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.
EDEN VALLEY—A battle of the No. 4 and 5 seeds proved to be as close as advertised on Tuesday with the Eden Valley-Watkins Legion team edging out Litchfield 3-2 to open the Division II District 7 East Sub-District playoffs. EVW scored all of its runs in the second inning and Litchfield did all of its scoring in the fifth. The teams were evenly matched in terms of hitting, too, as the teams each had four hits.
ST. CLOUD—The St. Cloud Rox pieced together runs in six of eight innings and held off a late Willmar rally to down the Stingers 8-5 in a Northwoods League game on Tuesday at Dick Putz Field. The Rox sent Willmar to its second-straight loss after the Stingers opened the NWL second half with four wins in five games. Willmar returns home to play the Rox at 7:05 p.m. today at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Rox will start Dan Metzdorf against the Stingers' Jayce Vancena.
MONTEVIDEO—Six errors undermined the higher-seeded Montevideo Legion team in a 8-4 loss to Cottonwood in the opening round of the Division II, District 7 Southwest Sub-District tournament on Monday. No. 5-seed Cottonwood took an early 5-1 lead, then tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh inning when Montevideo climbed within a run. Montevideo's Bryce Maurice had three hits and drove in a run, Connor Kontz and two hits and an RBI and Blaine Sedarstrom singled and drove in a run.
ALBANY—The Willmar Legion baseball team split two games Saturday at the Albany/Avon Wood Bat Tournament on Saturday. Post 167 defeated Dassel-Cokato 13-4 after losing to the St. Cloud Chutes 10-1. Willmar plays Marshall at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Swansson Orange, then plays host to the eight-team sub-state tournament beginning July 20 at Swansson and Bill Taunton Stadium. Against Dassel-Cokato, Willmar's Noah Streed hit a bases-loaded triple and Tyler Johnson had three hits. Grant Bangen also drove in two runs.
ROCHESTER — The Willmar Stingers' offense has gone through a power surge to start the month of July and it carried the Stingers to a 10-6 win over the Rochester Honkers on Sunday at Mayo Field. Stingers Justin Toerner and Danny Pardo both hit their third home runs of the year, and the two combined for seven runs batted in to help Willmar (22-19 overall, 4-1 in second half) win for the seventh time in the last eight games.
PAYNESVILLE—Fantastic pitching performances propelled the Willmar VFW I team to the championship of the Starbuck Tournament over the weekend. Three Willmar pitchers worked complete games, allowing just one run and eight hits in a 3-1 over Hutchinson, a 1-0 win over Paynesville and a 9-0 victory over Albany in the championship game played at Paynesville's new park while the Starbuck field at Minnewaska High School undergoes renovations.
LA CROSSE, Wis.—Willmar pitcher Blake Stockert and his LaCrosse counterpart, Connor Wollersheim, waged a classic pitchers' duel through five shutout innings on Friday, with the two left-handers allowing just four hits and five base runners, none of which advanced past first base. That changed dramatically in the sixth. The Stingers' Travis Wacker led off the inning with a home run and Willmar hitters piled on after that in a 6-0 Northwoods League win on Friday.
BIRD ISLAND—Bird Island put on a clinic on Friday amateur game against Sacred Heart, dominating the Saints from start to finish to win 14-0. The Bullfrogs opened the game with three runs including a two-run double from Logan Swann who had a monster game. Swann went on to hit a three-run shot in the fifth as well as part of a nine-run inning. When all was said and done, Swann was 3-for-3 with five RBIs and three runs scored.
WILLMAR—Willmar VFW I took on Willmar II on Thursday and the game went more or less according to plan, with VFW I winning 15-5 at Swansson Orange. VFW I's Jon Broman got things going from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and runs scored. He also had a triple in the game, one of three Willmar I hit. Drey Dirksen was the leading run producer, knocking in four. Jayden Dierenfeld hit behind him in the lineup and also drove in three.