Members of the 2019 Decorah varsity softball team are (front, l-r) Dahlyn Headington, Isabel Ihde, Mya Numedahl, Maddie Clement, Ella Kittelson, Emma Johnson; (middle) Kallie Mincks, Madison Tollefson, Abby Moen, Haley Gossman, MaKenzie Schnitzler, Cora Syverson, Bryar Duwe; (back) Jane Murphy, Ashley Schneberger, Avery Shelton, Ambria Pipho, Katherine Bruening, Abby Milburn, Lydia Ihde and Ellie Luzum. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)
Members of the 2019 Decorah varsity softball team are (front, l-r) Dahlyn Headington, Isabel Ihde, Mya Numedahl, Maddie Clement, Ella Kittelson, Emma Johnson; (middle) Kallie Mincks, Madison Tollefson, Abby Moen, Haley Gossman, MaKenzie Schnitzler, Cora Syverson, Bryar Duwe; (back) Jane Murphy, Ashley Schneberger, Avery Shelton, Ambria Pipho, Katherine Bruening, Abby Milburn, Lydia Ihde and Ellie Luzum. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)

Adaptability will be key for the Decorah softball team this season, with athletes able to play a variety of positions and gain valuable experience with no seniors on the roster. 

“It’s our biggest strength as we build off each game and practice,” said third-year head coach Jill Christofferson. “We are looking for improvement day in and day out.”


Remembering 2018

Last season, the Vikings featured five letter winners spearheading the efforts on the field, with a host of freshmen and sophomores looking to find a spot.

The Class 4A Region 8 quarterfinal was the end of the road for Decorah as the Vikes fell 5-3 to Center Point-Urbana. Two runs in the first inning gave CPU an early advantage before adding a run in the second to hold a 3-0 lead. Viking Avery Shelton hit a three-run bomb to erase the deficit in the top of the fourth before CPU responded in kind with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to net a 5-3 advantage and eventually the win.

Ending the season with 4-14 NEIC and 9-20 overall records, the Vikes hit .261 with a .359 on-base percentage and .342 slugging mark. They had 10 home runs and 28 doubles to go with 143 runs scored. The pitching staff produced a 7.59 earned run average (ERA) with 136 strikeouts.

Graduating off the team were Katie Nimrod (second team all-conference), Hailey Nierling (second team all-conference), Tori Miller (honorable mention all-conference), Lizzie Hartman and Alea Lutkenhaus.


Back strong

The Vikings return six letter winners — Ambria Pipho (second team all-conference), Maddie Clement, Emma Johnson, Ella Kittelson, Mya Numedahl and Avery Shelton.

Through seven games, Decorah is 4-4 overall and 3-4 in the NEIC.

Kittelson is pacing the Vikings, hitting .579 with a .680 on-base percentage and .632 slugging mark. She has a team-high 11 hits with a double and three RBI. Pipho is currently hitting .273 with an on-base percentage of .360 with six hits and four RBI.

Shelton, a sophomore, has handled most of the pitching duties. She has a 2.74 ERA with 37 strikeouts. Clement has made two appearances on the mound and has posted a 3.36 ERA with six Ks thus far.

Rounding out the team is junior Katherine Bruening; sophomores Isabel Ihde, Cora Syverson, Lydia Ihde, Abby Moen; freshmen Ellie Luzum, Kallie Mincks, Ashley Schneberger and eighth-grader Bryar Duwe.

“With graduating five seniors last season, we are looking forward to seeing younger players fill those shoes and step into some new leadership roles,” said Coach Christofferson. “We are all excited to keep the season going and see what our potential is going to be as a young team in a strong conference.”