The Valley City State University softball team announced two signings for the 2014 season, and at least one of them will be familiar to local fans.
Maple Valley High School senior Cassie Pautz will be joining the Vikings, along with Lindsey White, who is entering her sophomore season at Itasca (Minn.) Community College.
Pautz, who also plays volleyball and basketball for Maple Valley, will play her senior season on the diamond for Enderlin/Maple Valley this spring. In June, she contributed to the team's Class B state championship, the first in state history.
"I'm extremely happy that Cassie is joining our Viking Softball family next season," VCSU coach Chad Slyter said. 'Cassie has been coming to our spring clinics for a number of years and I'm familiar with her and her high school team. She's an outstanding student-athlete and has a great family. I believe Cassie is going to do very well at Valley City State and in our softball program."
In the championship run, Pautz hit for a .408 batting average including hitting six doubles, two triples and a home run. Pautz also collected 19 RBI and scored 22 runs while stealing 11 bases in 12 attempts. Pautz was an All-Region selection
An all-around athlete, Pautz has also excelled on the basketball and volleyball teams at Maple Valley. She has been a Maple River All-Conference Team selection in basketball as a sophomore and junior and was tabbed to the volleyball All Conference Team in her last three seasons. Pautz has also been a captain in both sports as a junior and a senior.
Pautz is also an active member of organizations in other areas. She has been a four-year member of Students Against Destructive Decisions and was chosen as the 2012 Maple Valley Homecoming Queen.
White, originally from Menahga, Minn.,will transfer into VCSU next season to start her junior year.
White is in her second year at Itasca, where she pitched to a 17-7 record last season, helping the ICC Vikings reach an overall record of 39-13 on their way to a berth in the NJCAA Division III National Softball Tournament.
At ICC, White struck out 156 batters in 148 innings pitched and gave up only 26 walks while sporting a 1.23 earned run average. Overall, she was the sixth-ranked pitcher in NJCAA Division III softball in the nation. White also hit for a .358 batting average with 19 RBI and a .469 on base percentage. For her efforts, White was named to the Region 13B All-Tournament Team.
White attended Menahga High School where she excelled in softball, basketball and volleyball. She was a three time All-Conference selection in softball and was selected to the 2010 All State Tournament Team as well as being an All-State Player selection in 2011. White was selected as Menahga High School's Most Valuable Player in each of her last three seasons and was also the Conference Most Valuable Player in her senior season.
She has also played volleyball for Itasca.
"Lindsey is going to have an immediate impact on our pitching staff when she comes to Valley City State," Slyter said. 'She pitched against us last year in a junior varsity game and our coaching staff came away impressed with her ability. She throws hard, locates very well and will have pitched in possibly two national tournaments. That experience will be valuable for her in her next Viking uniform. I expect great things from her in the circle beginning next year."