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Baseball play-offs

Mon, Jun 11th, 2012
Posted in All Sports

Chatfield’s softball team poses for a team picture after losing to Blooming Prairie in the section title game. The runner-up Gophers had a thrilling play-off run, winning two games in walk-off fashion, downing powerful Lewiston-Altura. Photo by Paul Trende

From Five to Two

Day one of the areas baseball post-season brought no surprises. In S-S 1AA East, it was ugly in Plainview. The top seeded PEM Bulldogs (17-3) ended 8-seed GMLOK’s rough season (1-20) with an 18-1 whooping (five innings). Jacob Rindels had one of GMLOK’s three hits, and their only RBI. In S-S 1A East, Chatfield (13-7) dispensed with Mabel-Canton (5-15) 11-1 in six innings.

Leadoff man Jake Neis was active (2-2, 3B, RBI, 3 R, SB), Justin Viss saw the ball clearly (3-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R), and Nate Skare pitched three shutout no-hit innings with 6 K’s in getting the win. Collin O’Bieglo (1-2, 2B) drove in the lone Cougar run. M-C ends their season at 5-16. Finally, in Rushford, the 4th-seeded Trojans (5-15) and 5th-seeded FC/L (5-14-1) played the lone competitive game.

The Trojans got ahead 3-1 after three and prevailed 5-2 despite getting out-hit 10-7. Dalton Bellock (RBI) and Zach Ansell each had two hits for R-P. FC/L had a trio of players, Tyler Eickhoff (2-3, 2B, R), Jake Ristau (2-4, RBI), and Zach Olstad (2-4, 2B) do the same, but their season ends at 5-15-1 (they tied with W-K 1-1 to end the regular season).

Near Upset…Big 5th

Those results set up 2-seed Chatfield (14-7) versus 3-seed Lewiston-Altura (15-6), and 4-seed R-P versus 1-seed Wabasha-Kellogg. The Trojans (6-15) scared the be-Jesus out of the Falcons (14-6-1). The teams traded runs in the 4th inning and, after seven-complete, were still deadlocked at one. In the bottom of the 8th, W-K got a leadoff single from Ryan Wolfe, a walk, and then a GW-RBI double by Hunter Baab to secure the win. Will Greenheck got the win (7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 7 K, 1 BB). Austin Baab (3-3, 2B) and Andrew Kreye (2-2, 2B, RBI) led W-K’s offense. Ethan Wilkemeyer and Riley Vitse each went 2-4 for R-P. The senior Wilkemeyer pitched the entirety in defeat (8 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB). R-P’s finishes 6-16.

In Chatfield, the Gophers and L-A remained deadlocked in another pitchers duel until the bottom of the 5th. Chatfield then got a pair aboard via errors. Jake Neis singled to load the bases. Zach Eggers walked to plate the first run. Tyler Lund then blooped a hit/error off the right fielders glove, scoring another run. Nate Skare capped the inning with a two-out 2-run single up the middle. Chatfield held for a 4-0 win. Neis (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 5 K) and Skare (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) combined for two-hitter. L-A’s Zach Nelson went the distance (4 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 10 K).

Good Weather

By virtue of that win, Chatfield got a Saturday date in Austin for the Sectional tournament. The weather was finally great (after a wet and cool softball tourney). The day began sunny, got over-cast for a couple hours, before turning into a partly cloudy 70-plus degree afternoon. The limited clouds, and a small breeze, were refreshing breaks from the warm sun.

The playing conditions were the only things ‘great,’ ‘sunny,’ and ‘refreshing,’ at least for Chatfield baseball fans. The 2-seeded Gophers (15-7) began with a third contest against top seed W-K (15-6-1) for the 1A East title. After one inning, the Falcons led 5-0 (Justin Hartert 3-run double). Icings were only added to the cake from there. Gopher pitching gave up eight hits and six walks (of which, four came around to score). The team committed (at least) three errors. Justin Viss and Skare had the only two Chatfield hits. Hunter Baab (wining pitcher; 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 6 K, 1 BB) ended the game with a two-run single in the 5th. The Falcons avenged a 4-0 loss with a 10-0 victory.

The maroon and white then turned around and played, also drubbed in their first game (16-0 by Kenyon-Wanamingo), 1A West runner-up Southland (13-10). The Reb’s began with three straight hits, three first inning runs. Continue the daylong avalanche. The Reb’s stole six bases, pounded out eleven hits (the Gophers had just four), led by Mike Goergen (2-3, 3 SB, RBI, 3 R), Decker Bendtsen (3-4, 3 RBI, 3 R, SB), Ike Kloeckner (2-4, 3 RBI), and Lukas Anderson (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 7 K, 0 BB). By a final of 9-0, Southland ended Chatfield’s 2012 campaign. The Gophers finish as 1A East runner’s up (15-9).

All Good Things…

The #10 Chatfield Gopher softball team began the week knowing they’d head to Austin for the Sectional ‘Final Four.’ After one day (victories over K-W and L-A), they were ecstatic, and headed back for day two. Had they somehow beaten 7th ranked (19-3) Blooming Prairie not once, but twice (per a one-loss versus zero-loss team in a double-elimination tournament), it would’ve been truly amazing, an outstanding four-game two-day effort.

Alas they did not defeat the Blossoms, the defending Section champs. They fell 3-1; were nixed of a trip to state, season brought to an end.Unlike their battles with K-W and L-A in Austin, there weren’t any big hits. The two teams registered eight total. Only a couple balls were pounded with any authority.

