E/SWC softball achieves 300th victory

“We have had a really good run of good players that really love softball, that get along well and make coming to the diamond everyday fun.”

Edgerton High School and Southwest Minnesota Christian Dutchmen Softball team celebrate coaches Andrew Fleischman and Mark Hadler number 300 win during a game with Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda Tuesday Afternoon.
Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen softball team celebrate coaches Andrew Fleischman and Mark Hadler number 300 win after a game with Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda Tuesday Afternoon.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

OKABENA — In 2002, Andrew Fleischman became the first ever Edgerton High School softball coach. Now 21 years later and with a merger from cross-town school Southwest Minnesota Christian, he and assistant coach Mark Hadler have led the former state championship team to career win number 300.

The Flying Dutchmen would go on to win 301 in the nightcap of a doubleheader with Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda. The Dutchmen won game one 10-0 in five innings and took game two in four innings 16-1.

Be like Pipestone

In a postgame interview with The Globe, Fleischman recalled his early days in Edgerton. He was just out of college where he played offensive line on the Concordia-St. Paul football team and in the spring played baseball.

“I had a lot to learn. I played baseball in college and I understood baseball. But I had to learn a lot about pitching,” said Fleischman on the transition from raised mound to circle.


Enter Pipestone Area softball. Troy Bouman and Robert Petersen were coaches that Fleischman connected with early on to learn from. The Arrows remain one of the top softball programs in southwest Minnesota and have won state championships.

“They both did a lot to help me out and teach me the things that I needed to learn,” said Fleischman. “We tried to emulate them. It started back years ago when we would go scrimmage them — Troy was really good to let us come scrimmage them. Even in years where we were maybe not as competitive with them as we are now. We would just say, ‘see what they do — that is how we want to play the game.’”

The relationship between the two programs remains today. The Dutchmen will play the Arrows on Friday, May 19, for a doubleheader in Pipestone.

Another change for Fleischman is his own growth from post-college adult to father. Coach Fleischman has coached two of his daughters on the softball team. With eldest daughter Addison Fleischman they won the Minnesota Class A state tournament.

With Elliott Fleischman — a sophomore on the varsity squad who played third base and catcher — he has chances to make memories with another.

“I think being a dad has made me a better coach,” said Fleischman. “You understand the other side of it. You understand how hard they work, and that they are also just kids. They want to do the best that they can but some days it is just your day and some days it is just not.”

As for a key to the Dutchmen's success?

“We have had a really good run of good players that really love softball, that get along well and make coming to the diamond every day fun,” said Fleischman.


As for the next big milestone for a coach who has managed his team to state championships?

“Well, now it is 302,” laughed Fleischman. “We got a big game on Thursday against Mountain Lake, they are a very very good team. … Then we turn around and have MCC, R-T-R and Pipestone next week and a big tournament on (that) Saturday. That is what we need at this point, a lot of at-bats, a lot of playing time and just hoping that we are playing our best softball when the playoffs come around.”

Edgerton Flying Dutchmen head coach Andrew Fleischman talks with the team after winning the fist game during a double header with Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda in Okabena Tuesday his 300 win.
Flying Dutchmen skipper Andrew Fleischman talks with the team after winning the first game during a doubleheader with Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda in Okabena Tuesday.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

E/SWC 10, HL-O/F 0

Paris Van Dyke was excellent on the mound for E/SWC in a methodical 10-0 victory over the Coyotes.

Van Dyke pitched a five inning complete game and allowed just two baserunners. After allowing a leadoff walk to Andrea Lang, Van Dyke induced weak contact and watched her defense turn a double play.

In the second inning Van Dyke stranded Everly Henning who hit a leadoff single.

Van Dyke struck out nine and threw her plus-plus fastball all over the zone with precision and confidence.

Paris Van Dyke allowed two base runners all game in win 300 for the Flying Dutchmen softball program in Okabena on Tuesday, May 9.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

In the bottom of the third inning, she helped her cause with a smashed triple. Van Dyke walked in her two other plate appearances.


Paris Van Dyke rounds second for a triple in a game against Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda on Tuesday
Dominic Burns/The Globe

Maddie Feikema, Ana Veldkamp and Myah Vander Maten had two hits apiece. Vander Maten scored two runs and had two RBIs. Alyda Vande Griend had three RBIs.

The Dutchmen's runs came not all at once, but through a sustained plate presence. The Dutchmen moved 20 players to first base.

Veldkamp and Vander Maten both reached base via slap hits.

Coach Fleischman said that his team’s consistency at the plate has been vital to the team’s undefeated record.

The Flying Dutchmen infield gathers before the top half of an inning in a game against Heron Lake/Okabena/Fulda on Tuesday.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

E/SWC 203 50 – 10 10 0

HL-O/F 000 00 – 0 1 0

E/SWC 16, HL-O/F 1

Maddie Feikema saw the ball well in the batter’s box for the Dutchmen’s 301st victory. Feikema went 3-for-3 and had two RBIs. Feikema and her courtesy runner scored three runs.


Feikema also started in the pitcher’s circle during the nightcap for the Dutchmen. Feikema pitched well. Her only blemish was being tagged for a first inning run by Coyotes’ second baseman Katelyn Johnson — who reached base on a single.

Feikema was replaced in the fourth inning by sophomore Cathryn Feikema.

The Dutchmen made stellar plays in the field, defensively. Katheryn Prins robbed a Coyotes single with a fantastic catch at first base. Ana Veldkamp also made a rangy catch at second base.

Veldkamp had two hits and two RBIs. She scored three runs. Catcher Elliott Fleischman ripped a two-run double.

Brenalyn Smit reached base three times. She took first twice on balls and was hit by a pitch. Mateya Gilbertson had two hits and scored two runs.

The Dutchmen ended the game with a bases-loaded double by Cami Vander Haar. The Dutchmen scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth.

HL-O/F 100 0 – 1 1 1

E/SWC 262 6 — 16 11 1

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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