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Pete's Point: Katie White picks UW-Superior

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Katie White has been a valuable multi-sport athlete for the Pequot Lakes Patriots in recent years.

Next year, she will take those athletic talents to the University of Wisconsin-Superior as a member of the Yellowjackets’ basketball and softball teams.

“The chance to play both sports was the biggest factor,” White said of her decision to attend the Division III school. “The two sports overlap a little, but the coaches are good friends, and they communicate well with each other. There are four other girls who are playing two sports (at U of W-Superior).”

With the Patriots, White was an All-Mid-State Conference player in volleyball and basketball, including helping the Patriots return to the state girls’ basketball tournament last month. She also excelled as a softball player, helping Pequot Lakes make its first trip to state last spring after compiling an admirable 1.65 earned-run average with 149 strikeouts. As a hitter, White led the Patriots with 29 RBI while batting .423.

“(White) was my top recruit, and will be an immediate impact in our program,” said Roger Plachta, Superior’s head softball coach. “I think Katie is one of the top pitchers in the state of Minnesota, and also is a great hitter.”

As a basketball player, White averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds this past season to help Pequot Lakes win the Section 8AA title.

“We’re excited that Katie can play both sports,” said the Yellowjackets women’s basketball coach Don Mulhern. “Few colleges allow (two-sport athletes) any more. You need coaches who are willing to work together to utilize the talent of a student athlete.”

“Katie has all the intangibles. She’s really smart with a high sports I.Q., and she’s unselfish and a winner. She will have two teams that will be her family away from home.”

For White, UW-Superior was an ideal fit for athletics and academics.

“Superior fit my athletic criteria, and what I want to study in school,” White said. “So it was an easy decision. My (offseason) pitching coach in the Twin Cities knew Roger Plachta, and that Superior needed pitching next year. Don Mulhern then contacted me when he heard that I was playing softball (at Superior).”

“I always thought that softball was my best sport, but I did gain a lot of confidence playing basketball this winter.”

Old rivals, future teammates

One of White’s new basketball teammates at UW-S will be Autumn Ackerman, a 2013 Pine River-Backus graduate. White has faced Ackerman numerous times in recent years when the Patriots played the Tigers in high school basketball and softball.

“I know Autumn pretty well,” White said. “I talked to her when I went there for a visit. I also watched one (UW-S) basketball game last winter. It was fun because (former Pequot Lakes teammate) Jessica Kreitz played for UW-Stout against Autumn (Ackerman).”

Mulhern added that Ackerman had a “really good” freshman year with the Yellowjackets.

“Autumn is a great young lady, and one of the most coachable girls that I’ve had,” he said. “She has great college potential, and is a kid that could blossom. She’s a great rebounder and a great defensive player.”