Softball has taken Lexy Kupczak around the country and the New Richmond High School sophomore will see even more of the world next summer thanks to softball.
Through American International Sports Teams, Kupczak will travel to the Dominican Republic next August to play softball there for a week.
Kupczak had the option of going to the Netherlands, Italy or the Dominican Republic for her softball trip. She chose the Dominican Republic because the dates worked around her summer softball schedule with the Minnesota Magic club softball team. The Magic competes all over the country. The team recently returned from a tournament in Kansas City. They played in the national tournament at Chattanooga, Tenn., and next year's nationals are scheduled for Kent, Washington. Kupczak has been playing with the Magic U14 team and just made the move up to their U16 team.
Kupczak was invited to a tryout in Eau Claire in early October, among 20 top softball girls from around the Midwest. From three tryouts, girls were invited to play in the international tournament.
Softball is Kupczak's only sport and she plays it year-round. She got interested in softball when she was 5 years old and went through T-ball, coach pitch and youth ball in New Richmond.
Kupczak said coach Trent Bennig put her at catcher in U10 ball and she was immediately a natural.
"I love seeing the whole field and being in control," Kupczak said about catching. "You have to be ready for everything and one step ahead of everyone."
She said she enjoys playing with the Magic because she gets to call pitches and learn from college-level coaches. Her coaches on the team are coaches from Concordia and Hamline universities.
Even though she's just beginning her sophomore season, Kupczak is already looking at colleges where she'd like to play softball. She included LSU, Michigan State University and the University of Florida as her dream schools, along with schools like the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She said she'll wait to see if there are any scholarship offers before making a college decision. Her career goal is to become a teacher.
Lexy said one of the parts of the trip she's looking forward to most is getting to teach younger Dominican girls on their softball skills.
Kupczak is raising funds to help her pay for the trip. Anyone interested in helping her make the trip can visit her gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/LexyKupczak.