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Softball Player Makes DCTC History

Amanda Orrell named Blue Knights first softball All-American

AmandaOrrell_2014game

Sophomore Amanda Orrell, an outfielder on the Blue Knights fastpitch softball team at Dakota County Technical College, was named a 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Second Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Orrell is a 2012 graduate of Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, Calif., and led the Blue Knights with a .531 batting average and .609 on-base average.

Head Coach Tom Cross (left) and Amanda Orrell (center) during 2013-2014 season.

Head Coach Tom Cross (left) and Amanda Orrell (center) during 2013-2014 season.

Blue Knights Fastpitch Softball Head Coach Tom Cross reported that Orrell is the first All-American in the history of the fastpitch softball program at DCTC and only the eighth All-American to come out of the college’s six athletics programs.

“Being named to the All-American Second Team by the NFCA is a very prestigious honor,” said Cross. “Amanda has been a steadfast member of our softball program’s rise at DCTC and in the region. There are about two thousand players at the NJCAA Division II two-year college level—and we had one of the best.”

Cross explained that Orrell started last season driving the ball and hitting with power. “In my opinion, Amanda was the best leadoff hitter in the country,” he said. “She raised havoc on the bases from the very beginning.”

amanda-orrellThe Blue Knights fastpitch softball team just completed their second season at DII. They won the regional championship in 2013 and finished as runner-up in May 2014. Read more about the team’s success in the Real Magazine article Softball Posts 2nd Consecutive 21-Win Season.

In fall 2014, Amanda Orrell is transferring to Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., and will play softball for the Pipers.

For more information about Blue Knights fastpitch softball at Dakota County Technical College, contact:
  • Tom Cross
    Fastpitch Softball Head Coach
    651-423-8677
DCTC Blue Knights Fastpitch Softball Team 2013-2014

DCTC Blue Knights Fastpitch Softball Team 2013-2014

DCTC Men’s Baseball Wins Regional Tourney

DCTC baseball defeats Williston State 10–5 in final; drops two games to Southeast CC in Districts

DCTC Blue Knights Baseball 2014

DCTC Blue Knights Baseball 2014

The Dakota County Technical College baseball team (21–14) defeated the Williston State College Tetons (21–19) 10–5 Sunday, May 11, 2014, to win the NJCAA Region 13 Tournament at Afeldt Stadium on the Williston campus in Williston, N.D. To reach the final and their second consecutive Region 13 championship, the Blue Knights rolled over the Bismarck State College Mystics 12–4 on Friday, May 9, and then slammed the Tetons by the same score on Saturday, May 10.

In the first game against the Mystics, Chase Lonetti, sophomore, CF, of Woodbury, Minn., went three for five at the plate, singling in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings, and scored two runs. Sophomore Tyler Smith (3–0) of Brooklyn Park, Minn., got the win, throwing seven strikeouts while allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks over seven and two thirds innings.

Freshman Victor Marin, C, of Miami, Fla., went four for five and scored three runs, doubling in the sixth inning and singling in the second, fourth and ninth innings in the second game against the Tetons. Sophomore Joel Klinkhammer (4–1) of Lakeville, Minn., got the win, striking out 13 while allowing four runs on nine hits over six innings.

The Blue Knights put together 14 hits in the final, going ahead 10–1 by the seventh inning. Sophomore Chris Gaynor, 2B, of Longwood, Fla., got three hits at five at bats with 1 RBI. Chase Lonetti went two for three, including a home run, scoring twice and getting three RBIs. Sophomore Josh Pierce (5–2) of Minneapolis, Minn., got the win, striking out five while allowing one run on four hits. Sophomore Roy Hotvedt of Perth, Australia, got the save.

Coach Trent Seaman reported that DCTC starting pitchers, Tyler Smith, Joel Klinkhammer and Josh Pierce, pitched full games. “Because our starting pitching was so good, we were in great position even if we lost a game with so many fresh bodies still left to come in and pitch,” Seaman said. “I can’t say enough about the job they did. They really competed; they pounded the strike zone, and kept their pitch counts down, things we have been preaching all year.”

Seaman added that the Knights received offensive performances from everyone in the lineup, scoring 34 runs in three games. “I don’t want to point any individual out, because everyone had a great weekend at the plate,” he said. “We don’t ever talk about scoring runs, but really preach putting together quality at bats. If we put quality at bats together, the runs will come, and, boy, did they come in bunches this weekend. There was no question our players stayed focused and committed.”