Pitching and errors were the big stories. Both hurlers, Shelbi Swenson for the Blossoms (7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 8 K, BB) and Katie Jech (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 K, BB) for the Goph’s held down opposing hitters. Defensively, it wasn’t just the three errors Chatfield committed; the Blossoms (critical) two-run 4th inning could’ve been a zero run inning, as a BP runner was dead to rights at home but instead of a catch and a tag, their was only a catch and loose ball; the third BP run also both reached and scored via errors. It was the three BP was saved from committing; a trio of times, BP first base-person Julia Manges (who also had the lone Blossom RBI) dug out bad throws, saving her team from who knows what damage. The Gophers finish at 19-7.

Standouts, pitcher Katie Jech (15-3), first base-person Tori Woltz (team leader 7 HR’s, 35 RBI’s), multi-position Sarah Costello (6 HR’s, 19 RBI’s), and pinch-hitter/right fielder Erin Bradt (two big post-season rips) have their senior years come to and end. They (the team) end(s) as Three Rivers South champs, 1A East runners up, and 1A runners up.

Golf Sectionals: Four to State

Only one county squad (the Lanesboro boys) made the Section 1A golf team final. Seventeen county individuals competed at sectionals and it was four Lanesboro girls that highlighted the action. The Lady Burros, 3rd place finishers in the Sub-Section 1A East meet by six strokes, played well enough at the section meet (379) that, had their four entrants participated as a team, they would’ve (outdone Lewiston-Altura’s 381 and) went to state.

Kiah Halvorson (89), Paige Hungerholt (95), Johanna Bearson (96), and Bryn Harmon (100) were as masterful in windy conditions at Adams’ Cedar River Golf Course as anyone, finishing 1st, 2nd, 4th (tie), and 13th. The first three earned trips to state. It is the first time Halvorson has medalled this year. It’s Hungerholt’s 4th trip to state (10th place as a sophomore, 13th as a junior), Bearson’s first. Kingsland’s Karli Bly (104) finished 14th and FC’s Jessie Tammel (106) 16th.

The Lanesboro boy’s team didn’t fair as well. They finished 3rd (374) behind BP (363) and W-K (322), who, led by medalist Fletcher Blaschko (76) and second place finisher Alec Pierce (77), dominated the competition. Cory Strom’s 89 was the highest Burro score (not high enough for a state birth). Only FC’s Andy Todd earned that, amongst county male performers. His 82 was good enough for 5th, as BP’s Victor Peterson (81) and Houston’s Mitchell Beckman (81) rounded out the top five. Todd’s teammate, Mitch Johnson (86), missed a state trip by one stroke. Charlie Krambeer’s 94 was the highest R-P performer. Spencer Klevan (100) was the only Knight in action.

Track Sectionals: Gopher Relay Rerun

Three Chatfield Gophers, their sprint relay teams, and two R-P/H ‘thrower’s are heading to the state track meet. The Gopher girl’s 4x100 and 4x200 teams, comprised of senior Erin Kammer, sophomore Ashley Baker, 8th grader Autum Erickson, and freshmen Maddy Kammer, swept 1st in the short relays for the second straight year.

The 4x100 got tough competition from Jillian Krier-anchored Byron. The Bears won the preliminary heat, with the Gophers finishing second. Chatfield, anchored by Maddy Kammer, then won the final. The Gopher girls will look to improve upon last year’s strong state performance (third place finish in each event). The last time Chatfield wasn’t represented at state by either a girl’s 4x100 or 4x200 was 2006. Erin Kammer has been a part of each of those (now) six state entrants (7th grade-senior year).

Krier and Maddy Kammer also dueled in the individual 200-meters. Krier (Byron) won the prelim. Kammer (Chatfield) won the finale (by .04 seconds). Maddy finished 5th last year. Gophers Kyndra Neis (Sr.) and Kayla Woltz (Jr.) also jumped on the state bandwagon. After finishing runner-up a year ago in the Shot Put, Neis won with year’s event with a 36’00 ½” throw. It’s her third state appearance in as many years.

Woltz earned her first state birth courtesy of a runner-up finish in the 3,200-meter. Distance running juggernaut Emi Trost of Cannon Falls won the event, and the 1,600-meters, by 17 and 45 seconds respectively. Neis (4th Discus) and Woltz (3rd 1,600) also fared well in similar events. Other high Gopher finishers included Karen Gomez (5th 1,600 and 3,200), Ashley Baker (3rd 100-meters, qualified 2nd), Maddie Talamantes (3rd 300-hurdles, qualified 8th), Josh Johnson (5th 800-meters), Nick Haffner (3rd 110-hurdles), Tyler Wondrow (5th High Jump), and Jayme LaPlante (5th Shot, 4th Discus).

The R-P/H track and field program will also be represented at state. Seniors Adria Timm (R-P) and Hans Lundberg (Houston) won discus crowns. Timm’s win wasn’t a big shock. She’s been one of the better gal throwers in the area this season and proved it, tossing the weight nearly 8-feet (109’2”) further then her closet competitor (101’5”).

Lundberg’s victory came a bit out of the blue. The 6’2” 215-pound Houstonite wasn’t out for track a year ago and began this season with throws under 100’. His sectional winning toss went 150’9”. R-P/H’s most heralded track and field athlete, Dalton Mensink, didn’t earn a state birth, but his performance, or performances are no less noteworthy. The senior competed in four events, finishing 3rd in the Long Jump, 7th in the 300-hurdles, and 7th in the 100 (didn’t qualify for the 200-meter finals).

Tyler McLellan (5th Long Jump) and Dan Thorson (5th Triple Jump) also finished high for R-P/H. For L/FC, Gabe Decker tied for 3rd in the Pole Vault, and the 4x800 (Brandon Breitsprecher/Chris Collett/Nathaniel Harrison/Erik Peterson) and 4x100 (Marcus Tucker/Niko Anderson/Andrew Coyle/Tanner Ristau) teams finished 4th and 5th respectively.

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