WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 23, 2011, 08:54 AM

Mayville State baseball team comes to the rescue for a stranded driver

Mayville, ND (WDAY TV) - Mayville State University's head baseball coach added another save to his resume: A rescue of a stranded driver. Coach Scott Berry and two assistants saved a student stuck in a ditch during the height of the winter storm.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Coach Berry calls this experience a first, and hopefully a last. He came to the rescue of a family friend, as his team became stuck as well, all just 11 miles from home.

Call it a twist of fate.

SCOTT BERRY - Mayville St. Head Baseball Coach: “The world changed for the baseball team and changed for us.”

Mayville State head baseball coach Scott Berry happened to be in the right place at the right time Tuesday night.

SCOTT BERRY - Mayville St. Head Baseball Coach: “Little did I know how the evening was going to progress.”

Student Kjerstin Bakke became stuck in snow after her vehicle went off the road. She called her dad, authorities, and a tow truck.

KJERSTIN BAKKE - Stranded Student: “I just took my chances and said Dear God, please get me through this.”

Authorities eventually halted Bakke's rescue after nearly three hours, but somehow a family friend reached Coach Berry.

SCOTT BERRY - Mayville St. Head Baseball Coach: “Her and I were in dialogue and texting and trying to keep her half way sane.”

As it so happens, Berry and his team were nearby, on their way home from a game. They too soon became stuck near the Mayville exit.

PETE PRATT - Mayville St. Asst. Baseball Coach: “Spirits were good until this morning. Got a little punchy, about two o'clock the kids started to fall asleep.”

Just across the interstate sat a scared Bakke.

KJERSTIN BAKKE - Stranded Student: “I've never been so happy in my entire life.”

Coach and two assistants finally reached her, as did a tow truck. But with little gas and white out conditions, Berry and Bakke had no where to go for the night but Hillsboro, a seven mile drive that took 45 minutes.

KJERSTIN BAKKE - Stranded Student: “It was crazy. I never thought it would happen.”

SCOTT BERRY - Mayville St. Head Baseball Coach: “The way I look at it, it was just the right thing to do.”

A farmer brought the 23 baseball players food and water until they pushed the bus out. The team got home around 11 this morning. Coach and Bakke got home two hours later after nearly 17 hours trapped in that storm.

People in Mayville are no where near done cleaning up from the massive storm. It dumped nearly 20 inches of snow.

Many homeowners couldn't even get out of their driveways if they tried. By six tonight, most roads in town only had one lane plowed. City plows are piling snow wherever they can. Meantime, homeowners are stuck blowing and shoveling mounds of snow in their driveways and on sidewalks.

GRETA KYLLO – Homeowner: “Last year we were talking, walking flood dikes and talking about flooding at this time and it's a little late in the year, but isn't much you can do about it. We got a free day off of work for it so you can't complain about it all I guess.”

What's making matters worse is people are finding a thick layer of ice underneath all the snow.