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 St. Croix Central girls needed some seventh inning heroics to pull out a 4-2 softball win at Pepin on Monday. The win assures the Panthers a share of the 2010 Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship. With four games still remaining on the Panthers' schedule, they have plenty of opportunities to lock up the outright title. They were scheduled to play at Glenwood City on Tuesday and host Boyceville on Thursday.
With its outstanding performance in the 3-2 win over New Richmond last Friday, the Somerset baseball team played its way back into the Middle Border Conference pennant race. The Spartans may have played their way back out of the race on Monday, flopping badly in an 8-3 homefield loss to Amery. Somerset picked a poor time to play badly. With New Richmond knocking off Ellsworth on Monday, a win Monday would have moved the Spartans into a tie for the conference lead. Now the Spartans will need help to get a share of the conference title. The Spartans have three MBC games remaining.
The Middle Border Conference boys golf championship will have to be decided at the 2010 conference tournament. The conference tournament was scheduled to be played at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course outside River Falls on Tuesday. Osceola was the leader in the team standings heading into the tournament. The contenders for the conference tournament were sorted out in a 12-team conference match played at Glenwood City on Monday. Osceola moved into the conference lead by winning Monday's match with a round of 159.
The New Richmond and Amery softball teams went through much of Monday's game swapping runs inning by inning. Amery was able to get three critical runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, pushing the Warriors past the Tigers 12-9. The loss leaves New Richmond with a 4-9 record in Middle Border Conference play. The Tigers are tied with Somerset, Osceola and Durand as the bottom four teams in the conference show continued parity. New Richmond and Amery were on a scoring carousel for most of Monday's game. The Tigers scored in each of the first four innings.
New Richmond's girls soccer team climbed to 9-2-1 in the MBC with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Amery last Tuesday. This was a game between two of the best teams in the conference and it played out that way. "We figured Amery would be a tough test. They always play fast and they always play hard," Coach Charles Conley said. Amery always plays with a defensive focus. The Tigers were able to create several breakaway opportunities during the game and one finally panned out early in the second half.
Eau Claire Regis, the defending Middle Border Conference boys championship team, dealt the New Richmond boys their third loss of the MBC season on Friday. The Tigers have also lost to Altoona and Baldwin-Woodville in conference matches this season. Regis defeated the Tigers by a 6-1 score. The Ramblers return many of the players from last year's team and simply had more experience than the Tigers at most flights in the match. The lone win for the Tigers came at four singles.
The Somerset softball team has seen some pretty sharp pitching in recent games. The only way the Spartans could win a game this week was to have one of their pitchers throw a no-hitter. The no-hitter came during the Siren Invitational on Saturday, where the Spartans played three games. They also lost in their only Middle Border Conference game of the past week, in a 5-0 homefield decision against Baldwin-Woodville on Monday. The no-hitter was accomplished by Spartan sophomore Bethany Starry against PACT Charter School from Ramsey, Minn.
Somerset's girls soccer team earned its third win of the Middle Border Conference season, and its second win against Baldwin-Woodville, by beating the Blackhawks 2-0 last Thursday. Somerset started the week tied with Superior for sixth place in the MBC standings with 3-8 record. If a game is measured on scoring chances, Somerset had a huge game against Baldwin-Woodville. The game was scoreless at halftime, but only because of the fearless play of the B-W goalkeeper.
Three games into the season, the New Richmond Millers have not yet found the form that made them a playoff team in 2009. In Saturday's 5-1 loss to Ellsworth the Millers were not sharp in any of the game. This drops the Millers to 0-3 for the season. This was the second loss in St. Croix Valley League action. Millers manager Ryan Stephens tried to find a bright side to the slow start.
Somerset's girls track team wasn't trying to win the title at the Colfax Invitational, but they nearly did anyway. The Spartans didn't hang around for the end of last Tuesday's meet. When they received the results the next day, they found they'd missed the meet championship by one point.