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Leah Perri/ Winonan
Winona State University’s theater and dance department hosted the Senior Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 on the Main Stage of the Performing Arts Center.
The show featured tap, ballet, hip-hop and jazz pieces choreographed by Winona State seniors involved in the dance department.
Auditions for the senior concert were two days after Dancescape on February 18. Practice for the show began immediately, marking the beginning of a six-week process. Each dance piece received a two-hour time slot to rehearse per week.
With less prep time than usual for this show, it was crucial for dance members to nail each week’s material and keep moving in order to perfect their pieces in time.
Surprisingly, the majority of students involved in the show were not theater and dance majors.
For many, the show was a way to display their passion for one of the most unique and expressive art forms: dance.
Jamie Herman, a social work major and sociology minor, performed in three group pieces and one solo performance. Her solo piece dance to “Breathe Me” by Sia, according to Herman, represented the emotional struggles of growing up and finding one’s faith.
“I thought, as a senior, and this being my last performance on the WSU stage, I would do a piece that I really have a personal connection to,” Herman said.
Haley Holmes, also a senior, performed in six total pieces and choreographed the two tap pieces in the show. One was her senior solo piece to “Penny’s From Heaven,” and the other was a group piece to Pharrell’s song “Happy.”
Holmes, who will be graduating in the fall with a psychology degree, said tap dance has and always will be a part of her life.
“I love keeping my love for tap dance alive and sharing it with other people,” she said. “It is a style of dance that has so much history behind it and is so different from anything else.”
Since the show was available for all to participate in, freshman Marae Connell, along with other students of all ages, thought she would audition for the show.
Connell, a mass communications major who has been involved with dance all her life, performed in the hip-hop piece “Bad Girls Do It Well,” choreographed by seniors Brooke Brose and Beth Somers, as well as Somers’ lyrical piece “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
For her, as well as many others, dance gives her an outlet to express how she feels, but it also means a bit more to her than that.
“My grandmother and I share a special bond because she is also a dancer,” Connell said. “She started dancing around the same time as I did. We both love the musicality, movement and enjoyment that comes along with dance.”
The show ended in style, featuring a group finale dance choreographed by all of the seniors collectively to Lady Gaga’s “Applause,”—and applause is what it received.
According to audience member Kaley Jacobson, the passion of the dance members really showed in each of their pieces.
“The energy in the theater was awesome,” Jacobson said. “I was especially impressed with the choreography done by our very own WSU seniors.”
Sam Thiel/ Winonan
The Winona State University softball team tested its eight-game winning streak against the NSIC-leading school, Minnesota State and came away with a couple of victories last Tuesday in Winona.
An outing from Ashley Walker took the first game, 2-1, in eight innings. With some explosion on the offense, the sweep was completed with a 10-2 victory in five innings.
The sweep vaulted Winona State with only one game in the loss column out of the top of the NSIC standings, but also ended the Maverick’s 22 game winning streak. After this game the Warriors were 30-6 overall and 13-3 in conference action, marking the 13th year in a row the team has notched 30 victories.
It was a battle of the pitchers throughout the course of the opener with both starters combining to allow 11 hits while striking out seven in the game. Walker improved her record to 10-4 on the season. She tossed a complete game and allowed four hits and a lone unearned run.
The Mavericks started the scoring earning a run in the top half of the third thanks to a RBI double by Kelly Wood. Winona State would recover this run in the fifth with Jessica Kullmann smashing a pitch over the fence for a solo home run.
Both teams would go scoreless in the sixth and seventh which led to extra innings. Morgan Lintz and Walker each drew walks to place runners on the basepaths for the Warriors in the bottom half of the eighth and allowed freshman Allyson O’Herron to end the game in a walk-off RBI single.
The Warriors scored three runs in the first of the nightcap with two in the second and five in the third to claim a 10-1 lead out of the gate. The Mavericks would get another run in the top of the fifth but couldn’t plate any more. The Warriors iced the doubleheader with a sweep, 10-2.
Lythberg gave up six hits and one earned run in the second game while striking out five.
Lintz led the Warriors in the right direction, belting a three-run shot in the bottom of the first to score Brooke Piotrowski and Jenny Nelson.
Kullmann padded her stats with her second home run of the day in the second inning; this one a solo shot increased the Warrior advantage, 4-0. Winona State would put runners on every base later in the inning with singles by Reed Karsten, Walker and Piotrowski adding another run when a pitch hit Lintz.
A solo shot in the third gave the Mavericks their first run, but the Warriors recovered the run and then some, recording five runs in the bottom of the inning to build the advantage to 10-1.
