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Donors show surge of support for Waconia softball star who died in crash

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Last week's sudden death of Alexis Kretsch in a highway accident has prompted an outpouring of support for the Waconia 16-year-old.

The rollover crash near Mankato that took Kretsch's life also ended a promising softball career, but her memory will live on in her community.

A fund to raise money for a memorial for Kretch at the softball fields being built for Waconia's new high school had nearly reached its $10,000 goal just two days after it was established.

In addition to pitching for Waconia High School, Kretsch was a member of the Minnesota Vortex, playing for their '99 Elite softball team for players 16 and under.

The team announced on its website that a Thursday funeral is planned at Faith Lutheran Church in Waconia.

An obituary published by Johnson Funeral Home notes that Alexis was also known as "Smiley" for her beautiful and ever-present smile, and she had hoped to become a pediatric nurse.

This is the second time this year that Waconia has mourned the death of a teenager. In January, 18-year-old Jack Pogatchnik went into cardiac arrest while jogging at a community center and was declared brain dead several days later.

An online fundraising campaign helped the Pogatchnik family with his medical expenses.

Lexi's mother, Jennifer Kretsch, is the city clerk for Victoria, Minnesota, where Monday's city council meeting was canceled out of respect for the family, KSTP reports.

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