Chad Courrier: Been successful spring for MSU athletes

May 26—Minnesota State's athletic success this spring is still ongoing, with the baseball team playing in the Super Regional at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the men's and women's track and field team participating in the national meet, hoping to win a championship.

The women's tennis team finished second in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and advanced to the championship match of the conference tournament for the first time since 2009.

Augustana remains the class of the Northern Sun in tennis, but the Mavericks have seriously closed the gap.

The men's golf team ended up third at the conference tournament, with two players in the top 10. The women's golf team took fourth at the Northern Sun tournament with three players in the top 17.

Spring golf is always something of a crapshoot in Minnesota, and the Mavericks should have a lot of young talent coming back in the fall.

The softball team had another 30-win season, though it ended quickly at the conference tournament. We've become used to a higher level of success for softball, but you can't disregard 31 victories, which would be the envy of many programs in the Northern Sun.

The baseball team had an up-and-down season — more wins than losses, but nothing special. But that changed at the conference tournament, getting to the finals and pushing St. Cloud State to a second championship game.

In the region tournament, the Mavericks averaged nine runs per game to advance to the Super Region. Nathan Culley was masterful on the mound, and Jackson Hauge was the batter nobody wanted to pitch to.

The Mavericks haven't been to the final eight at Cary, North Carolina, since 2014. Why not again in 2023?

The men's and women's track and field teams has become relevant at the national meet. The women's team, who won another conference title, finished third at last season's national championships and are primed to do better.

Denisha Cartwright is a potential national champion is four events, and Makayla Jackson could also end up with gold.

The Mavericks are sending 18 athletes in 19 events, putting the Mavericks in a prime position to win a national championship to share the trophy case with the indoor title from 2022.

The men's team won its 11th straight conference championship and has 11 athletes competing at the national meet. Long jumper James Gilbert and pole vaulter Carson Dittel were the highest-seeded Mavericks, but it's a fast, deep group of athletes heading to Pueblo, Colorado, hoping to come up with their best performances of the season.

It's already been a successful spring for Minnesota State athletes. Seems like it might get even better.

Chad Courrier is the Free Press sports editor. He's at 507-344-6353, or on Twitter @ChadCourrier.