Karsten plated a run on a groundout while Walker brought two more across on a single. Nelson ended Winona State’s scoring for the day with a single of her own to score two.
Minnesota State posted another run in the top of the fifth, but Lythberg cut off the Mavericks run supply to cement the victory.
Piotrowski recorded hits in all three of her appearances at the plate in the nightcap, with Karsten, Walker and Kullmann also netting a couple of hits. Winona State dealt out 12 hits while Lintz paced the Warriors with a team-high of four RBIs.
Winona State continued its winning ways with another sweep, this time over Sioux Falls last Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Warriors used a three-hit shutout by Walker to take the first game 3-0 before busting out the offense in a 9-2 victory in the nightcap. The game one victory was Greg Jones’s 550th career win as head coach for the Warriors.
Walker threw a complete game in the opener while allowing three hits to improve her record to 11-4 on the season after this game. The junior gave up no runs and struck out eight players.
The game would be scoreless until the fifth inning with the Warriors scoring a pair of runs. With runners on every base, Lintz singled and brought a couple of runners across to give Winona State an advantage it would never give up.
The Warriors tacked on an insurance run in the seventh as Mary Turitto singled to plate Jenny Nelson.
Winona State knotted 11 hits in the contest with Lintz posting three. Allyson O’Herron and Turitto had two each as seven of the nine players in the Warrior starting lineup netted a hit.
In the second game Lythberg gave up six hits and a couple of runs in the 9-2 victory. She struck out a season-high nine batters during the game and improved her record to 16-2 on the season.
Jenny Nelson paved the way offensively for the Warriors in the nightcap, smacking a solo homer in the second inning – the first of two in the game – to begin the scoring. She drove in another run in the next inning, plating Shannon Nelson on a single.
Lexi Perez scored on a University of Sioux Falls error in the fifth – one of eight recorded by the Cougars. Piotrowski scored another in the sixth to earn the lead, 4-0.
The Cougars were able to plate a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 4-2, but the Warriors answered quickly by running away with the game with a five-run seventh inning. Jenny Nelson pounded her second homer of the day, a two-run strike, while Shannon Nelson rounded out the inning with a single which scored three.
Jenny Nelson went 3-for-3 with four RBIs in the contest while Shannon Nelson also posted a trio of hits. Piotrowski and Lintz chipped in two hits each to add to the Warrior effort as Winona State belted 13 hits in the game.
Jenny Nelson recorded a hit in all six of her appearances at the plate as the Winona State University softball team extended its winning streak to 14 consecutive games with a sweep over Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday in Marshall, Minn.
The Warriors controlled the opener, earning a 6-0 victory before completing the sweep with an 8-2 victory in the nightcap.
Winona State recorded two runs in the first inning. Jenny Nelson netted a triple to drive in Piotrowski. Lintz then singled to plate Nelson.
Lintz came through again in the fifth, netting her second RBI double of the game with a liner to right field to score Walker. Turitto followed up with a RBI double of her own to increase the Warrior advantage to 5-0. Winona State brought in another run in the sixth when Karsten singled to plate Shannon Nelson.
Jenny Nelson went 3-for-3 at the dish while Lintz and Turitto each posted two hits.
Infielder Jenny Nelson said, “I think everyone is just seeing the ball really well right now. We aren’t trying to do too much at the plate we are just thinking base hits. Offense also comes easier when your defense is working well too and I can’t say enough about how well our pitchers have done this week.”
Walker threw her second shutout of the weekend, giving up six hits while striking out three to improve her record to 12-4 on the season.
The second game was much like the first with the Warriors building an advantage early. Lintz started the game off with a sacrifice fly in the first inning while Turitto slapped a double to score two in the third and give Winona State a 3-0 lead.
The Warrior offense exploded in the fourth, plating five runs to increase the lead to 8-0.
With a pair of runners on base, Piotrowski tripled to drive in both Warriors and later crossed home herself, thanks to a wild pitch. Jenny Nelson belted a two-run shot later in the frame to cap the doubleheader sweep.
Southwest Minnesota State was able to get on the board in the fifth with two runs but couldn’t claw any closer as Lythberg improved her record to 17-2 on the mound. Lythberg scattered eight hits while striking out five to complete the sweep.
Nelson finished the day by going 3-for-3 at the plate while Perez chipped in a pair of hits. Nelson netted hits in all six of her plate appearances in the doubleheader.
Winona State (34-6 overall, 17-3 NSIC) will finish out the regular season at home with six games, starting with a doubleheader matchup against Wayne State on Tuesday at 1 p.m.