June 30, 2012
News Tribune prep softball Player of the
Year: Denfeld's Logergren
By Rick Weegman
As a noted power hitter in softball, Nikki Logergren
isn’t used to bunting.
But when the Duluth Denfeld senior was asked to
lay down a bunt for just the second time in her high school career
— facing a future Division I pitcher and with the Minnesota
Coaches Association All-Star game on the line — she executed
to perfection to win the game.
“I think I bunted only once in my entire
high school career, but (All-Star coaches) had me bunt with two
outs and I somehow got it down,” she said of her bunt against
Brainerd pitcher Nikki Anderson, a University of Minnesota recruit,
in the 1-0 win. “I think it shocked everyone, including me.”
Logergren was more at home swinging away. The
left-handed outfielder batted .513 — recording 39 hits in
76 at-bats — and setting school career records in extra-base
hits, home runs and RBIs en route to becoming the 2012 News Tribune
All-Area Player of the Year.
“I had to step it up because it was my last
chance,” she said. “I really worked on hitting in the
offseason and focused on it during practices.”
Logergren had 16 extra-base hits and drove in
a team-high 30 runs this season, helping her total an eye-popping
.934 slugging percentage and leading the Hunters to an 18-5 record
and a berth in the Section 7AAA final.
“We don’t see that number very often,”
Denfeld coach Dick Swanson said of Logergren’s slugging percentage.
“And teams were trying to pitch away from her so she had to
learn how to hit the ball to left field more.”
The five-year starter also sported a 7-1 record
with a 2.28 ERA, backing up starting pitcher Sarah Hendrickson.
Logergren, who also played first and second base during her career,
was 20-2 in her career on the mound.
“If one of us was having an off day, it
was nice to rely on the other one,” Hendrickson said of the
Logergren’s softball days are not over.
She plans on playing hockey and softball at St. Scholastica, where
she also will study to become an occupational therapist.
“Softball has run in my family — my
dad, my uncles, all my cousins played,” she said. “Growing
up, I played T-ball, hardball, softball. There’s something
about softball that I just cannot quit.”
A first-team Class AAA All-State selection as
a junior and an honorable mention selection this season, Logergren
had an opportunity to play softball at the Division I level as the
University of Minnesota was interested in having her walk on and
try to earn a spot on the team.
“It was always a childhood dream to play
any sport as a Gopher — I definitely considered it,”
she said. “But I think it was meant for me to be at Scholastica
instead. I think I’m going to do a lot better there.”