Tahlequah Daily Press


April 12, 2013

Key stretch of games coming up for Hilderbrandt, NSU

Kelsi Hilderbrandt is closing out her career at Northeastern State with a bang. The proof is in the statistics.

From the moment Hilderbrandt — a 5-foot-6 catcher from Broken Arrow — stepped on campus, she was thrust into the RiverHawks’ lineup. And she was the model of consistency during her freshman, sophomore and junior years.

She sported the same batting average (.276) during both her freshman and sophomore campaigns. She also had 45 and 46 total bases, respectively.

As a junior, she upped her average to .286, but her total bases and runs batted in dipped.

Then, in the fall of 2012, before Hilderbrandt was slated to begin her senior tour of duty, first-year coach Clay Davis — who took over for Dee Gerlach — had a heart-to-heart with Hilderbrandt about her approach in the batter’s box.

“In the fall, we saw some issues with her swing,” Davis said. “We really challenged her from the end of fall season up until the spring season to make some adjustments that she had not been normally accustomed to making, like learning to hit the ball the other way with power.

“And boy, she came back after Christmas break and really worked hard, and she’s made those adjustments for us.”

Again, the proof is in the numbers.

Hilderbrandt is NSU’s second-leading hitter with a .405 average, and if she continues the pace that she’s on, she will have set career marks in runs batted in, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases.

She has also settled into the clean-up spot in the batting order after spending some time in the 8-hole early on this season.

“We had her hitting down in the 8-hole — in the second clean-up spot — so she could see some good pitches to hit down there,” Davis said. “Part of our mentality with her is to get her to be more aggressive, and we knew down in that part of the order, she’d get some good pitches to hit.”

To Hilderbrandt, hitting is hitting no matter where she’s penciled in on the lineup card.

“It is different down there,” said Hilderbrandt, who leads NSU in multi-hit games this season. “But then, you need people down there, too. But is different going from the middle to the end to the middle.”

Also boosting Hilderbrandt’s impact this season has been Crowder Community College transfer Navada Campos. The 5-foot-9 junior from Pryor has helped spell Hilderbrandt behind the plate, allowing Hilderbrandt to take a periodic breaks while still hitting in the designated-hitter spot.

“The past three years, I have pretty much caught everything,” Hilderbrandt said. “And with her coming in, it’s helped a lot.”

Davis said having two capable catchers is good problem to have.

“We have two quality catchers — well, really, three with Lindsea Ross in right field,” Davis said. “With Navada and Kelsi, they’re interchangeable behind the plate; they’re both really good defensively. They both brings different things to the table with the way they control games.”

Despite being a team leader, Hilderbrandt admitted she likes to keep quiet at one of the most vocal positions on the field.

“I am probably different than a lot of catchers out there,” Hilderbrandt said. “I don’t speak a lot or say much. Like Navada, she’s very vocal and I’m completely different. A lot of coaches might not like that, but I talk when I need to.”

If NSU goes 6-0 over the next three days, Hilderbrandt is likely to break her silence and do some rejoicing. Starting today, in a doubleheader against Washburn at RiverHawk Park, NSU begins a three-day stretch that includes doubleheaders against Emporia State on Saturday and Central Oklahoma on Sunday.

“Very important,” Hilderbrandt said. “...We need these wins. They’re very important.”

NSU will take on Washburn after not having played since April 5 when it swept Lincoln on the road. However, the RiverHawks (16-16) are sporting a six-game winning streak, which has them enjoying a 8-4 record in MIAA play and a fifth-place spot in the league standings.

“We just have to keep playing well,” said Davis, whose team has outscored opponents 49-5 over the past five games. “We’ll play 14 games over the next nine or 10 days, and it’s just a matter of keeping momentum in our clubhouse.”

MIAA glance (top 8)

Fort Hays State  13-1

Central Okla.  11-1

Emporia St.  13-3

Mo. Western  10-4

Northeastern St.  8-4

Truman  8-6

Lindenwood  8-8

NW Mo. St.  7-7

Upcoming NSU games

April 12 - Washburn

April 13 - Emporia St.

April 14 - @ Central Okla.

April 16 - @ Bacone

April 18 - Neb. Kearney (at Bolivar, Mo.)

April 19 - @ Truman

April 20 - @ Lindenwood

* All matchups are doubleheaders

Text Only
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp