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“K”niesche pitches Jacks to another NCAA Tournament

Tori has been dominant since arriving in Brookings
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 11:26 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -From the age of eight Tori Kniesche wanted to be a Division One college softball pitcher and got a sign right away that it might happen. “One time I think I broke a window just because I was outside throwing rocks pitching them. So that was kind of fun!” Kniesche says.

When it came time to start throwing softballs Wayne Nebraska native attended camps held by then Wayne State coach Krista Wood who moved on to South Dakota State in 2014, and was eager to bring Tori aboard seven years later. “She just has that mentality. She competes every pitch and she doesn’t really let anything phase her. She’s such a team player and she’s got everyone’s support behind her. She’s a great kid and works hard.” Wood says.

“We kind of built a relationship there and, when I was doing my recruiting process, I loved how small of a community and how well the community supported the team.” Tori says.

Since coming to SDSU Kniesche has gone from breaking windows to breaking down batters. “I throw a screwball, curve ball, change-up and rise ball. When my speed is down I try spinning it a lot more and when my speed is up I can just blow it past them.” Kniesche says.

In two seasons she’s won 37 games, thrown five no-hitters, set a single-game program record with 20 strikeouts, and has 413 for her career, just 64 away from the program record. “She’s great! I mean she does a lot of work for us and I totally trust her up there. She makes our team look so good.” SDSU Sophomore Outfielder Emma Osmundson says.

And she’s been at her best with the the Jackrabbits season on the line, starting in winner-take-all Summit League Tournament championship games.

Each time she’s pitched State into the NCAA Tournament, her masterpiece coming yesterday with a Summit League tournament record 16 punch outs and one hit shutout victory. “This was awesome! It was a really great moment. I love the pressure, I embrace it.” Tori says.

After all, if the Jackrabbits are going to take down some of college softball’s Goliaths in the Big Dance, it helps to have a good rock thrower!

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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