Last July, former Gophers softball pitching star Sara Groenewegen spent 10 days in a medically induced coma, battling Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

Now, less than a year later, Groenewegen is getting ready to lead Canada into the Pan-Am Games, still with an eye toward the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She was one of 15 players Softball Canada picked Wednesday for its team.

"Yes! I am back and recovered," Groenewegen said via text. "Very grateful for the speedy recovery. Honestly, I was doing some reflecting the other day to think that almost a year ago I couldn't walk and wouldn't anticipate a comeback."

The Pan-Am Games run from Aug. 4-10 in Lima, Peru, and will be followed with the Olympic qualifying tournament, from Aug 25-Sept. 1 in Surrey, British Columbia.

"Today I stand as a member of the national team again!" Groenewegen texted. "Very proud."

Joe Christensen

Gophers get two football recruits

The Gophers garnered two new commits Thursday evening. Defensive tackle Ali Saad and defensive end Gage Keys announced their decisions on Twitter.

Saad is a 6-4, 255-pounder from Michigan. He is a three-star recruit, according to

Keys is 6-5, 240 pounds from Ohio. He is ranked as a three-star recruit.

The Gophers 2020 class now stands at 19 members, including 11 added in the past week.

Suggs named to U.S. basketball team

Minnehaha Academy standout guard Jalen Suggs was named to the 12-member U.S. basketball roster for the U19 World Cup, which runs June 29-July 7 in Heraklion, Greece. Suggs, who has yet to make his college choice entering his senior year, already has won two gold medals with USA Basketball.

Five with state ties invited to showcase

Bobby Brink, a forward from Minnetonka who will be a freshman at Denver this season, and three players with Gopher ties were selected to play for the U.S. team in the World Junior Showcase from July 26 to Aug. 3 in Plymouth, Mich. Canada, Finland and Sweden will be the other countries competing.

Sophomore forward Blake McLaughlin of Minnesota and incoming freshmen defensemen Jackson LaCombe and Ryan Johnson also received invitations.

From the participants there, the U.S. team will be picked for the IIHF World Junior Championships Dec. 26 to Jan 5 in the Czech Republic.

Gophers sophomore forward Sampo Ranta will compete for Finland in the showcase.


• Blaine junior Madison Schmidt was named the Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year in the state. She won the Class 2A high jump by clearing 5-10, tying the meet record.

• Max Murphy hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to give the Saints a 15-13 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries.