Osakis’ Oeltjen pens softball commitment to Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Fresh off a standout senior season, Osakis' Grace Oeltjen signs to play softball at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

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Grace Oeltjen (middle) signs her national letter of intent to play Division II softball at Minnesota State University-Moorhead next to Osakis softball head coach John Stigman (left) and assistant coach Brad Zimmel. (Submitted)

Osakis’ Grace Oeltjen just wrapped up an impressive softball season for the Silverstreaks, and her career will take another step forward in college.

On June 14, Oeltjen signed her national letter of intent to play Division II softball at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Osakis’ center fielder said her aspirations to play at the collegiate level grew when she got to high school.

“When I was younger, probably eighth or ninth grade, I decided I wanted to play (in college),” Oeltjen said. “For a while, I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. I decided that if I got the opportunity, I was going to take it so I didn’t regret it.”

Oeltjen found the “perfect fit” in Moorhead. Not only does she love the school, but she will have company. Teammate Tia Dykema committed to play tennis for the Dragons in the fall of 2020.

“Even before I talked to coach, I decided I wanted to go to Moorhead,” Oeltjen said. “They have a really nice campus. It’s a smaller school, and a bunch of my friends are going there too."


In 87 at-bats, Oeltjen recorded 38 hits with six doubles, six triples and three home runs this past season. She also stole 15 bases and recorded a .974 fielding percentage in the outfield with just one error. As a leadoff hitter, she helped lead Osakis to a 15-8 record and three wins in the Section 6AA playoffs.

“It was an awesome season,” Oeltjen said. “We all were having so much fun this season and not taking anything for granted. We had a really close team. It was the closest team I’ve ever been on, and it felt like we were a family.”

Oeltjen believes her ability to get to the next level wouldn’t have been possible without her peers.

“My teammates pushed me every day to be better,” Oeltjen said. “My coaches have taught me everything since I was little. I’m so grateful to have great teammates and coaches.”

MSU-Moorhead competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference against some of the top Division II teams in the country. Augustana University, Minnesota State-Mankato, University of Minnesota-Duluth and Winona State University each had 20-win seasons this spring, including Augustana’s run to the Division II Women’s World Series. Oeltjen is looking forward to doing her part in hopes of growing Dragon softball into a contender.

“I’m excited to play against the good teams,” Oeltjen said. “It’s only going to make me better, and it’ll be a really good experience. I’m looking forward to making memories and hopefully getting some playing time. I can’t wait to make new friendships playing this game.”

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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