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At eight years old, Tyler Osterloo was dragged from the back seat of the car kicking and screaming to his first tennis lesson. His older sister Laura laughs about the memory today. Last weekend, she and the University of Sioux Falls tennis team took a disappointing second place at the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament after being favored going in. Nonetheless, she capped off a huge sophomore season where she went 8-2 in singles matches, helped her team win the regular season conference title and was named the GPAC player of the week in the final days of the regular season.
Jumping is in Tia Haines' blood as much as it is in her legs. The University of South Dakota junior and White Lake native is having a strong track season, and she said it's partly thanks to her older brother, who is now her coach. But Tia and Colte Haines are not the only tracksters in the family. Tia has four older brothers, three of which won the Class B state title in the long or triple jump during their prep years.
VALLEY SPRINGS -- Behind a dominant defense and a three-hit shutout from sophomore pitcher Collin Moen, the Mitchell Kernels scratched together five runs to defeat Brandon Valley 5-0 Thursday. Moen, who started his first game of the season, faced only 25 total batters, giving up one hit in the first inning, one in the second and one in the bottom of the seventh. He faced the minimum three batters in the second through fifth innings, peppering the strike zone with fastball after fastball.
Each of the past two fall seasons, the Mitchell boys' golf team has had a different coach. Next year, the Kernels will have a different coach for the third straight year. But, the new guy, Sean Moen, is looking to create a little stability in the position. Moen, the district's food service director, was hired as the new boys' varsity coach Monday at the Mitchell school board meeting. Last year when the position was open, Moen came in as the second choice behind former coach Amy Sorrels.
Averaging almost 12 runs per game early this season, the Mitchell baseball team's offense is proving it can play with nearly anyone in the state. The Kernels have scored at least 10 runs in six of their seven games, including a win against Yankton, where they scored a season-high 20 runs. In the team's lone loss, the Kernels still managed to score 10 runs against Sioux Falls O'Gorman. "I expected us to start out hot with the bats," Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said.
On a frigid, windy night at Cadwell Park, Mitchell's Kendall Patrick made sure the game didn't go any longer than necessary. He drove a pitch to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring leadoff-hitter Cade Hearnen to give Mitchell a 10-9 walk-off win over Sioux Falls Lincoln. "I just sat on the curveball and drove it to left field," said Patrick, who recorded his first-ever game-winning hit. "Honestly, I didn't notice the cold," he added.
Dakota Wesleyan University freshman golfer Dani Bellet is making an instant impact her freshman year. Saturday, she took her second tournament win of the year, and on Sunday, she finished runner-up to teammate Kelli Baseley, helping the Tigers win two tournaments in Nebraska in two days. For the second time of the golfing season, Bellet has been named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week. "I knew she'd be an impact player right away, that's part of the reason I recruited her," DWU head golf coach Adam Anderson said.
The Dakota Wesleyan baseball team was awarded for its strong play last week. Starting pitcher Phil Johnson and outfielder Casey Solem were named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Players of the Week for their efforts to help the Tigers defeat NCAA Division I North Dakota State University last week and sweep GPAC rival Briar Cliff. "I think it shows how good the team did last week," Tigers' head coach Steve Gust said.
Former Mitchell tennis standout and current University of Sioux Falls No. 2 singles player, Laura Osterloo has started the season 5-1 in both singles and doubles this year. She has helped the Cougars to their 6-0 Great Plains Athletic Conference record with team wins coming against Dordt, Martin Luther, Northwestern, Concordia University (Neb.), Hastings and Doane. Osterloo's only singles loss this year has come at the hands of Concordia University, and she's only lost once with her doubles partner, Jenny Lewellen, once too. Their doubles loss was to Hastings.
When I was young, I got to meet Minnesota Twins' pitcher Brad Radke. It was on my 10th birthday during a game he pitched. I was always a little chatter box when I was younger, and, coincidentally, Radke's parents were sitting a row or two in front of me during the game. While talking to them, they offered to introduce me to him outside the Dome. At that time, it was the best birthday ever. My eyes were bright as stars for those five minutes I stood next to the Twins' long-time ace. It's a story I'll never forget. I bet there are tons of stories of I met so-and-so when I was younger ...