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Notre Dame duo teammates again
Former bulldogs join forces for Southeast Redhawks softball program
Lauren Reinagel and Summer Burger helped lead the Notre Dame Regional High School softball team to the 2009 Class 3 state championship.
Reinagel and Burger are now teammates again, both in their first year with the Southeast Missouri State softball squad that opens its season today at Jackson State.
"I was really excited to come back and play with her again, to have her behind me again," Reinagel said.
Said Burger: "It's really cool, getting back with an old teammate."
Reinagel and Burger took different paths to Southeast.
Reinagel, a junior who will primarily pitch for the Redhawks although she could also see action in the field, played the past two seasons at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Burger is a freshman who graduated from Notre Dame last year.
"We love having two Notre Dame products on our team," Southeast coach Lana Richmond said. "They're both going to help us."
Reinagel capped an incredible high school career as one of the area's all-time dominant pitchers with a storybook performance in the state title game as a senior. She pitched a perfect game and belted a solo home run against a pitcher who had not allowed an earned run all season to secure Notre Dame's only state title in softball.
Reinagel, the Southeast Missourian softball player of the year her final three prep seasons, went 28-2 with a 0.70 ERA and 285 strikeouts as a senior. She finished her career at Notre Dame with an 84-4 record, 21 career no-hitters and 797 strikeouts. Her 84 wins tied the state record, while the no-hitters rank second in state history.
The success continued in the junior college ranks at Three Rivers as Reinagel was a two-time all-region selection who compiled a 35-17 record.
Reinagel went 19-8 with a 1.73 ERA as a sophomore at Three Rivers. She ranked among the nation's top 10 in strikeouts with 148 -- she walked 40 over 190 innings -- and batting average at .413. She had five home runs and 62 RBIs in 62 games.
"It was like climbing the stairs, going from one level to now," said Reinagel of attending junior college before making the jump to Southeast. "I'm really excited to be here now. It's home."
Reinagel is expected to help bolster a Southeast pitching staff that lost its top two hurlers from last season.
"I look for Lauren to contribute. It comes down to getting used to Division I hitters," Richmond said. "She's a competitor. I know she was a Notre Dame Bulldog, but she sure is a bulldog."
Burger was the Southeast Missourian co-softball player of the year as a senior shortstop when she hit .478 and slugged .822. She had 44 RBIs, 22 doubles and three home runs to go along with 51 runs scored.
"I'm so excited to be here. It's a great opportunity," said Burger, who as a sophomore started at second base on Notre Dame's 2009 title squad. "I love my teammates, my coaches. I can't wait to get going."
Richmond said Burger enters the season slated to split time at second base along with fellow freshman Elysia Mesa.
"Summer has been a very pleasant surprise. She's nitty gritty. She's got a very good arm and what sets her apart is her release," Richmond said.