SIOUX FALLS — Bailey Kortan has seen plenty of action in the South Dakota USA Softball State Girls’ Fastpitch Tournament during her lifetime. On Friday, though, her view was a little different.

The third base coach’s box.

Kortan, a Bon Homme grad who will attend Mount Marty College this fall after a year at South Dakota State University, has spent this summer helping coach her little sister’s 14-under team.

“I approached them. I called and texted,” she said. “They said right away that they’d take me. I was lucky for that.”

Kortan, who played for Tabor’s 18-under team last summer, said there were plenty of reasons that she wanted to coach this summer.

“I am going for a minor in coaching, majoring in elementary education,” she said. “But I do it because I like it. I wanted to help people love the game like I do.

“And there’s nothing like getting to spend your summer at the ballpark.”

Besides getting a chance to work with her sister Jaden, Bailey Kortan is coaching with one of her old teammates, Morgan Rothschadl.

“It’s always good to get to be around my sister,” Bailey said. “But I like to be around all the little girls. It brings back memories of when Morgan and I were playing together.”

While Bailey has not been on the field — other than in the coach’s box — this summer, the time at the ballpark has fired her up for MMC’s fall preseason schedule.

“(Coaching) is a good way to practice the game without playing,” she said. “I’m excited or the fall after not playing this summer. I got to be at the park all summer, and it’s gotten me ready for fall.”

Back In The Circle

Lexi Madsen sat on a bench, watching the action on the field during the South Dakota USA Softball State Girls’ Fastpitch Tournament on Friday.

But, unlike most of the summer for the Yankton Fury 16s pitcher, Friday’s time sitting on a bench was relaxing and enjoying a slice of pizza while watching her big sister play, not the forced absence from her team as she recovered from an injury from last December.

Madsen returned to the lineup just a week ago after missing most of the season. As she bided her time, she tried to stay away from negative thoughts.

“A lot of people said I would come back stronger,” she said Friday afternoon, hours after she made her own state tournament debut for 2019. “Sometimes a break can be good. I tried to look at the positives.”

Sitting out a February practice is one thing. But when her team started playing, she found ways to keep herself in the game.

“I did a lot of pitching on a bucket, still getting my motion in,” she said. “I sat on the bench and cheered on my team. I knew I would be out there soon.”

Madsen made her 2019 debut a week ago, pitching in the prestigious Ringneck Tournament.

“I definitely had a lot of nerves going into that first game,” she said. “It was just crazy.

“But it was good to be back.”

By the time she took the field for state Friday, the nerves were gone.

“I felt like I never left,” she said.

Madsen, unfortunately, had company on the Fury 16s’ injured list. Teammate Carley LaFrentz also got hurt in the winter, but was not able to return in time for state. And, just as Madsen returned to the lineup, the squad lost Emma Sedlacek for the rest of the season.

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