Softball: Klimek to headline winners for Osakis – Alexandria Echo Press

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OSAKIS — Osakis softball coach John Stigman always felt the Silverstreaks were more talented than a 5-12 record and a 15-seeding in the 6AA Division tournament would indicate that to the last spring.

The Minnesota weather threw a curveball at teams that forced Osakis to play numerous doubleheaders in a short space of time for a program that featured a group of young athletes with the upperclassmen returning.

“What if we hadn’t been inside for seven weeks?” said Stigman. “What if we didn’t have to play half our schedule in six days, 4 doubleheaders? In the end, we play the season we need and our efforts have been there, even if the circumstances have not done us a favor. I’m not looking for excuses. We needed a normal spring for what we had ahead of us and the Minnesota weather didn’t help.

Osakis had a lot to recognize from the team both on and off the pitch. Osakis won an academic gold medal with a team GPA of 3.75 or higher. Shelbe Schmidt, Lexi Klimek, Lara Drum, Averie Mounsdon and Kennedy George won academic honors from all states in an award that is only eligible for seniors.

Schmidt, Klimek, Kennedy George, Drum, Mounsdon, and Maggie Dirkes have also won Prairie Conference Academic Awards for their classroom work.

Klimek won Osakis’ team MVP award, as well as the Silverstreak Award and Gold Glove Award as the team’s best defender. Klimek had a team-high .397 batting average with three doubles, one triple, 16 RBI, 18 runs scored and nine walks.

Maggie Dirkes won the Silver Stick award from the Silverstreaks as the best hitter. She hit a .388 clip with a team-high six doubles, five home runs, 27 RBI, 13 runs scored and 13 walks.

Both Dirkes and Klimek were All-Prairie conference players, while Klimek added an All-Section 6AA award. Schmidt and Hayleigh Niehoff were honorable mention all-conference players.

The 2022 Osakis softball team included, back row, left to right, Emma Drum, Kennedy George, Hayleigh Niehoff, Lara Drum Shelbe Schmidt, middle, Jaclyn Detrich, Josee Hartshorn, Taylor Dirkes, Lexi Kimek, Dari Meyer, Charlee Theischafer, Averie Moundson, Joy Kral, front, Rachel Moore, Maggie Dirkes and Kylee Lebrun.

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Schmidt and Niehoff both had 10 points, while anchoring the team from the pitching circle. Niehoff pitched a team-high 69.1 innings with 58 strikeouts, while Schmidt struck out 14 in 28.1 innings from the rubber.

Taylor Dirkes won Osakis’ latest team award by being named the Most Improved Player. Dirkes had a .378 batting average with a .481 on-base percentage to go along with a double, 15 runs scored and five RBIs.

Niehoff, Kennedy George, Kali Schoeck, Klimek, Schmidt, Drum and Mounsdon are seniors Osakis will have to replace next spring.

“Each senior has left an indelible mark on our program from their freshman year to their last,” Stigman said. “They were involved in building, achieving, and then building again. We appreciated all of their effort and hard work.

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