Shannon Felde one day wishes to aid people with medical issues.
"I've always wanted to become a nurse," said the Schaumburg junior pitcher.
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She also loves softball.
"I couldn't imagine my life without softball," she said.
So Felde has her game plan all set.
The Illinois State recruit plans to study community health education in her four years on the Normal campus while playing the sport she loves.
"After my four years, I plan to advance my schooling by enrolling in a one year accelerated nursing program at Illinois State," she said. "I plan to stay an extra year at ISU to get my nursing degree.
"It would be very difficult to major in nursing and play D-1 softball because of the busy softball schedule and there would be no way to fit in clinicals."
Felde and the Saxons have been putting on a pretty good clinic on how to play the game this spring.
On the pitcher's mound, she is 6-1 and also one of the top hitters on a team that is 13-4 and tied for first in the Mid-Suburban West.
"My goal was always to play softball in college, no matter what division it was," Felde said. "I am super excited to get the opportunity to play at the highest level in the game and to be able to extend my softball career."
Felde's career started when she was 7 years old.
"Both of my brothers played baseball and they were always in the front yard playing catch," Shannon said. "I always wanted to play catch with them and be just like them. They were the ones who got me interested in playing softball, along with my mother."
Several years ago, Felde had to make a decision as to whether she would pursue her interest in soccer or softball.
"I chose the sport that I love, which is softball," she said.
And the Illinois State coaches rewarded her decision by choosing Felde to be a part of their program.
"I chose Illinois State because it was close to home and I felt really comfortable on campus when I was there," Felde said. "Also I knew my parents would be able to come and watch me play. I was attracted to the softball program because the coaches were super nice and they know a lot about the game of softball and I thought it would be a good fit for me."
Right now, Felde is a perfect fit for coach Ellen Abreu and the Saxons.
"My favorite part about softball is definitely my teammates," Felde said. "They are like another family to me and I can depend on them no matter what. I can turn to them whenever I need something. Softball is my getaway and nothing else matters to me when I'm on that field than playing the game that I love."
Schaumburg senior Jack Holden, a three-year varsity starter for Schaumburg and two-year captain, has committed Lincoln Trail Community College in Robinson, Ill.
He signed his letter of intent in February and is expected to compete for the starting position at center field.
Lincoln Trail plays in the competitive Great Rivers Athletic Conference with such baseball powerhouses as John Logan and Wabash Valley.
As a sophomore for the Schaumburg's Elite Eight team, Holden batted .341.
He improved his average to .377 (. 419 conference games only) as a junior and helped the Saxons get off to an 8-1 start this spring.
Holden plays with Top Tier as his summer baseball team and plans to study criminal justice in college.
Davenport junior KC Dunne (Buffalo Grove) extended her hitting streak to 14 games to earn the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference's softball player of the week award.
Dunne was 8-of-13 after hitting safely in all four games as Davenport went 3-1.
Dunne collected 4 extra-base hits, including a triple to move her into the school's top spot for all-time triples. Seven of her 8 RBI came in a sweep of Northwestern Ohio (8-0, 8-3) with the final one coming in a split with Cornerstone (1-3, 13-1).
Davenport, ranked 22nd in the latest NAIA poll, is now 29-7 on the season and 14-2 in conference games.
• Despite a 10-2 loss to Michigan, Illinois freshman Allie Bauch (Conant) was a bright spot for the Illini.
She reached base in all three of her at-bats with a single, her first career triple and a walk. She also scored both of Illinois' runs.
Wheeling junior Nikki Mikosz, who is making a serious bid about continuing her softball career on the collegiate level, found herself in quite the rare position in the batter's box. on Saturday at Antioch.
The Wildcats' shortstop got to look at 24 straight pitches that were called balls.
Yes, she was intentionally walked six straight times, three in each game of the twin bill.
Now, that's certainly a sign of respect from the Antioch coaching staff.
Hersey athletes Mike Fuerst (Princeton, volleyball), Lauren Gierman (Northern Illinois, soccer) and John Cappuccitti (Loyola, soccer) recently signed their letters of intent.
Iowa senior Karly Grouwinkel (Prospect) finished her career by shooting a 78-77 in the first two rounds of the Big Ten tournament.
She shot a 73 in Sunday's third round (one under on the front nine) and finished tied for 13th.
• North Central freshman Paige Candra (Palatine) has a career stroke average of 94.7 and a season low score of 85 after competing in eight different events this season.
Three Hersey seniors have made recent college commitments.
Grant Burke, the Mid-Suburban League East 'Defensive Player of the Year' and all-area selection, will attend Augustana as one of its top recruits to play linebacker.
