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Softball: Klimek headlines award winners for Osakis

Senior finishes off career with three team honors.

Osakis softball
Osakis softball team award winners are, left to right, Lexi Klimek, MVP, Silverstreak Award, Gold Glove; Maggie Dirkes, Silver Stick; and Taylor Dirkes, Most Improved.
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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-seed in the Section 6AA Tournament would indicate this past spring.

Minnesota weather threw a curveball at teams that forced Osakis to play many doubleheaders in a short period of time for a program that was implementing a group of young athletes in with the returning upperclassmen.

“What if we had not been indoors for seven weeks?” Stigman said. “What if we did not have to play half our schedule in six days, 4 doubleheaders? In the end, we play the season we have to and our efforts were there, even though the circumstances did not do us any favors. I am not making excuses. We needed a normal spring for what we had in front of us and Minnesota weather did not help us.”

Read more Osakis Silverstreaks coverage from the Echo Press
Osakis, WCA-A-B-E, B-H-V-PP, and Minnewaska all earned at least one win in duals on Tuesday.

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

Schmidt, Klimek, Kennedy George, Drum, Mounsdon and Maggie Dirkes also earned Prairie Conference academic awards for their work in the classroom.

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

Maggie Dirkes earned the Silverstreaks’ Silver Stick Award as their top hitter. She hit at a .388 clip with a team-high six doubles, five home runs, 27 RBI’s, 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.

Osakis softball
The 2022 Osakis softball team featured, back, 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.
Contributed photo

Both Schmidt and Niehoff drove in 10 runs, along with anchoring the team from the pitching circle. Niehoff threw a team-high 69.1 innings with 58 strikeouts, while Schmidt struck out 14 in 28.1 innings from the rubber.

Taylor Dirkes earned Osakis’ final 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 one double, 15 runs scored and five RBI’s.

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

“Each senior has left an indelible mark on our program from their first year to last,” Stigman said. “They have been a part of building, succeeding, then building again. We appreciated all their efforts and all of their hard work.”

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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