DCTC advanced to the NJCAA North Plains District Championship May 17–18, 2014, hosted by Region 11 champion, Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa. Joining the Blue Knights and Black Hawks in the Districts were the Southeast Community College Storm from Beatrice, Neb.

DCTC defeated Southeastern 7–3 in the first game on Saturday, but lost to Southeast 8–5 in the second game. On Sunday, DCTC lost to Southeast 4–3. Southeastern beat Southeast 9–4 in the final game to move on to the 2014 NJCAA DII Baseball World Series at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Okla., May 24–31.

For more information about Blue Knights baseball at Dakota County Technical College, contact:

Softball Posts 2nd Consecutive 21-Win Season

Blue Knights win two in Region 13 tourney before losing to Williston State

The Blue Knights fastpitch softball team at Dakota County Technical College finished the 2013–2014 season with a 21–9 record, matching a team record for wins. The team went 21–11 last year. The Knights compete in NJCAA Division II softball.

DCTC traveled to Bismarck, N.D., for the NJCAA Region 13 Fastpitch Softball Tournament May 3–4, 2014, at the MDU Resources Community Bowl. The Knights took their first two games, downing the Lake Region State College Royals 14–4 and the Williston State College Tetons 8–1. The Tetons (29–15) went on to defeat DCTC 2–12 and 4–12 to advance to the District F Championship Series in Columbus, Neb.

DCTC Blue Knights Fastpitch Softball 2013-2014

DCTC Blue Knights Fastpitch Softball 2013-2014

In 30 games, DCTC batted .355 as a team, scoring 178 runs with a .437 on base percentage and .516 slugging percentage. Sophomore Amanda Orrell (1B, CF) led the team in batting with a .568 average. Sophomore Kendall Palfi (P,1B) went 14–5 on the season with a 3.24 ERA.

Head Coach Tom Cross was pleased with his players and their performance. “We had a terrific season,” Cross said. “Our team was mostly sophomores who enjoyed a lot of success over the course of two years. Next year will be a rebuilding process, but we do have outstanding talent coming into our program.”

DCTC vs Century College | @home April 19, 2014 | 11–1 Blue Knights

 

Player spotlights

Amanda Orrell

Amanda Orrell

Amanda Orrell
Age: 20
Hometown: Santa Maria, Calif.
Residence now: Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Program area: Individualized Studies
Degree: A.S.
Year: Sophomore
Position: 1B, CF
Number: 3

A 2012 graduate of Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, Calif., the largest city in Santa Barbara County with population topping 110,000, Amanda Orrell played fours years of varsity softball for the PVHS Panthers. Amanda was featured in the Santa Maria Times article, “Panthers’ distinguished hitter: Amanda Orrell an all-around star on the softball field,” where her coach called her “…one of the best pure hitters I’ve ever had.” She hit .529 that year was named to the First-Team All-PAC 7 League.

Amanda chose DCTC for the chance to play for the Blue Knights. She likes that DCTC is a smaller college and all her classes are in the same building. Her program, Individualized Studies, allowed her to custom-design her courses to help meet her long-term educational goal of achieving a baccalaureate degree while giving her more opportunities to explore her career options. Her first love is fastpitch softball.

“I like the hitting,” said Amanda, who made the NFCA NJCAA Division II All-Region Midwest Region Team in 2013. “I like being the lead-off power hitter. I like how softball is a team sport. Everybody’s producing and getting their job done. We are always picking each other up and staying positive.”

 

Amanda Orrell 2013–2014 stats

DCTC vs CenturyBatting

  • Games: 26
  • Average: .568 *
  • Runs: 37
  • Hits: 50
  • Doubles: 15
  • Triples: 2
  • HR: 4
  • RBI: 22
  • On base percentage: .500 **
  • Slugging percentage: .700 ***

* 2nd in NJCAA Region 13
** 1st in NJCAA Region 13
*** 13th in NJCAA Region 13

Head Coach Tom Cross: “Amanda Orrell was a key player in our success especially as our lead-off hitter. She is a combination of speed and power.”

For all 2013–2014 statistics, visit:
NJCAA Softball: Dakota County Technical College

Amanda’s plans for after DCTC include attending either Mayville State University in Mayville, N.D., or the University of Jamestown, in Jamestown, N.D. Her major of choice is psychology with an emphasis in social work. She would like to play NAIA softball for either the Comets or Jimmies. Amanda is looking forward to a career in social work after earning her bachelor’s degree.

