Softball Recruits Sign Letters of Intent

New Blue Knights: Arianna Chiarella Jada Wolle Molly Erickson

The Athletic department at Dakota County Technical College has announced three student-athletes from Minnesota are enrolling at the college fall semester 2021. Ari Chiarella, South St. Paul, Jada Wolle, New Brighton, and Molly Erickson, Maple Lake, have signed letters of intent to compete for the Blue Knights softball team.

Jada Wolle

Jada Wolle pitches for the Irondale High School Knights. Her parents are Marty and Sheila Wolle. Cassie Kelly is her coach in high school. Jada will major in Exercise & Sport Science at DCTC.

“Jada is an excellent pitcher with all the pitches,” said Tom Cross, Blue Knights head softball coach. “She is a workhorse on the mound. Jada will have a chance to give us valuable innings right away.”

Arianna Chiarella


Arianna Chiarella plays outfield for the South St. Paul High Packers. Her mother is Lindsay Chiarella. Paul Moen is her high school coach. Ari is interested in pursuing math studies at DCTC.

“Ari is an excellent athlete who can go get the ball in the outfield,” Coach Cross said. “She gets on base and can hit. Ari has a big upside in college.”

Molly Erickson

Molly Erickson serves as a designated hitter for the Maple Lake Irish. Molly can also can play catcher. Her parents are Brad and Dinah Erickson. Tim Knudsen is her high school coach. Molly is interested in studying Architectural Technology at DCTC.

“Molly has a good bat,” Coach Cross said. “She comes from an excellent program and will be a positive addition to our team.”

More about Blue Knights softball at DCTC…

The Blue Knights softball team competes at the NJCAA DII level in Region 13, which includes teams from Minnesota, North Dakota, Upper Michigan Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. The Knights play their home games at the UMore Softball Fields in Rosemount, Minnesota.

Softball Head Coach Tom Cross

Head Coach Tom Cross

Tom Cross took over as head coach of the Blue Knights softball team in 2011. Cross has more than 25 years of experience as a head coach at the college level. His teams have won more than 400 games, including conference, regional and district championships. Highlights include an appearance in an NAIA national tournament.

The Blue Knights won the 2013 NJCAA Region 13 Championship. That same year, Cross was named Region 13 Coach of the Year. The Blue Knights turned in back-to-back, 21-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. In 2014 and 2016, the team was Region 13 runner-up.

Tom Cross has coached nearly 30 All-Region players at DCTC as well as the program’s first NJCAA All-American in softball, Amanda Orrell in 2014.

Learn more about Head Coach Tom Cross by reading “Tom Cross Enters STA Athletic Hall of Fame” on DCTC News.

Learn more about NJCAA DII softball at DCTC by visiting or contacting:

Tom Cross
Head Softball Coach

Marki Struensee
Athletic Coordinator
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor
Individualized Studies & Athlete Advising
Schedule a Virtual Appointment
Virtual Walk-ins for Financial Aid, Admissions, or Advising (select at top of web page)

Learn more about NJCAA athletics at DCTC by visiting:

You can also read “Blue Knights Athletics Receives Innovative Student Affairs Program Award” on DCTC News.

And: “Blue Knights Softball Welcomes New Dugouts”