2023 THE Spring Games

THE Spring Games 2023: National Champ Rogers State Headlines D-II Field

THE Spring Games 2023: National Champ Rogers State Headlines D-II Field

Defending national champion Rogers State is among the field of 2023 title contenders taking part in the '23 edition of THE Spring Games.

Feb 8, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
THE Spring Games 2023: National Champ Rogers State Headlines D-II Field

Reigning D-II national champion and the unanimous No. 1-ranked team in the preseason poll, Rogers State, headlines an impressive field at the 2023 edition of THE Spring Games. 

A bevy of top-flight teams from NCAA Div. II embark on the Sunshine State in pursuit of an early-season statement. THE Spring Games feature a variety of 2022 NCAA Tournament teams, as well as breakout hopefuls coming into the 2023 campaign. 

Action in the Div. II portion of THE Spring Games' bracket begins on Feb. 24 and runs into March. Defending national champion Rogers State begins its play in THE Spring Games on March 2 facing fellow 2022 Tournament team, University of Bridgeport. 

The Purple Knights finished 36-16 a season ago, including 17-7 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference a season ago en route to the league title. 

Bridgeport was picked fourth in the CACC preseason poll, but was tied with Caldwell University and Georgian Court for the second-most first-place votes. 

Bridgeport returns plenty of production, starting with breakout freshman-turned-sophomore Madison D'Amato. D'Amato hit .428 in 159 at-bats last season, boasted a .547 slugging percentage and .544 on-base percentage, stole a team-high 12 bases on all 12 of her attempts, and was excellent defensively. 

Bridgeport will be in action at THE Spring Games a few days earlier, including on Feb. 28 in a matchup with 2022 NCAA Tournament participant and GMAC representative Findlay. 

Findlay went 38-16 last season. The Oilers were picked to finish third in this year's GMAC race, but it's essentially a toss-up with rivals Trevecca Nazarene and Ohio Dominican. 

Trevecca Nazarene is also in action at THE Spring Games beginning March against Clarion. The Trojans welcome back outfielder Anna Bennett, last season's top batter with a .379 batting average. She drove in 30 runs on the campaign and hit three home runs, while TNU teammate and catcher Kendall Andrews blasted nine home runs. 

Both could be in the running for GMAC Player of the Year, but Findlay's Avery Shepherd should be tough competition. Shepherd hit 11 homers and batted .392 in 2022. 

Preseason Top 10-ranked national championship hopeful Grand Valley State will also be part of THE Spring Games Div. II bracket. A dynasty in the GLIAC, Grand Valley has the make-up of a team poised to compete for the D-II Women's College World Series. 

RELATED: 2023 GLIAC Preview

Count the GLIAC among the conferences well-represented at THE Spring Games in general. In addition to unanimous preseason favorite Grand Valley, THE Spring Games welcome Ferris State and a talented Saginaw Valley State side. The Cardinals may be the best-equipped contender to GVSU's long-held conference crown. 

Out of the Northeast 10, Franklin Pierce is part of THE Spring Games 2023. Ashley Cangiano returns along with Melissa Konopinski and Lita Vorseth to make up a formidable trio at the plate. Pitcher Sabrina Gonzalez posted an ERA of just over 2 in 2022 and is back to again be Franklin Pierce's ace. 

UIndy, ranked in the Top 10 nationally, looks to build on last season's NCAA Tournament run with its stint at THE Spring Games. The Greyhounds boast one of the most prolific home-run hitters in all of D-II softball, Lexy Rees. Rees bashed 14 round-trippers for UIndy a season ago and looks to add onto that total in 2023. 

Another team appearing in the preseason poll, Washburn University, is off to a strong start in the 2023 campaign. Pitcher Jaycee Ginter earned MIAA Pitcher of the Week through the opening week of the campaign for a performance that includes a pair of 12-strikeout appearances — one of which came against nationally ranked Lubbock Christian. 

The Ichabods' THE Spring Games schedule puts them head-to-head against noteworthy opponents including Bridgeport and Notre Dame College of Ohio.