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New Richmond U10 softball team places second at nationals

The New Richmond U10 softball team is shown with its second place trophy at the USA Northern Nationals Tournament. Team members include (front, l-r) Brier Blietz and Catelyn Swanepoel; (second row) Lexi Fiebiger, Maddie Rousar, Paige Adrian, Adelyn Lucas and Haley Jackson; (third row) Ashtyn Powers, Jasmine Altena, Gingerann Lucas and Maggie Merritt; (back row) assistant coach Brian Adrian, head coach Brian Blietz and assistant coach Bill Lucas.

A tremendous summer by the New Richmond 10U A softball team was capped by a second-place finish at the USA Northern Nationals national tournament, played in Yankton, S.D. from July 25-29.

The New Richmond girls had opportunities to go to two different national tournaments. Head coach Brian Blietz said the coaches “chose to go to this Nationals to give the girls a different experience than going to another Minnesota-located tournament where we would play the same teams. I think the girls had a blast and will remember this experience forever.”

It was an all-Wisconsin national championship game, with New Richmond facing the Wisconsin Lightning, based out of Salem in the southeast corner of the state. New Richmond was without its top pitcher for the title game due to injury, and the Lightning won the title with a 17-2 victory.

“The Lighting was by far the best team we've faced all season,” Blietz said.

That was the third straight game New Richmond had played that day. That game came immediately after New Richmond had crushed the Tidal Wave Crush, 8-4. New Richmond opened the game with four triples in the first inning, building a quick 4-0 lead. New Richmond’s defense played expertly to maintain the lead.

That game came right after New Richmond’s first clash with the Wisconsin Lightning. That ended with the Lightning winning, 8-0. Before that, New Richmond had won its first four games in the national tournament.

New Richmond started the tournament with a 9-8 win over Tyndall, S.D. Blietz said the team’s nerves showed early, but they were able to win the game with aggressive play late in the action.

With the nerves in check, New Richmond then defeated the Brookings (S.D.) Outlaws, 11-6. That made New Richmond winners of its pool.

New Richmond moved into Bracket #1, and immediately pounded out a 17-0 win against the Yankton (S.D.) Fury Twisters. Blietz said that was “by far our best game of the season,” with New Richmond finishing the game with 21 hits.

In the second game in the bracket, New Richmond defeated the Vermillion Flamez, 9-1. It took New Richmond a couple innings to get rolling, but the Tigers soon took charge in the game.

Blietz said the Tigers peaked at the end of the season, doing their best hitting and playing their best defense of the season in the tournament.

“We played as a team and my third-year players really stepped up to spark and lead the team. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of girls. They really worked hard for this last tournament and it showed. The experience from this tournament is one that none of us will forget,” Blietz said.

Dave Newman

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 more than 30 years.

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