PAYNESVILLE—The Willmar VFW I team geared up for the District 5 playoffs in a manner that has become routine the last month. Timely hitting and solid pitching helped Post 1639 down Albany 3-0 on Friday night in a game played at Paynesville's new stadium. Willmar I notched its 14th straight win and the team heads into the district tournament 21-8 overall. "We're heading in the right direction going into the playoffs," said head coach Tom DeBoer.
COON RAPIDS—he Willmar Soccer Association 17-U team will play for a Competition Level 3 state championship after defeating Eagan 6-1 on Thursday in the semifinals in Coon Rapids. Jesus Nevarez and Marcos Nino both scored three goals against Eagan. Willmar takes on Coon Rapids for the state championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Shakopee. Willmar was 8-2 in the regular season and is 4-0 so far in the playoffs. 16-U soccer falls game short
MONTEVIDEO—BOLD used a strong combined pitching performance to rout Cottonwood 8-1 and advance in the District 7 Final Four on Thursday. Ben Steffel started for the Mudhens and threw three innings of hitless ball before being relieved by Hayden Tersteeg, who went three innings to get the win. Tersteeg allowed the only Cottonwood run and kept his team's lead comfortably in his three innings of work. Reed Stadther pitched the final inning. He ran into a bit of trouble, allowing four hits, but kept Cottonwood off the board.
COON RAPIDS—The Willmar Soccer Association 16-U boys soccer team is a step away from playing for a state championship after a 3-2 win over Shakopee on Tuesday in the six-team Competition Level 2 state tournament. Sergio Moreno scored all three goals for Willmar, which trailed 2-1 with 15 minutes left in the game. The contest was shortened because of high temperatures. Willmar will play Chippewa Falls at 6 p.m. Thursday in Coon Rapids.
The Willmar Legion baseball team will be host of the Division 1, Zone 15 Sub-State tournament on Wednesday through Saturday. Willmar, the No. 6 seed, opens the double-elimination tournament against No. 3 Hutchinson at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium. In Wednesday's other first-round games at Taunton, No. 2 Maple Plain plays No. 7 Cold Spring at 10 a.m., No. 4 Marshall plays No. 5 Delano at 4 p.m., and at 7 p.m. top-seed Waconia plays No. 8 Lester Prairie, which defeated St. Joseph in a play-in game.
GRANITE FALLS—Cottonwood's legion team was able to handle Montevideo with ease on Sunday, winning the District 7, Southwest Sub-District title 8-0 on Sunday the arm of Bayley Enstad and timely hitting. Cottonwood put up two crooked numbers in the second and the third inning including six in the third. With the way Enstad was dealing, that was plenty. Enstad only allowed three hits in seven innings and struck out three on the day.
LITCHFIELD—Two fast starts led Willmar VFW I to wins in a pair of six-inning games against Litchfield on Friday. Drey Dirksen and Zak Madsen each had two hits, with Dirksen hitting a home run, as Willmar won the opener 5-2. Pitcher Brandon Elseth tossed a complete game, scattering five hits to go along with eight strikeouts. Willmar jumped out to a 7-1 lead and withstood a late Litch rally in for a 7-6 win in Game Two. Jon Broman had two RBIs and six different players scored runs as Willmar put up six runs in the second inning.
ATWATER—Tri-Town's legion team used a strong pitching performance from Payton Kinzler to beat Eden Valley-Watkins 3-1 and advance to the next round of the winner's bracket of the Division II District 7 East Sub-District playoffs. Tri-Town opened the scoring in the first and piled on a couple more in the third. Kinzler helped his own cause, going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs in the game. On the mound, Kinzler went the distance, allowing six hits and a run in the process. He also struck out five.
MADISON—Cottonwood entered Wednesday's game against Madison as the underdog but left as a clear winner. Bayley Enstad fired a five-hitter as No. 5-seed Cottonwood upended top-seed Madison 11-0 in the Division II District 7 Southwest Sub-District on Wednesday. The middle innings were the key to Cottonwood's win. The team scored eight of the runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Tristen Groff was the team's offensive leader, going 3-for-5 while driving in four runs.
WILLMAR—The Willmar Soccer Association 16-U boys soccer team defeated Eden Prairie 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday in Chaska to secure the No. 1 West seed in the upcoming, six-team Competition Level 2 state tournament. Willmar is 10-0-2 and Eden Prairie's goal was the first the team has surrendered this season. On Tuesday, Willmar's Sergio Moreno scored all three goals in a 3-0 win over Chanhassen/Chaska to ensure a spot in the state tournament. The Eden Prairie game determined seeding.