Sam Macken  |  Director Of Softball

Teaches Hitting, Slapping & Infield

Sam attended Rochester Lourdes High School where she graduated in 2013. A Minnesota native, she attended the University of Minnesota, Twins Cities, where she lettered four years and started both infield and outfield. She was awarded 3 Academic All B1G Ten Honors, was a 2-Time Distinguished Scholar, received both 1st and 2nd Team All B1G Ten honors and was a 2-Time NFCA All-Region selection. Her freshman year she sealed the Gophers 1st B1G Ten championship in 15 years with a walk off hit and was instrumental in helping the Gophers to their first ever Super Regional with a go-ahead home run against Auburn in the NCAA Regional final. Sam helped lead the Gophers to 3 B1G Ten Championships, 4 NCAA Tournaments and a Super Regional in her 4-year career. She ended her career ranked 2nd All-Time in runs scored and 4th All-Time in doubles. Her career batting average was 0.339. In her senior season she was awarded the B1G Ten Sportsmanship Award and was a Top-30 Finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. The Gophers won over 190 games in her 4-year career and establish the winningest season ever in 2017 going 56-5. Sam graduated in 2017 with a degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Sports Management.

Sam is currently the Coach of the 18U Minnesota Starters - Macken softball team.


Courtney O'Connor  |  CLUB COORDINATOR

Teaches Hitting & Catching

Courtney graduated from Shakopee High School in 2013.  While playing for Shakopee she received All-Conference Honorable mention and All-Conference Honors her junior and senior years.  After graduating in 2013, Courtney went on to play for Bemidji State University, where she was a four-year starter behind the plate.  While at Bemidji she was part of a program turn around from an 11-31 record her freshman year to a 28-19 record her senior year.  Courtney was on pace to break the program putout record before an injury ended her senior season early.  She also boasted a career fielding percentage of .981.  Courtney graduated from Bemidji with a degree in Exercise Science and a Coaching Certificate.  Courtney has been coaching girls fast pitch for 8 years, 3 of which were spent as a head coach.

Courtney is currently the head coach of the 14U Minnesota Starters - O’Connor travel softball team.


Erika Smyth  |  Recruiting Coach

Teaches Hitting & Infield

Erika, a Washington state native and 2011 graduate of Kentlake High School, was a two-time First Team All-League award winner and four-time Gold Glove award winner as a high school shortstop. She still holds her high school record for most plate appearances without a strike out (182). Erika finished her high school career with a career batting average of .462, 47 stolen bases, and 83 runs scored. She was also the starting shortstop on the 8th ranked team in the nation in 2011, the 18U Washington Ladyhawks - Miller, after their top 10 finish in PGF Nationals.

She was recruited by former Gopher Softball Head Coach Jessica Allister, and signed her NLI to play softball at the University of Minnesota where she was a four-year letter winner. Erika was a part of the historic class of 2015 that took Gopher Softball to their first Regional appearance in 10 years in 2013, first Big Ten Championship in 15 years in 2014, and the Gophers' first ever Regional Championship and Super Regional appearance in history in 2014. She ended her career having started 110 games at second base and posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 2014. She is the first and only player in Gopher Softball history to win back-to-back Teammate of the Year awards in 2014 and 2015 – the only award voted on by the players. Erika graduated in 2015 with her Bachelors in Business and Marketing and was a three-time Academic All Big Ten Award winner.

Erika is currently the head coach of the 16U Minnesota Starters - Smyth travel softball team.


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Sydney Dwyer | Instructor & Club Coach

Teaches Hitting & Infield

Sydney graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, IA in 2014 where she played both softball and basketball. After high school, Sydney attended the University of Minnesota where she majored in Kinesiology and played softball. In her first two years she found playing time at both third base and shortstop. In her junior and senior season she was the first baseman for the Gophers. Sydney holds the school’s single season RBI record with 76 in 2017. In her junior season, she received All-Big Ten second-team, Big Ten All-Tournament team, Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 Softball team, NFCA Great Lakes All-Region first-team, and was an NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete. During her four years she was a part of three Big Ten Tournament championships and one regular season Big Ten Championship.

Sydney is currently the head coach of the 16U Minnesota Starters - Dwyer club softball team.

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Teaches Hitting & Catching

Former Wisconsin standout Chloe Miller originally was drafted by the Akron Racers in the 2017 National Professional Fastpitch draft but took a year off from the sport. She signed with the Cleveland Comets in April and has played in all 40 games so far in her rookie season. Miller, a native of Bettendorf, Iowa, played in over 200 games at Wisconsin. She recorded a career batting average of .358 with 29 home runs and 176 runs batted in. She also notched a .476 on-base percentage and a .628 slugging percentage. She started all 52 games of her senior season, primarily at catcher but she also can play third base and could fill a utility role with the Comets. As a senior, Miller led the Big Ten in batting average (.426), which also was the best single-season mark in school history, and she led the Badgers in hits (66), runs (53), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.794), on-base percentage (.545) and doubles (18).

Chloe is currently the head coach of the 14U Minnesota Starters - Miller club softball team.

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Teaches Hitting & Outfield

Abby, a Minnesota native and 2013 graduate of Eagan High School, is a four time All Conference Winner, All State Honorable Mention, three time Offensive Player of the Year and team MVP, while serving as Captain for two seasons in High School. After High School, Abby went on to play Division I Softball at The University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. She played all four years making her way to the top of the lineup and playing in the outfield. She ended her playing career being ranked 4th in Green Bay Softball history with 150 career hits and a .311 batting average. In addition, she was nominated to the 2014 All Horizon League Tournament Team and the 2017 All Horizon League Conference 2nd Team, along with being nominated as a Softball Team Captain 2015-2017. In addition to her success on the field, she also excelled in the classroom being on the Deans List all four years, the Horizon League Honor Roll and graduating Magna Cum Laude.  Abby Graduated in 2017 with her Bachelors degree in Education with a Minor is Spanish & Human Development.



