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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 ...
The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors met Tuesday, discussing and voting on numerous proposed changes throughout high school athletics. The biggest change came when the board voting on reinstating the Class B district wrestling tournament. Last year, the board voted unanimously to eliminate the first round of the postseason in wrestling, but this year it was unanimous to reinstate the district tournament. "We went pretty much by the advisory committee in everything," said Curt Hart, Vice Chairman of the board of directors.
Despite giving up a seven-run inning, leaving 14 runners on base and recording five defensive errors, the Mitchell baseball team still had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Kernels' undefeated season was lost Monday on a chilly, windy day at Cadwell Park with a 12-10 defeat to Sioux Falls O'Gorman. Down by two with two runners on, No. 9 hitter Steve Jackson hit a rope to right field that was caught to end the game. The loss was Mitchell's first of the year, but midway through the game it looked as if it would be a lot worse than two runs.
When it was announced that the University of South Dakota would join the Summit League on Wednesday, South Dakota State University alumni thought of one thing. A basketball rivalry that dates back to 1889 will be renewed starting in the 2011-2012 season when South Dakota's two biggest colleges square off for the first time since 2004. At a press conference Wednesday, USD accepted an invitation by the Summit League to join the now 11-team conference. "It really is a huge step," USD Athletic Director Joel Nielson said.
Mitchell rallied from an 8-1 deficit and scored 10 runs in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday at Drake Field, helping it to a 20-13 win over Yankton. The Kernels had 19 hits in the game, including an RBI single in the third by Brett Young that gave Mitchell a 9-8 lead. Yankton came back and tied the game at 11 in the fourth, but Mitchell's bats stayed hot, scoring four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth. "Usually it takes the offense a little while early in the year, but that hasn't been the case for us," Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said.
After an injury in softball during her sophomore year of high school, Wagner's Mary Kocer made a decision that affected the rest of her life. She decided to specialize in one sport -- volleyball. Last fall, Kocer helped lead the Red Raiders to the Class A state volleyball championship, and in January, she signed to the University of Sioux Falls to play collegiately. "I didn't want to hurt my shoulder in something else, and I didn't want to ruin my chances of playing in college," Kocer said. "I knew that's what I wanted to pursue and I went after it." Kocer strays from the norm.
To most high school teens, role models tend to be superstar sports figures like Lebron James, Peyton Manning or Tiger Woods. To many Avon residents and athletes, Danny Sternhagen was that superstar role model. Sternhagen died March 20 at the age of 45 after fighting Muscular Dystrophy for nearly his entire life. He was diagnosed at the age of three, and he grew up watching his older brother Steve shine in all high school sports. At times, this caused jealousy and stubbornness, Steve said.
As the snow slowly melts, the Mitchell baseball team is impatiently waiting to get outside. When practice first started, the Kernels and head coach Luke Norden got an early gift and were able to start the season with outdoor practice. They were also able to hit real baseballs on the field. After the recent snowstorms, Drake and Cadwell fields have been covered with snow for the past week, forcing the team indoors. "There are some good benefits to practicing indoors and then there are some negatives," Norden said. "So you have to look at the positive.
A promising Mitchell baseball team has eight of its nine starters back from last season, yet its one loss leaves a gaping hole in the team. Starting shortstop and the leading hitter on the team, Jason Schmidt, graduated last year, and sixth-year head coach Luke Norden has been working on finding a patch to heal Schmidt's absence. The Mount Marty freshman hit .429 for Mitchell last year and pitched 30 innings -- second on the team -- when he wasn't showing off his strong defensive skills at short.