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Paynesville Press - August 9, 2006

Spanier plays softball at Ridgewater

By Michael Jacobson

Ashley Spanier, a 2005 PAHS grad, played softball for Ridgewater Community College in Willmar last spring.

The Warriors went 25-7, including 18-2 in conference, in 2006. They won their conference and were the Southern Minnesota Community College Conference division champions. They advanced to nationals, where they placed fourth, the highest finish ever by a Minnesota team, according to coach Todd Thorstad.

Spanier started as catcher for Ridgewater, hitting .380 with 17 RBIs. She worked really hard on improving her defense, especially her throwing, and has a great positive attitude, said Thorstad. She finished the season with a fielding percentage of .974.

"We couldn't ask for a better catcher," said Thorstad.

Spanier, who is studying nursing, will be a sophomore this year at Ridgewater. The Warriors should have a good core returning, with six starters coming back, said Thorstad. They also have a strong freshman class coming to Ridge-water, including Jess Engler, a 2006 PAHS grad, he added.

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