Kendall Palfi

Kendall Palfi

Kendall Palfi
Age: 21
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.
Residence now: Farmington, Minn.
Program area: Individualized Studies
Degree: A.S.
Year: Sophomore
Position: P, 1B
Number: 13

Kendall Palfi was active in a number of roles on the DCTC campus, earning recognition as the 2014 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student of the Year. Kendall served as a student ambassador and secretary of the Student Senate. She participated in Leadership from the Heart, an intense two-day leadership training seminar offered to DCTC student leaders, and attended Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) leadership conferences.

A transfer student from the University of North Dakota, Kendall chose DCTC to advance her education and play fastpitch softball. She pitched two seasons for the Blue Knights and was named team captain both years. She earned NJCAA Region 13 MVP in 2013 and also made the NJCAA All-Region 13 and All-Tournament teams.

“I really love the pressure of pitching,” Kendall said. “I enjoy the camaraderie of a team sport. We can generate hits through the entire lineup and everyone steps up when needed.”

 

Kendall Palfi 2013–2014 stats

DCTC vs CenturyPitching

  • Games started: 19
  • Record: 14–5
  • Innings pitched: 121
  • Strikeouts: 117
  • ERA: 3.24

Batting

  • Games: 24
  • Average: .414
  • Runs: 17
  • Hits: 29
  • Doubles: 9
  • Triples: 1
  • HR: 3
  • RBI: 16
  • On base percentage: .500
  • Slugging percentage: .700

Head Coach Tom Cross: “Kendall Palfi was the backbone of our team. She is very positive player who led us with her arm and her bat.”

For all 2013–2014 statistics, visit:
NJCAA Softball: Dakota County Technical College

A 2011 graduate of Lakeville South High School, Kendall is making plans to transfer to the University of Arizona in the fall to pursue a B.A. in Communication and the chance to play NCAA softball for the Wildcats. In her free time, she enjoys working on Plymouth muscle cars, including a 1970 Superbird, a 1967 Barracuda and a 1968 GTX convertible.

For more information about Blue Knights fastpitch softball at Dakota County Technical College, contact:
  • Tom Cross
    Fastpitch Softball Head Coach
    651-423-8677

 

2014 Dave Schroeder Outstanding Student Awards

Kendall Palfi and Kayla Frandrup honored for campus contributions

Former DCTC President Dave Schroeder

Former DCTC President Dave Schroeder

Each year Dakota County Technical College recognizes outstanding graduates in honor of the college’s former president, Dave Schroeder, who served from 1970–1999. Students are nominated by faculty and staff for their involvement in college initiatives and activities, academic performance and service to the community. This year’s winners are Kayla Frandrup, a 2014 graduate of the Health Care Technician program, and Kendall Palfi, a 2014 graduate of the Individualized Studies program. Kayla and Kendall’s hard work and dedication are an inspiration to their classmates and future DCTC students.

KAYLA FRANDRUP
Class of 2014
Health Care Technician A.A.S. degree | Medical Receptionist certificate
Kayla Frandrup

Kayla Frandrup

Kayla FrandrupA native of Farmington, Minn., Kayla Frandrup is graduating with a Health Care Technician A.A.S. degree and a Medical Receptionist certificate. Kayla was fully engaged on the DCTC campus in many capacities. As a student ambassador, she consistently displayed a strong work ethic and positive attitude, assisting during Tuesday Campus Visits, the College Open House, and New Student Advising and Registration Sessions. An enthusiastic member of the Student Senate, she served as treasurer and as an integral member of the Student Life Budget Committee.

Kayla FrandrupAs vice president of the Campus Lions Club, she coordinated numerous club activities, including the Bridging Bed Race, Blindness Awareness Week, participation in the Polar Plunge, and raising money for gas cards for DCTC students.

Kayla played two seasons on the Blue Knights fastpitch softball team as a utility player, serving as team captain her first year. She volunteers in the Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. She has participated in countless search-and-rescue missions and has completed training to be a scanner, observer and copilot. She is currently working on obtaining her pilot’s license. She wants experience working in a hospital setting on her path to earning a bachelor’s degree in health care management.

