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 baseball team has risen to the top of the Lakeland Conference. The Tigers scored three Lakeland wins last week, all on shutouts, to climb to 7-0 in the conference standings. The most important win of the week came last Tuesday at Grantsburg. New Richmond and Grantsburg entered the game with perfect conference records. This was everything you'd expect in a showdown for the conference lead. There was superlative pitching, timely hitting and sharp play from both teams.
Senior Blake Berger will be the seventh player in New Richmond High School history to play in the Wisconsin All-Star Classic baseball games. The games in this year's Classic will be played at E.J. Schneider Field in Oshkosh on June 29-30. Two games will be played each day as part of the tournament, which showcases the top senior high school players in Wisconsin. Berger had an excellent junior season for the Tigers. He hit .356, was second on the team with 24 RBI and was third on the team with 24 runs scored. He tied for the team lead with six pitching wins.
The New Richmond baseball team travelled to Minnesota to find tough competition over the weekend. The Tigers competed in a wooden bat tournament at Hinckley, Minn., playing against some of the top senior American Legion teams in northern Minnesota. The Tigers took second place in the tournament, winning two of their three games. Originally, the Tigers were scheduled to play Hinckley in the opening round of the tournament last Friday night. Hinckley wasn't available because it qualified for the Legion state tournament. So Aitkin, Minn. stepped in.
The New Richmond Millers were good hosts, on and off the field, this weekend. The Millers held their second annual adult baseball tournament this weekend. The tournament was an excellent fund-raiser for the team and there were several outstanding games played during the tournament. Hours before the games began, the Millers were working, getting the field prepared and making sure all the concessions were in place. All the energy spent on the prep work seemed to sap the Millers' energy for baseball.
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.
The wellness program at the Somerset Middle School has been honored with a 2007 Governor's School Health Care Silver Award. Somerset's program was one of 10 school buildings to be honored with a state Silver Award. Five schools from around the state received Gold Awards. Dawn Spafford, District health care provider, led the development of the wellness planning for the Middle School. Teacher Jennifer Nickowski led the staff involvement in the project.
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.