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 New Richmond and Baldwin-Woodville baseball team played almost identical games on Monday. It was fitting that two teams that lead the Middle Border Conference would play such a close game. But when each team got a baserunner in scoring position in the seventh inning, it was the Blackhawks that got the run home, while the Tigers couldn't. That run was the difference, as B-W edged the Tigers 3-2. This was the Tigers' second loss in conference play. B-W and Prescott remain tied for the MBC lead with one loss each. Both pitchers had strong nights.
A third straight Middle Border Conference softball championship is well within the grasp of the New Richmond team after the Tigers swept a double-header from second place Prescott on Monday. With the wins, the Tigers are now 10-0 in the MBC with four games to play. Amery and Baldwin-Woodville, who entered Monday's games with 6-3 and 5-3 records respectively, are the only teams with a mathematical chance to catch the Tigers. The sweep Monday night started with the Tigers winning the opener 7-5.
People need to start looking at the Somerset girls as one of the top teams in the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans went to New Richmond last Thursday and to Superior last Friday, and both times, Somerset came home with victories. The two wins raise Somerset's Middle Border Conference record to 6-2, putting them in second place in the conference standings behind Hayward. The win at New Richmond on Thursday will go down as one of the more inspiring wins for the Spartans. The game was scoreless all through the game until the final two minutes.
The Tiger boys tennis team improved to 3-0 in the Middle Border Conference with a 6-1 win over Durand last Thursday. Kyle Mitchell and Trevor Anderson have been constants in the Tigers' single lineup and they earned solid wins against Durand. The rest of the Tiger lineup has been changed for every meet, as Coach Mike Montello tries to see whether his young players are better suited for singles or doubles, and what combinations work best in doubles. Against Durand, freshmen Justice Harvieux and Jorden Aufderhar played three and four singles.
With 2-0 wins over Superior and Barron last week, the New Richmond girls soccer team now has the longest winning streak in team history. The Tigers have won four straight games, which is the most wins the team has won in succession since becoming a varsity program third years ago. The winning streak runs the Tigers' record for the season to 5-2. The five wins matches the most wins the Tigers have earned in one season since becoming a varsity program. In last Tuesday's homefield win over Superior, Tiger senior Brianna Richter scored both of the team's goals in the first half of the game.
Weather pushed the Ellsworth Invitational Track Meet back from Friday to Monday, but that didn't stop the New Richmond track teams from putting together impressive efforts. The Tiger boys were meet champions, edging Osceola by three points for the title. New Richmond's girls took second place in the meet, behind Ellsworth. Because of the rescheduling, only five of the original nine teams expected at the meet were able to compete.
The quest for a third straight undefeated Middle Border Conference championship has reached the halfway point for the New Richmond softball team. The Tigers climbed to 7-0 in the MBC in their stiffest test thus far in the 2008 season. The Tigers went to Baldwin-Woodville and scored a 6-4 win over the Blackhawks. This game featured two of the top pitchers in the MBC. New Richmond pitcher Nikki Singerhouse hasn't lost a game since her freshman season.
The New Richmond boys tennis team is out to a 2-0 start in the Middle Border Conference after wins over Amery and Ellsworth in the past week. The Tigers beat Amery on Monday after the match had been postponed last Thursday and Friday. Monday's conditions weren't optimal for tennis, but the Tigers were able to adjust to the weather in most cases to earn a 6-1 win. In Monday's match the Tigers swept the singles matches and earned wins at the two and three flights in doubles. Kyle Mitchell, Trevor Anderson and Eric Anderson won the top three singles flights without giving up a set.
The Somerset softball team is getting the pitching and hitting to win ball games. But defense and base running continue to draw down the Spartans. The Spartans lost to Osceola 14-12 last Tuesday. They faced the Chieftains again on Monday, losing by a 9-5 score. In Monday's game the Spartans outhit Osceola 11-5. But the Somerset defense put six runners on base with errors. The Spartans also had several other errors and passed balls that kept presenting Osceola with opportunities.
Want an indication of how much the St. Croix Central softball team has improved? When the Panthers faced Colfax in the opening game of the season, Colfax won 7-2. When the two teams met Monday to start the second half of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference season, Central clobbered Colfax 13-0. The win is the fourth straight for the Panthers who have raised their D-SC record to 5-3. Central freshman pitcher Nikki Brooks threw a one-hitter to earn the shutout in the five inning win. Brooks struck out seven Vikings and walked two batters.