ST. PAUL, Minn. (KCAU) — It’s been over 20 years since Buena Vista softball has been a power in the American Rivers Conference, but the Beavers are hoping their standout 2022 season will serve as the team’s turning point for years to come.

The Beavers claimed their first A-R-C regular season championship since 1996 this year, which also helped get them to their first NCAA Regional since 1998. As a recognition of that success, head coach Mandie Nocita was named the conference’s coach of the year, the first BV coach to claim the honor since 1995. Nocita is in her eighth season as Buena Vista’s head coach, and has led her teams to five seasons above .500, entering Regionals with a best 26 wins in 2022.

The Beavers offense’s strength this season has been its consistency, hitting .303 as a team, while picking up a conference-best 72 doubles. Fifth year seenior Carlee Guyett has been the team’s go-to bat, finishing third in the A-R-C with a .426 batting average, leading the conference in doubles (16), while drawing the second most walks (23), and picking up the third most hits (55). Behind her Buena Vista’s offense is led by senior Ashtyn Miller, who had the second most RBI with 35, and freshman Chloe Wells, who had the third most with 34.

In the circle Miller is also the Beavers’ ace, finishing with a team best 2.33 ERA, good for fourth in the conference, to go along with a 12-6 record in 16 starts. As a pitching staff BV gave up the most hits the conference, but only allowed it to count for a 2.84 ERA as a unit.

Buena Vista opens Regional play on Friday at 2:00 when they face Washington of St. Louis.