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 baseball team certainly put on a memorable show in its first-ever trip to the WIAA baseball sectional tournaments. The Panthers and Eau Claire Regis locked into a tough pitching duel, with neither team able to score for much of the game. Regis scored on a double and a throwing error in the sixth inning. That proved to be the only run of the game as Central was defeated 1-0. The Panthers end the season with a 15-7 record. Regis then faced Ladysmith in the sectional championship game.
Last week was one of the most important weeks of the season for the New Richmond Millers. By winning two of their three St. Croix Valley League games during the week, the Millers improved their chances of making the state adult baseball playoffs this season. Millers fans will get plenty of opportunity to see games this weekend. The Millers are hosting their second annual tournament, with games running from Friday night through Sunday at Citizens Field. The tournament starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, when Ellsworth faces the Minneapolis Blue Sox. At 9 p.m.
New Richmond pitcher Nikki Singerhouse has been honored with all-state honors from the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association. Singerhouse, a junior, was named to the all-state third team. The team was announced Wednesday. She is the only player from the Middle Border Conference to be named to the all-state team. Singerhouse has led the Tigers to two straight undefeated seasons in the MBC. Singerhouse has an 18-3 record this season. She carved out a 1.09 earned run average, striking out 195 batters in 129 innings.
New Richmond's John Ball became the third active Wisconsin high school baseball coach to reach 500 wins, and the 2007 Tigers made sure it was a memorable win. The Tigers battled back to win in the final game of New Richmond's tournament on Saturday to beat Arcadia 10-9 in nine innings. In the first game of the tournament the Tigers handled Eleva-Strum by a 10-0 score. Coach Ball entered the season with a 496-200 record.
Somerset's Megan Plourde was involved in one of the memorable individual battles of the 2007 WIAA Division 2 State Track Meet on Friday at UW-La Crosse. Plourde was the state champion in the high jump in 2005. She ended up battling Becca Buchholtz of East Troy, the 2006 state champion, in one of the showdowns that set the stage for a great weekend of individual performances at the state meet. Buchholtz was able to top Plourde and win the state championship, but she needed to set a new state record to get the win. Somerset was represented in 10 events at the 2007 state meet.
New Richmond seniors Blake Berger and Jake Kleiner became the fourth Tiger doubles team in eight years to place at the WIAA Division 2 State Tennis Individual Championships. Kleiner and Berger received their sixth place state medals at the conclusion of the Division 2 tournament at Nielsen Stadium in Madison last Saturday. Kleiner and Berger complete their season with a 23-4 record. The Tiger tandem won three of their five matches at the state tournament.
Many of the eight New Richmond entries at the 2007 WIAA State Track and Field Championships ran times that matched or exceeded the times they ran to get them to the state track meet. The Tigers again found out that competing at the Division 1 level in track is a huge step up from Division 2. The best finish for the Tigers at the state meet was the ninth place performance by junior Brian Figueroa in the boys 200 meter dash. The Tiger boys were also represented at state by Jake Miller in the 100 meters and Trey Brotzler in the 800 meters.
The St. Croix Central baseball team has advanced to the sectional level in WIAA tournaments for the first time in school history. The Panthers earned their first-ever regional championship last Wednesday when they blazed their way past Spring Valley 11-1 in the regional final. That win moved Central into the Osseo-Fairchild Division 3 sectional tournament. Central was scheduled to face Eau Claire Regis in the first sectional semifinal at Osseo on Tuesday. Cameron and Ladysmith were set to play in the second sectional semifinal.
Pitching was expected to be the backbone of the 2007 New Richmond High School baseball season. After two games, the hitting looks like it will be much better than expected for the Tigers this season. The Tigers opened their season last Tuesday at Baldwin-Woodville. This game was suspended due to darkness in the top of the seventh inning, with the Tigers leading 9-5. The game will be completed on June 21, before the start of the Tigers' home game with the Blackhawks. Last Thursday the Tigers played at Siren as part of New Richmond's one-year membership in the Lakeland Conference.
With eight events advancing, including three girls relays and five individual events, the New Richmond track teams had a nearly perfect day at the 2007 Eau Claire North Division 1 Track Sectional Meet last Thursday. The Tiger girls are sending their 400, 800 and 1600 meter relay teams. The girls will also be represented in two open races at state by sophomore McKenzie Kelly. New Richmond's boys have three individuals who have qualified for state.