WILLMAR - Zak Madsen's home run and Drey Dirksen's double in the sixth inning were the key blows as Willmar defeated Dassel-Cokato 5-2 in the first round of the Section 6AAA playoffs on Tuesday at Bill Taunton Stadium. Madsen's blast was part of a four-run inning that broke open a 1-1 game. Drey Dirksen drove in Willmar's first run in the fourth inning and he doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth. Madsen followed with his blast.
WILLMAR - The Willmar Stingers opened the season with a former big league ace on the mound Tuesday and may have found one for the future as well. Former Minnesota Twin Scott Erickson kicked off the opening day festivities with an autograph signing and the ceremonial first pitch. The 1991 World Series Champion also ran into former teammate Al Newman, a coach for the St. Cloud Rox, before he gave way to the Stingers' starting pitcher Braden Scott.
BIG LAKE - Mackenzie Jones dominated Rocori from the pitching circle and Willmar scored the game's only runs in the top of the seventh as the Cardinals took command in the Section 5AAA playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Spartans in the winners bracket final on Tuesday. Jones worked a complete game and scattered eight hits while striking out 10 and issuing no walks. The Cardinals defense played error-free ball. Rocori's Caitlin Heinen was nearly as effective as Jones, allowing only two hits while striking out eight.
WILLMAR - The Willmar Cardinals scored four runs in the fifth inning to spark a late comeback and top St. Cloud Apollo 5-4 in their regular season finale Thursday afternoon at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Cardinals earned to No. 2 seed in Section 6AAA and will play host to Dassel-Cokato at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Taunton.
BECKER - Mackenzie Jones fired a two-hitter to propel Willmar past Becker 5-0 on Thursday and into the Section 5AAA winner's bracket final. The Cardinals, 2-0 in the playoffs, will take on top-seeded Rocori at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Big Lake. Jones went 3-for-4 from the plate to single-handedly out-hit Becker. She knocked in a pair of runs and finished with a double and a stolen base. She struck out six and walked just one. Jordyn Swoboda and Hannah Johnson each added a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals. Willmar 5, Becker 0
MURDOCK—KMS broke out the bats to kick off their playoff run, topping Dawson-Boyd 12-2 and Yellow Medicine East 10-2 Tuesday afternoon. The Saints got the Section 3A tournament going against the Sting, where the hosts jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings that turned into 11-0 through four innings. YME added a run in the fifth inning and one more in the seventh to give the game the 10-2 final. Cassie Weir led the Sting with a pair of doubles and an RBI.
FERGUS FALLS - Willmar baseball split a pair with Fergus Falls Tuesday afternoon behind a strong offensive outing and a narrow defeat. The Cardinals won game one 9-2 thanks to a five-RBI day from Jon Broman who tripled twice and also scored a run. Jack Baumgart also contributed to the offensive splurge, logging a double and a triple with an RBI and run scored. Fergus Falls kept Caleb Owens hitless but he scored three times nevertheless. Brady Bauman tossed six solid innings for the win, striking out eight with only one unearned run to his credit.
MORRIS - Jake Hoffman double and drove in three runs, Clay Blair had a hit and two runs batted in and Connor Westburg, Ryan Christensen and Colin Weidauer all had two hits as Minnewaska defeated Morris/Chokio-Alberta in five innings on Monday at Chizek Field. The Lakers' Matthew Gruber worked all five innings, allowing a run on three hits and striking out six. Morris/CA's Chandler Vogel had two hits, including a double. Minnewaska 12, Morris/CA 1 Minnewaska 630 03-12 11 3 Morris/CA 000 10-1 3 3
LITCHFIELD—Jasmin Estrada homered, doubled and drove in two runs and Kristin Jones had two hits, including a double, drove in two runs and scored three times as Litchfield thumped Brooklyn Center 15-0 in the first round of the Section 5AA playoffs on Monday. Litchfield's Avery Stilwell also had a hit and drove in two runs and Sydney Braaten had two hits and an RBI. The Dragons' Maddy Larson allowed just two hits over four innings, walking two and striking out four.
Ask any local coach about their top athlete and they will inevitably say, "If I could just have three of that person, we'd be great." It's a statement of respect but unless that player is a farm animal, cloning isn't exactly an option. Willmar head tennis coach Jim Anderson doesn't need any technological advancements in order to triplicate his best player. He needs to look no further than Hunter, Peyton and Will Fischer.