Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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The bats of the New Richmond softball team are beginning to ring out. After struggling with their hitting in the early stages of the season, the Tigers are beginning to drive the ball with more authority. That showed in a pair of wins last week, which raised the Tigers’ record in the Middle Border Conference to 3-2. The Tigers’ overall record now stands at 5-3. The Tigers fought off a challenge from Ellsworth last Tuesday, rallying for four runs in the sixth inning to notch a 6-2 homefield win. The Tigers were back at home on Friday against Osceola.
With the race for the upcoming Middle Border Conference boys track championship considered to be a tossup, the Somerset boys team is making noise that it will be a player in the battle for the 2014 MBC title. The Spartan boys placed third in the Border Battle meet at River Falls last Friday. Most significantly, the Spartans finished ahead of Osceola by 7.5 points. Osceola is considered one of the Spartans’ main rivals in the battle for the conference title.
It’s amazing what two wins can do. The New Richmond baseball team went into last week reeling with a 1-7 record. Two wins later and the Tigers are suddenly back in contention for the Middle Border Conference lead. Pitching took the lead as the Tigers earned a pair of shutout victories in MBC clashes last week. The Tigers scored an 8-0 victory over Amery last Tuesday behind the three-hit complete game performance of junior pitcher Noah Berger.
After scoring five total goals in the first seven games, the New Richmond girls soccer team found its offense. The Tigers scored five goals last Tuesday in a Middle Border Conference win against Somerset. The Tigers matched that feat two days later, posting another 5-0 MBC win, this time against Amery. The wins keep the Tigers in the thick of the conference title race. The Tigers are now 3-1-1 in conference action. Baldwin-Woodville started the week as the MBC leader with a 4-1 record. The win at Somerset probably surprised the Tigers as much as anyone.
The first two Middle Border Conference dual matches for the New Richmond boys tennis team have not provided a great deal of competition for the Tigers. A week after putting away Osceola’s boys with no problems, the Tigers did the same against Ellsworth last Tuesday, winning 7-0. The Tigers lost three games among the seven sets played against Osceola and they lost six games in the win over Ellsworth. Ellsworth has just 10 players out for tennis.
Most of the Big Rivers Conference teams were present when the New Richmond teams competed in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North last Tuesday. The Tiger boys had an excellent meet, while the Tiger girls struggled to be competitive with the majority of the Division 1 schools they will face in the WIAA regional meet. New Richmond’s boys were able to place in most of the running events, led again by their crew of distance runners. The only Tiger win was earned by Brennan Roby, who was the champion in the 3,200 meters. Roby and Hudson’s Reid Schwechler ran together for much of the race.
With the varsity and junior varsity both earning wins, it was an enjoyable bus trip home for the Somerset softball teams from Amery last Tuesday. The Spartan varsity defeated Amery 6-3 for Somerset’s first win of the 2014 season. The win came because the Spartans were able to put together all the necessary ingredients, with solid hitting, pitching and defense. The hitting was led by Megan Starry and Ally Wittstock.
With 26 games on the 2014 schedule, the New Richmond Millers adult baseball team will be relying heavily on its pitching staff. Millers ace right-hander Hayden Zimmerman may be the best pitcher in the St. Croix Valley League. But after that, there are question marks on who will step up to be the starting pitchers for the team. Coleman Roskam, Josh Leavens and Sean Conrad are the leading contenders for the pitching roles on the team.
Area high school golfers got their chance to see plenty of competition during tournaments that were played over the past week. The New Richmond and Somerset golf teams got to see some of the finest competition Minnesota can offer when they played in a tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Course in Stillwater last Tuesday. The five top-ranked Minnesota high school teams played in the tournament. The Wisconsin teams finished at the back of the pack, but their scores were in line with their recent scores. Wayzata won the tournament, shooting an eye-popping 295 score.
Prescott and Ellsworth are undefeated at the top of the Middle Border Conference baseball standings. Somerset’s only MBC losses are to the co-leaders and the Spartans were clearly competitive in those losses. The second of those losses came last Friday, when Prescott scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to break a 6-6 tie. The 9-6 final was the biggest challenge that the 9-0 Prescott team has received so far this season. It took a hearty comeback from the Spartans to give them a chance to win the game. Somerset scored twice in the first inning.