LAS VEGAS — The Montana State Billings softball team opens the 2018 season with its own Desert Stinger Classic this weekend.
The tournament annually features some of the top NCAA Division II teams in the country.
The Yellowjackets will start with games against Mary and the Academy of Art on Friday. MSUB is also scheduled to play Colorado Christian, Azusa Pacific and Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Humboldt State is the defending tournament champion.
MSUB has 10 returnees from last year's team, led by Heather Tracy, Cameron Cassinelli and Megan Dettling.
Tracy, a rightfielder, hit .458 last season and is the career lead with a .405 batting average. She is already the career leader for steals (39), is one triple shy of the school's record and is approaching the all-time hits record.
Cassinelli drove in a school-record 51 runs last season and is just three home runs shy of becoming MSUB's all-time leader. Dettling was a two-way player last spring, batting .364 with 10 home runs, while earning seven wins as a pitcher. She had 102 strikeouts.