Softball season builds with rivalry

BATTLE: Softball team preapred to face off against rival NDSU, Saturday.

UND and North Dakota State University will face off on the softball diamond Saturday for only the second time in the teams’ history.

“We are all excited and ready,” senior pitcher and infielder Caralyn Chewning said.

With UND’s impressive 15-0 showing against Minnesota State-Moorhead last Sunday, it is going into this weekend’s matchup on a positive note.

Offensively, UND has been on a roll, but NDSU will be the first NCAA Division I team they face this year. It will be a good testament to how the freshmen stand up to the high level of competition.

The two teams faced off last year during the fall season; however, the game did not go as well as UND planned as it walked away with a loss.

“We have something to prove to them to make up for last year. Chewning said. “We want to redeem ourselves.”

Although a strong rivalry exists within UND and NDSU athletic teams, the softball teams have not had many opportunities to play against each other.

The difference between this year and last is not only a few new freshman on the roster, but a new assistant coach as well. Amanda Montalto, previously a volunteer assistant coach, was announced in June by head coach Eric Oakley as the full-time assistant coach for the 2013-2014 season.

She was elevated to this position after 2012-2013 assistant coach Jessica Anhel stepped down for personal reasons.

Montalto came to UND after a remarkable career at Ball State, where she was a four year catcher/designated player and hit more than .400. Montalto has helped the team immensely, especially from an offensive standpoint as the team’s official hitting coach. She not only brings outstanding knowledge, but a contagious passion for the sport.

“All the girls love her,” Chewning said of the new coach.

Oakley also gave his thoughts on his new assistant.

“Amanda brings enthusiasm and passion that is contagious to the team as well as the staff,” Oakley said.

The team’s enthusiasm and skills are all in place. UND has been working hard over the past few weeks, and will prepare to face NDSU.

The two teams will play a doubleheader in Apollo Field at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Allison Moore is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]