season: "We do have Macky Warne who threw some and competed well for us last year. It will be a pitching by committee this year until someone steps up."

Coach King on Spartan hitting & offense this season: "With only one returner from 2018 it is a little difficult to gauge how we will hit and what type of team we will be offensively. Hopefully we can run a little and put some pressure on the other team."

Coach King on his Spartan squad this season: "We really need the freshmen to compete immediately in a very difficult division. Hopefully we have good weather and can play our schedule out."

MCAC South No. 4 

Rochester Community & Technical College




(Abby Bauer, SS)

                                (Abi Folkert, 3B-OF)   

Head Coach: Cori Ronnenberg 2nd season at RCTC, 2-21 overall

Coaching Staff: Jaimi Stejskal, Eric Averbek

Top returning players:

Abi Folkert, Kasson, MN, 3B-OF

Abby Bauer, Caledonia, MN, SS

Cassie Voth, Goodhue, MN, OF

Top incoming/new players:

Amber Chapel, Houston, MN, OF

Hailee Stock, Chatfield, MN, P-IF

Makenzie Swanson-Larson, Stewartville, MN, 2B

Katie Pearson, Goodhue, MN, P-IF

Coach Ronnenberg on Yellowjacket pitching this season: "We will have two freshmen pitchers this season. They both have had a great off- season. Hailee Stock will lead us on the mound and Katie Pearson will also see lots of action."

Coach Ronnenberg on Yellowjacket hitting & offense this season: We return Abi Folkert and Abby Bauer who led the team in hitting last season. We have some freshmen that will make an impact in the line-up early in the season.

Coach Ronnenberg on her Yellowjacket squad this season.: "This team has been working hard in the off season, and improves every practice. They look to improve their record from last season, and excited to just play some games outdoors."

MCAC South No. 5 

Ridgewater College 


(#22 Morgan Swenson, 3B)


         (#23 Aby Kienholz, 1B)                


Head Coach: Datriana Jensen, 2nd season at Ridgewater, 10-33 overall

Coaching & Support Staff: Todd Thorstad, Athletic Director; Miranda Swanson, Athletic Trainer


Top returning players: 

Aby Kienholz, Willmar, MN, 1B

Larady Lange, Willmar, MN, U

Morgan Swenson, New London, MN, 3B

Miranda Scherer, Eden Valley, MN, SS

Shauna Wehking, Cosmos, MN, C


Top incoming/new players: 

Brielle Krossman, New London, MN, P

Rylie Wilner, Atwater, MN, OF

Autumn Slowiak, Marshfield, WI, OF

Taylor Rasmusson, Sunburg, MN, IF

Coach Jensen on Warrior pitching for the 2019 season:  "We have four returning starters to the infield. We have added a new pitcher to solidify our infield and a couple quality outfielders."

Coach Jensen on Warrior hitting & offense for 2019 season: "Of our sophomore group, 3 of the 5 batted over .400 and the fourth batted .370. We have high expectations of those returners and hope to see some of the incoming freshman to add the same kind of depth to our hitting lineup."

Coach Jensen on her Warrior squad in the 2019 season: "The Warriors will be going to Florida for spring training this year for the first time in a few years. We are hopeful that this trip will increase our readiness for the regular season and create a deeper team dynamic."

Tie- MCAC South No. 6 

 Mn West / Riverland CC


(MnWest standout Tanner Gunnick - right- takes over the LadyJay dugout)

(New Riverland head coach Amanda Siskow)

Riverland Community College takes the field this year with a new head coach and Minnesota West CTC returns their squad to the softball diamond in 2019 after sitting out last spring. 

Local coaches are at the helm of both squads; Riverland is led by Amanda Siskow, who has experience as an assistant with the Blue Devil volleyball and women's basketball squads.  After a pair of early season contests in the dome at RCTC, Riverland will next take to the field on March 29 in Rosemont, where they will take on MnWest, ARCC and Hibbing. 

MCAC fans and followers will likely recognize the new Minnesota West head coach; former LadyJay Tanner Gunnink takes over the MnWest dugout for 2019.  The former multi-sport athlete at Minnesota West will look to transition from athlete to mentor for the 2019 season.  On the softball diamond for MnWest in 2016-17, Gunnick hit for a .408 average with 15 RBI's and a slugging percentage of .539.   The MnWest squad will debut in 2019 at the Rosemont Dome tournament hosted by fellow MCAC Southern Division squad, Anoka-Ramsey Community College. 












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About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system.  The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions.  The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.