Kylie is a Lakeville native, who attended Lakeville South High School. During her high school career, she earned three varsity letters, helped lead the Cougars to their first-ever state championship her senior year in 2014, was a two-time All-South Suburban Conference honoree and a two-time all-state honoree. After high school, she went on to play softball at the University of Minnesota before transferring her Junior year to finish off her career at Indiana State University. While a freshman at Minnesota, Kylie pitched 62.2 innings and went 8-2 with a 3.35 ERA over 20 appearances, including 13 starts. Additionally, she was sixth in the conference in ERA and gave up the fewest earned runs among eligible Big Ten pitchers (minimum average of one inning pitched per game). At Indiana, she pitched 238.1 innings, posting a 3.99 ERA with 120 strikeouts.

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JULIE GRAF | Pitching Instructor

Julie is a Washington native, who graduated is 2016 from Eastlake High School. During her high school career, she was a four-time letter winner, All-Conference Honorable Mention as a sophomore and junior, All-Conference 2nd Team as a senior, captained as a junior and senior, named team MVP as a senior, and a four-time Scholar Athlete award winner.

After high school, she went on to continue her academic and athletic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she is currently a Junior. In 2017, she was a second team NFCA All-America Selection... Was one of two first years that earned the All-America honor... Had one of the best seasons in St. Olaf history... On top of All-America honors she was an NFCA First Team All-Region selection, MIAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year, as well as First Team All-MIAC... She was the MIAC's Pitcher-of-the-Week four times and had two five-game stretches where she did not allow a run... She posted school records in ERA (0.73), strikeouts (272), wins (22) and complete games (21)... She was third in the nation in ERA (0.73) and strikeouts (272), fifth in strikeouts per seven innings, tied for ninth in wins (22) and 11th in shutouts (9)... She was 22-5 and allowed one or less run in all but five of her 31 appearances.

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Krista Flugstad | Pitching Instructor

Krista grew up in Bloomington, MN, where she attended Bloomington Jefferson and helped the softball team to four-consecutive state championship appearances and consolation championships. As a senior captain, she was named to the all-tournament team, earned all-state honors and was selected for the Star Tribune all-metro second team. She was also all-conference and all-section as a junior and senior. Outside of athletics, she was a member of the National Honors Society, the math team, and the ping pong team. 

After high school, she decided to take her softball skills to St. Kate’s University. While at St. Kate’s, she saw much success receiving accolades such as being named the Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American honors. In addition to her success on the field, she also found success off earning academic recognition such as All-America Scholar Athlete and Academic All-District. While at St. Kate's, her team earned a spot in the Conference Tournament three times, winning it once in 2017 when she was named the Conference Tournament MVP.

Her team also earned a spot in the NCAA tournament twice and made it all the way to the World Series once. During their NCAA tournament appearances, she had the honor of being named the Regional Tournament Co-MVP and the Super Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Pitcher awards one time each. To wrap up all her lengthy awards, she currently holds several pitching records for St. Kate's.

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Calli Maki | Pitching Instructor

Calli, is a Freshman pitcher for Bethel University and a graduate from Maple Lake High School, where she was a four-year all-conference player/pitcher.  She was a three-time All Section Team award winner, All State Honorable Mention third baseman, and two- time First Team All-State award winner as a pitcher.  In 2017, her team finished second at the State High School Tournament and finished State Champions in 2018. Calli was named to the State All-Tournament Team both years.  Calli’s last two years of high school win/loss record was 42–2, with 368 strikeouts. In Calli’s senior year, she was chosen to play in the State High School All Star Game and also for Team Minnesota in the Border Battle Softball Game vs. Wisconsin. She is a Minnesota State High School League All Time Record Setter for Fewest Earned Runs Allowed for 3 Games (0) at the State Girls’ Softball Tournament.  Calli also earned All-State award in Academics. One of Calli’s favorite memories from the State Softball Tournament is throwing a complete game and hitting a grand slam to help her team advance to the championship game.

Calli is continuing her softball career under Head Coaches Penny and Roman Foore.  Calli is excited to further develop her skills and knowledge of the game while studying to become an Athletic Trainer. She is currently the Assistant Coach for the 14U - Miller Starters softball team.

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Morgan Meissner | Pitching Instructor

Morgan is from Maple Grove, MN, where she attended Heritage Christian Academy. She was a four-sport athlete, playing softball, basketball, soccer, and trap shooting. However, softball is where her true passion laid. She was a four-time letter winner playing 8th grade-12th grade, and a three-time All-Conference player. After high school, she decided to take her softball skills to Bethel University, in St. Paul, MN. Currently, she is a sophomore studying Elementary and Special Education. She is primarily a pitcher, but also seems time on the corners.



Slapping & Outfield

Isbel, a Fontana, California native graduated from Etiwanda High School in 2012 and continued her education and athletic career at the Division I level with North Dakota State University. During her time at NDSU, the Bison won the Summit League all four years, won the Summit League Tournament three consecutive years, and competed in three NCAA Regional Tournaments. Isbel’s junior year, the NDSU Bison we’re ranked #23 in the country. They also took down #2 ranked Alabama on the road during her senior season in Tuscaloosa. Over the course of her collegiate career she tallied All-Summit League Honorable Mentions and All-Summit League Second Team nominations.

Isbel grew up hitting from both sides of the plate, however at NDSU, Isbel focused on hitting from the left side. She incorporated “slapping” to utilize her speed and knowledge of reading defenses. She played all three outfield positions, and at NDSU she recorded just two errors. Throughout her career she took pride in her defense, knowing that defense wins championships.