by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Seven former Elk River athletes played college softball this spring, including Kayla Boward, who was MIAC player of the year, and Dannie Skrove, a starter for the Minnesota Gophers.
Boward, a junior infielder at St. Thomas, was MIAC batting champion with a .567 average along with 19 runs, 22 RBI, 10 doubles and two homers in conference play as the Tommies went 25-0. She hit .467 overall (54-for-116) with 37 runs, 38 RBI, and 13 doubles, while fielding at a .929 clip. The Tommies were 42-6 overall and took second in the region, just missing a nationals berth.
Skrove, former Elk shortstop who started in center field her first two seasons with the Gophers, started all 55 games at second base this year when last year’s regular elected not to return. Skrove had her best offensive season with a .248 average (34-for-137), 13 RBI, and 20 runs, while leading the Big Ten with 16 sacrifice bunts. She had just 11 errors in 191 chances. The Gophers, under new coach Jessica Allister, finished 9-11 in the Big Ten and 31-24 overall.
Hannah Sweet, freshman at Wisconsin-Stout, batted .304 with three homers and 27 RBI, starting all 40 games for the Blue Devils (17-23). She caught a few games but was mostly a designated hitter this year.
Chelsi Winskowski, junior outfielder at Augustana, batted .221 (23-for-104) with 12 RBI and 17 runs in 56 games, including 35 she was a starter. The Vikings were 50-11, ranked No. 11 in the nation, and missed nationals by one game.
Jamie Klein, junior pitcher/third baseman at Wisconsin-River Falls, had a 5-6 pitching record and 4.80 ERA, while batting .217 (13-for-60) with two homers and 11 RBI. Her team was 28-15.
Katie Erickson, freshman at St. Cloud State, hit .150 ( 6-for-40) with two RBI as a designated hitter. Erickson missed some winter time with a concussion.
Ashley Matthys, sophomore outfielder at St. Catherine’s, hit .205 (9-for-44) and had just three errors in 33 chances. Her team was 7-30-1.
Another former Elk, first baseman C.J. Rice, had been playing for Augsburg, but suffered a concussion earlier this year when a mat fell on her head, and she was not cleared to play this spring.