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Catching up with former area athletes: Cooney earns top-15 finish at NSIC tourney

University of Sioux Falls junior golfer JJ Cooney admires his shot during the Polar Vortex Triangular on March 8 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (USF Sports Info)

University of Sioux Falls golfer JJ Cooney capped his junior season with a 13th-place finish at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament on Saturday.

The former Andes Central/Dakota Christian standout finished the three-round tournament with a 14-over-par 227. Cooney shot rounds of 78, 72 and 77, giving him 14 rounds of 75 strokes or better this season. He had 27 pars and eight birdies, as well.

Cooney's performance helped the Cougars finish fifth in the team standings at 917 strokes after back-to-back eighth-place finishes in Cooney's first two seasons. Winona State carded an 870 to win the conference tournament.

Michels records four hits in last three games

Mitchell native Sam Michels has a three-game hitting streak for the University of Sioux Falls baseball team.

The redshirt freshman went 1-for-2 in back-to-back games against Upper Iowa Friday and Saturday, then on Tuesday, had a 2-for-4 outing and drove in a run against South Dakota State University. Michels had three stolen bases against Upper Iowa, too.

The catcher has raised his batting average to .253 to go with eight RBIs and nine stolen bases in 25 games. Defensively, Michels has made just one error in 160 chances, giving him a .994 fielding percentage.

USF (10-32, 8-20 NSIC) plays a 1:30 p.m. Saturday doubleheader at Winona State.

Sebern posts outdoor-best time

South Dakota State University's Allison Sebern notched a pair of top-10 finishes at the Red Raider Open on Friday and Saturday.

In the Burke native's first 200-meter dash of the outdoor season, she took eighth in 26.46 seconds. The junior followed it by being one of eight runners to break one minute in the 400-meter dash, posting a season-best 59.92 seconds.

SDSU competes in the Drake Relays today through Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Laetsch, Mary eye postseason run

Salem native Rachael Laetsch and the University of Mary softball team are looking to capture a conference tourney bid this weekend.

The Marauders are currently 10th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings as the regular season ends this weekend. The double-elimination tournament is May 2-4 in Rochester, Minnesota, and will field the top 10 teams in the final NSIC regular season standings.

A sophomore catcher/outfielder, Laetsch is batting .211 and has eight RBIs on the season. Laetsch leads the NSIC in catching runners stealing (14). She has 28 hits, five doubles and one triple.

The Marauders (21-25, 12-14) will play at Winona State and Upper Iowa on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.