Auseth teaches physical education at Burlington High School


By Mike Ramczyk

BURLINGTON – Softball is a family thing for Valerie Auseth.

Before marrying former Burlington baseball great Todd Auseth and having four kids, the Burlington High School physical education teacher and Burlington Blast club softball coach was a beast on the diamond.

And if she suits up this summer to play co-ed softball with Todd, something she used to do all over the country, Valerie would most likely still dominate.

A Wheatland native, Valerie was a softball standout at Westosha Central High School and later became a Division 3 All-American at UW-Whitewater.

A youth softball coach for years, Auseth is taking the next step.

Valerie (Kerkman) Auseth

The Burlington Area School District School Board recently approved the hiring of Auseth as the new varsity softball head coach.

Auseth takes over for Gary Caliva, who retired in style in June after leading the Burlington Demons to their best season in 30 years, capped with a Southern Lakes Conference title and Division 1 state runner-up trophy.

Auseth, also known as Valerie Kerkman, has a niece, Kayla, that was named the top infielder/catcher in the state of Wisconsin back in June. The Westosha star stole a school record 23 bases, and she now plays Division 2 college softball for Winona State University.

Though Josie Klein and Jaina Westphal, the All-Area co-players of the year, graduated last summer, the Demons welcome back plenty of talent, including Maddie Berezowitz, Emily Zuleger, Bridi Allen, Alex Naber and Gracie Peterson.

With 2018 All-Area first team selection Ashley Schmalfeldt also graduated, it’s believed her younger sister should see significant time on the mound this spring.

Please pick up Thursday’s Burlington Standard Press for more on this story, including quotes from Auseth.