PAYNESVILLE -- Paynesville earned at least a share of the West Central North Conference baseball crown by beating front-runner Melrose 4-0 Thursday. The Bulldogs finish the league season 10-4. Melrose (9-4) has one game remaining and can force a tie with a victory. All ready holding a 1-0 lead, Paynesville scored twice in the third on three hits and a walk. Jon Hemingson and Cory Nietfeld hit RBI singles. Hemingson also picked up the win on the mound, pitching all seven innings.
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine East foiled Lac qui Parle Valley's quest for a perfect West Central South Conference baseball season, beating the Eagles 9-3 Thursday. The Sting (7-5, 10-5) jumped to an early 4-0 by the end of the second inning.
NORTH MANKATO -- Seven area softball players have been selected to participate in the Minnesota State Senior Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association All-Star Games June 11 as Caswell Park. Willmar had three players named: Callie Nelsen, Andrea Brown and Laura Nielsen. Also named was Benson/Hancock's Emily Jensen and Melinda Paulsrud. MACCRAY's Christine Condon and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg's Laura Zimmer. There will be eight teams of All-Stars -- four Class A/AA and four Class AAA. They will play a bracketed-format tournament.
Willmar native Marilyn Lovander shot a 2-over-par 73 and finished tied for 35th place after the first round Thursday at the Sybase Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y. Lovander made two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine and bogeyed two holes on the back nine. She has earned $4,757 in four previous starts this season.
Tanner Miest, a junior from New London, and Ashley Cronen, a senior from Kandiyohi, qualified for the NCAA Division III Meet for Gustavus after competing in the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships last weekend. Unbeaten Miest won the 110-meter hurdles in a school-record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 14.53. Cronen finished second in the 800-meter run (2:15.45, a NCAA qualifying time), which also saw her former Willmar High School teammate Lindsey Saunders of St. Olaf finish seventh.
WILLMAR -- Willmar pulled off two come-from-behind victories in the seventh inning to sweep Sauk Rapids in a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Cardinals (9-5, 11-6) won the first game 5-4 with a two-run rally in the top of the seventh and the rebounded from a 4-0 first-inning deficit in the second game to score in the bottom of the seventh to top the Storm, 6-5. Sauk Rapids pitcher Tyler Friel held Willmar to three runs on three hits through the first six innings, then ran into trouble in the seventh. Josh Dahlke reached on a fielder's choice, follo
SAUK RAPIDS -- The Willmar Cardinals beat Sauk Rapids 8-3 Thursday to claim their fourth straight Central Lakes Conference softball championship. Willmar is 51-4 in CLC games in that time. Willmar closes out the regular season today with a non-conference tilt at Benson/Hancock. Against the Storm, Andrea Brown went 4-for-4 and Nina Emery batted in four runs while Sarah Hulscher provided three one-run singles. Willmar went up 4-0 in the first on on Emery's two-run double plus run-scoring hits by Allie Sweep and Hulscher.
ROCHESTER -- Ridgewater blanked College of DuPage 3-0 in the opening round of the NJCAA Division III Softball National Championship Thursday before falling to No. 2 Monroe 3-2 in the semifinals. Ridgewater (24-6) will face Central Lakes of Brainerd today at 10 a.m. in the loser's bracket. A win would put the Lady Warriors in a 2 p.m. game while a loss would mean Ridgewater would play for fifth place at noon. Laura Suter spun a four-hit shutout against College of DuPage as Ridgewater plated all of its runs in the sixth inning.
SACRED HEART -- Tyler Kleinhuizen scored all the way from first base on a throwing error in the seventh inning to lift Renville County West past MACCRAY 4-3 Thursday in the Camden Conference. Kleinhuizen led off the seventh with a single and MACCRAY (7-3, 9-6) then put Justin Koenen on the mound.
MURDOCK -- Brianne Riley gave up just two singles and Kelsey Jeseritz and Melissa Neal scored the ninth and 10th runs, respectively, of the game in the fifth inning to help push No. 2 seed Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (14-5) into the next round where it will play at 1:30 p.m. in Glenwood on Tuesday. Jasmine Bredeson, Kari Henry and Dot Saulsbury all collected two hits for KMS, which scored four times in the first. KMS 10, SJ Prep 0 St. John's Prep (0-12) 000 00 - 0 2 2 KMS (14-5) 403 12 - 10 9 0 HITTING - St. John's Prep: Hannah Jung 1-for-2; Beth Sowada 1-for-2 ....