Jack Warner, the MSL East Co-Offensive Player of the Year and an all-area selection, will attend Illinois Wesleyan to play quarterback. Chris Collins, a MSL all-conference selection, will also attend Illinois Wesleyan to play outside linebacker.
Former MSL East Boys Volleyball 'Player of the Year' Mike Kawa, who played for Elk Grove, will be competing at Loyola University in Chicago tonight in the NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball play-in matches.
Kawa played volleyball on Elk Grove's 2012 team that went 31-8 and made it to the Sweet 16.
He now is a 6-foot-5 middle hitter for the Erskine College Flying Fleet (21-6, 12-2), which in its second season of competition.
The Flying Fleet defeated the University of Mount Olive Trojans (15-12, 10-4) in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, and 27-25) to win its first Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The finals are May 1-3 at Loyola's Gentile Arena.
Wisconsin-Platteville's Matt Smaga (Fremd) ran third with a time of 31:11.05 in the 10,000-meter run of the Augustana Invitational. Platteville took fourth out of nine teams in the invite.
Smaga is currently ranked 29th in the nation among D-III athletes for the 10,000 meters.
Augustana's Austin Marrison (Palatine) picked up a game-high six of the Vikings' 38 ground balls in a 19-5 win at Fontbonne. The win improved the Vikings to 9-4 and 6-2 in the Midwest Lacrosse Conference.
St. Viator's boy basketball team will participate in the "High School Hoops Showdown" on Jan. 24, 2015 at Hinsdale Central High School. The nationally known event has averaged close to 4,500 fans.
Game 1 will tip off at 6 p.m. when St. Viator faces Lyons Township.
St. Viator (23-6) advanced to the sectional last season and returns three starters.
Game 2 will be a matchup of St. Joseph and Hinsdale Central, two projected top teams in the western suburbs.
Benet, which finished second in the Class 4A state final this year, played in the event this past season, falling to Milwaukee-Hamilton "Wildcats" 61-59.
In Game 2, Fenwick defeated Hinsdale Central 58-46.
Complete information on tickets, which will also be available at the schools on a "First Come, First Served" basis, will be announced at a later date.
High School boys lacrosse
The Arlington Falcons Lacrosse club kicked off their 2014 season at Benedictine University in Lisle with two games against the Glenbard Lacrosse club. The Falcons Junior Varsity took the field first and defeated Glenbard 7-2.
Jack Lindsay led the Falcons with 3 goals and Connor Loughlin tallied 2. Immediately following the JV game, the varsity squad scored early and often to defeat the Glenbard Varsity 12-2 behind 5 goals from Justin Fedor, who scored in every quarter.
Also helping the Falcons varsity team to victory was AJ Fisher (3 goals), Cody Huebner (2 goals, 1 assist), Tyler Newquist (1 goal, 2 assists) and goalie Robert Fahy (15 saves).
The Falcons Varsity improved 2-0 by defeating the Southwest Jaguars 7-6 in Plainfield.
Grant Burke led the Falcons to a come-from-behind victory by scoring 3 of his 4 goals in the final quarter.
A key play in the final quarter was a faceoff win and fast break assist from Zach McDermott.
Also contributing to the victory was strong defense by Sam Mortellaro, Tim Brongiel and Matt Swedberg.
For more information about the Falcons, go to www.arlingtonfalconslacrosse.com
Cary Country Club will host "The Air Conditioning Open" on May 18, a golf outing being run to raise money for the new air conditioning system in Immanuel Lutheran's Gym in Palatine. The event is being run by Don Ruhter.
If you do not wish to golf but contribute to the "Air Conditioning Fund," feel free to mail a check to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 200 N. Plum Grove Rd., Palatine, Il., 60067.
Mark the check "Air Conditioning Fund" and address it to the attention of "Don Ruhter". Details, starting times and rules will be available closer to the event.
The Arlington Stallions Rugby Club's varsity clinched the iYRA Tier One East Conference Championship and a state championship play off berth with a 55-0 win over the Lake Forest Harriers at the Busse Woods Forest Preserve on Saturday.
Balanced scoring and stifling defense were the keys.
"We had a lot of good, athletic runs by a variety of players," said coach Paul Bergman. "But we're still most proud of the priority that our team puts on defense. They really have a team-first attitude."
The Stallions travel this weekend to St. Charles to play the Predators, another longtime rival which is 2-2 in Tier One West Conference play.
But the Predators can be deceiving, according to Bergman.
"The Predators are a strong and ambitious club which went to St. Louis a few weeks ago and won a very challenging tournament," he said. "We expect this to be a very hard game."
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