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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Facing Somerset seems to bring out the best in the New Richmond softball team. The Tigers ended a four-game losing streak by beating Somerset 5-1 in windy, wet conditions at New Richmond's Hatfield Park on Monday. This leaves New Richmond, Somerset and Osceola tied for fifth place in the Middle Border Conference standings with 4-8 records. There are two rounds of MBC play remaining, starting with Thursday's games. On Thursday New Richmond will play at Ellsworth, while Somerset is at home against Amery. New Richmond scored all its runs in two innings of Monday's game.
Soccer games between New Richmond and Somerset always seem to be nail biters. That was the case again on Friday, when the two teams met at the Starr Elementary School field in New Richmond. New Richmond junior Amanda Ramsey scored the only goal of the game with 40 seconds left in the first half, giving the Tigers the win in an action-packed game. The two teams played an extremely even first half in terms of ball possession. The Tiger goal came after Somerset had possessed the ball for several minutes. Ramsey got a lead pass and carried the ball into the far left corner of the field.
The coaches will remain the same, only their roles will be reversed. New Richmond girls tennis coach Teresa Kvam has stepped down from the varsity coaching position she has held the past 12 years. Stepping in as varsity coach will be Denise Devereux, who has been Kvam's assistant coach the past six years. Kvam will now become Devereux's assistant coach. Kvam stepped down to create more availability in her schedule.
The New Richmond boys tennis team was able to defeat Baldwin-Woodville in a non-conference meet on May 1. When the teams met again five days later, this time in a Middle Border Conference match, the Tigers couldn't duplicate their success. B-W upended the Tigers boy a 4-3 score in last Thursday's match. Tiger coach Mike Montello had warned the players that nothing was guaranteed, just because of their recent win over the Blackhawks. "I don't think overconfidence was the issue as much as just not being as plugged in as they needed to be," Montello said.
The opening weekend of the season produced excellent pitching for the New Richmond Millers. Unfortunately, the hitting and defense weren't up to the level of the pitching and the Millers lost their opening two games of the season. The Millers will try to bring all three elements together this Saturday when they host Ellsworth at 7:30 p.m. in a St. Croix Valley League game. On Sunday the Millers faced the Elmwood Expos in their opening SCVL game of the season.
St. Croix Central's hopes of winning a Dunn-St. Croix Conference baseball title were officially extinguished on Monday when the Panthers lost to D-SC leader Elk Mound, 2-1. The loss dropped Central to 3-4 in conference play while Elk Mound stands at 6-1 with three conference games remaining. The only team with a hope of catching Elk Mound is Boyceville, which is 3-3 in conference games. Central has had a large dose of close, low-scoring games recently. The Panthers have been getting quality pitching, but the hitting has been spotty.
The seniors on the St. Croix Central track team were pushing themselves hard to make a memorable showing in the final home meet of their careers last Thursday. For many of the Panther seniors, the meet went well, and the efforts led to a championship for the Panther girls. The Central boys took third place among the five teams in the meet. The girls championship was led by the team's seniors: Maddie Skaalrud, Anna Langer, Abby Delander and Martha Landry. Skaalrud and Langer scored individual wins, in the 100 and 3200 meters, respectively.
Since losing the opening game of the Middle Border Conference season, the New Richmond baseball team has completed a cycle of MBC opponents, beating them all. The Tigers ran their MBC winning streak to seven games on Monday night, defeating Osceola 11-4. The Tigers had lost at Osceola 2-0 in the opening game of the season. The Tigers remain in the MBC lead with a 7-1 record.
Somerset's trio of standout starting pitchers may have just added a fourth member. Junior Dakota Belter made the most of his first starting pitching opportunity of the season on Monday, throwing a six-inning no-hitter as the Spartans pummeled Durand 13-0. Belter wasn't scheduled to pitch Monday, but Nick Dvorak was sent home with strep throat. Belter, who has pitched in relief several times, stepped in and pitched flawlessly. The only threat of the hit came in the third inning, when Durand's leadoff hitter bounced a chopper up the middle.
The New Richmond girls soccer team got back at Spooner for handing them their only conference loss when the Tigers topped the Rails 2-1 last Thursday. All three goals were scored in the first half. Spooner scored a few minutes into the game, when a nice centering pass was quickly converted into a goal. The Tigers struggled early, but one breakaway turned their play around. Kaycie Anderson, Amanda Ramsey and Laura Troftgruben all broke out together. Anderson got the ball to Ramsey, who took the ball deep into the left corner of the field.