For more information about the Health Care Technician program  at DCTC, contact:
For more information about Blue Knights fastpitch softball at DCTC, contact:
  • Tom Cross
    Fastpitch Softball Coach
    651-423-8677
To learn more about Student Life at DCTC, contact:
KENDALL PALFI
Class of 2014
Individualized Studies A.S. degree
Kendall Palfi

Kendall Palfi

Kendall PalfiGraduating with her A.S. degree in Individualized Studies, Kendall Palfi from Lakeville, Minn., was active in a number of roles on the DCTC campus. As a student ambassador, Kendall provided campus tours to new students, coordinated Student Life game days, helped coordinate weekly Mobile Pantry appointments, and assisted at Student Life fairs and other campus events.

Kendall served as Student Senate secretary and was always ready to give a helping hand at any Student Senate or campus activity, including attending Minnesota State College Student Association leadership conferences.

Kendall PalfiKendall pitched two seasons for the DCTC Blue Knights fastpitch softball team and was named team captain both years. She earned NJCAA Region 13 MVP in 2013 and also made the NJCAA All-Region 13 and All-Tournament teams. She participated in Leadership from the Heart, an intense two-day leadership training seminar offered to student leaders at DCTC. She bagged groceries at Cub Foods to help raise funds for the Special Olympics.

A 2011 graduate of Lakeville South High School, Kendall is making plans to transfer to the University of Arizona in the fall to pursue a B.A. in Communication. In her free time, she enjoys working on Plymouth muscle cars, including a 1970 Superbird, a 1967 Barracuda and a 1968 GTX convertible.

For more information about Individualized Studies  at DCTC, contact:
  • Amy Eppen
    Enrollment Advisor and Financial Aid Specialist
    651-423-8323
For more information about Blue Knights fastpitch softball at DCTC, contact:
  • Tom Cross
    Fastpitch Softball Coach
    651-423-8677
To learn more about Student Life at DCTC, contact:

DCTC Partners with ISD 196 on DOL Grant

Youth CareerConnect award totals nearly $3 million

DCTC STEM

Dakota County Technical College is a higher education partner with Independent School District 196 on a Department of Labor Youth CareerConnect grant of $2.98 million. ISD 196 is the lead on the funded program, E³ STEM (Exploration, Education, Employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Other partners on the DOL grant include:

Employer

Local Education Agency

Local Workforce Investment System

Institution of Higher Education

The E³ STEM program targets occupations in computer science and information technology (IT), engineering, energy technology, and biomedical technology. Partners in the grant provided more than $2.33 million in matching funds.

Anne Johnson, interim associate vice president of strategic initiatives at DCTC and Inver Hills, reported that the E³ STEM program presents 1,000 students in grades 11–14 with a pathway to employment in the high-growth H-1B STEM industry.

“E³ STEM offers students concurrent enrollment for college credit, industry credentialing and general education courses required for associate degrees,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that local, national and global employer partners are providing participants with career exploration and real-world work experiences, including job shadowing, field trips, mentorships, internships and more. E³ STEM is open to all students regardless of grade point average or other academic qualifiers. The program will focus on recruiting underrepresented students (students of color, low-income students, first-generation college students, female students, students with disabilities, and/or English Language Learners).

“E³ STEM will operate in a learning community format at both secondary and postsecondary levels,” Johnson said. “Participants will have access to multiple wraparound supports, as well as academic and career counseling throughout the program. The rich history of collaboration among partners will underpin E³ STEM, helping to ensure successful program delivery and positive student outcomes.”

From “St. Paul, Apple Valley high schools win federal redesign grants” by Mila Koumpilova, Pioneer Press

Apple Valley High School will use the grant to complete a transformation as the go-to school for students from the district’s magnet programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Next fall, the school will offer more classes in those fields, including some on weekends, online and as an independent study. Faculty from Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College will teach some of the classes.

The school also would host a new fabrication lab with three-dimensional printers, laser cutters and other technology.

A half-dozen companies have signed up to be part of the initiative at the school, including Delta Airlines and Lockheed Martin. They will offer input into school programs, internships and mentoring to students.

“What’s really exciting about this grant is that we have so many partners,” said Cathy Kindem, the district’s coordinator of innovative educational programs. “They’ll be playing a vital role in helping us integrate real-world skills and experiences in the classroom.”

Kindem said a goal of the Apple Valley High overhaul will be to attract more students of color, English learners, girls and first-generation college students—groups traditionally underrepresented in those fields.

For more information about E³ STEM, contact:
  • Anne S. Johnson, M.B.A.
    Interim Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
    Inver Hills Community College & Dakota County Technical College
    651-450-3642
  • Nandi Rieck
    Federal and State Program Specialist
    Independent School District 196
    651-423-7719
  • Mark Jacobs
    Director
    Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board
    651-554-5622