Lauren Reimers, a 2015 graduate of Morris Area High School, has been a part of the winning North Dakota State University Bison softball program for four years. She didn't play as a freshman as she was a redshirt, which means she practiced but didn't suit up for games.
The NDSU softball team claimed its sixth straight Summit League Tournament title a few weekends ago and was eliminated from the NCAA Regional Saturday, May 18, in Minneapolis. The Bison ended the season 42-16.
In her three seasons of play, she made 127 plate appearances, and finished her career with an 87.4 percent fielding percentage. She had a .219 average this season.
Her roles on the team have varied greatly.
"Over my four years at NDSU, I have had many different roles on the team. I have had starting positions at times, and at others have been a backup to somebody else," Reimers said. "There is much more to our program than the starting 10 each day. Our program focuses on the process, day in and day out. I am proud to be a Bison and be a part of such an amazing program."
Reimers was active off the field as well. She served two years as social media coordinator for the NDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which serves as team representatives to address issues on campus as they arise, Reimers said.
"As social media coordinator specifically, I run the Twitter and Instagram pages to both promote activities, events, and fundraisers, and to help head social media campaigns," Reimers said. "My abilities to stay organized, communicate with athletes and faculty, accomplish tasks in a timely fashion, and voice my opinion... made me a good candidate for the position."
Reimers' teammates elected her to the NDSU softball leadership council. The council is a small group of teammates that get together with the coach to discuss what's going on with the team and what needs work, Reimers said.
"The purpose is for our coach to give us the tools to be better leaders, and for us to then (relay that information to our teammates)," Reimers said. "We are not a team that chooses captains, but instead focus on making each of us the strongest we can be. This year we have found success in having different leaders in different roles. We all have our strengths, so we focus on maximizing each of us in our certain strength."
The team takes the leadership roles seriously, Reimers said.
"I believe my teammates voted for the people that they felt most comfortable behind," Reimers added. "I think the people on the leadership council are those that are consistent, think clearly, take time to build relationships with their teammates, trust in the process, and have a vision of being a champion. With those qualities, we are able to help our entire team zone in on one common goal of winning."
Reimers said her time on the NDSU softball taught her more than sport skills.
"I have learned a lot of easy lessons, like how to stay present, how to have fun with the process, how to have patience, and how to build long-lasting friendships. I have also learned a few difficult lessons like loss, change, and how to better deal with conflict," Reimers said. "Overall, I have learned that passion can take you a long way, and surrounding yourself with other people who share that passion will take you even farther."
She believes these experiences and lessons will benefit her in her future career.
"I know how to manage my time, work towards a goal, build my teammates/co-workers up, and maximize others' strengths as well as my own," Reimers said. "Playing softball and having these leadership roles have forced me to mature in ways I never would have without them. This will most definitely be an advantage for me after college."
She plans on finishing out her career as a redshirt senior for the Bison softball program next spring and will graduate in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with minors in chemistry and psychology. She plans to find a career in physical therapy after graduation.