LITCHFIELD -- The Litchfield Dragons celebrated their season opener with four home runs, including three in succession, on the way to routing Watertown-Mayer 9-2 in Wright County baseball Thursday. With the game tied 2-2 in the fourth inning, designated hitter Marcus Buschette drove a three-run homer over the fence in left-center field at Optimist Park for a 5-2 lead. The next inning, leadoff hitter Jordan Lecher smacked a two-run homer to left-center field.
PAYNESVILLE -- Minnewaska pounded out 19 hits, but barely held off a late-inning charge from Paynesville, beating the Bulldogs in West Central North action 13-11 Thursday. The Lakers (2-0, 3-0) held a comfortable 13-4 lead in the sixth inning before Paynesville (1-2, 3-2) rattled off seven runs. Melanie Mages hit a two-run home run to highlight the rally. Javen Pauly and Brandi Mithun had three hits each to lead Minnewaska.
ST. CLOUD -- The final score might not have looked like it, but Willmar showed progress Thursday against St. Cloud Tech in comparison to last season. St. Cloud Tech prevailed 6-1 in the Central Lakes Conference meet, handing Willmar (1-1, 5-1) its first loss of the season. Last season, Willmar won an average of 34 games in two meet losses to the Tigers. In this one, the Cardinals notched 58 wins. "We've been winning the close matches this year," said Willmar coach Loren Holter.
RICE -- Defending Central Lakes champion Alexandria had little trouble negotiating the Oak Hill Golf Club Thursday, shooting a 309 to outdistance host Sauk Rapids by 16 strokes in the first conference meet of the season on Thursday. Willmar shot a 343 for sixth place. Derek Hilding's 81 led the squad. "I think we were a little nervous in that first nine," said coach Dave Ellwood. "Our kids found out today it takes a little more focus and desire to compete in league play." Team scoring (1) Alexandria 309 (2) Sauk Rapids 325 (3) St.
LITCHFIELD -- Senior Kelly Myhre fired a 42 Thursday to claim medalist honors and help Willmar beat Litchfield by 15 shots. Myhre was eight shots lower than second-place finisher and teammate Jenna Bernhagen on the back nine. Kelly Swanson paced Litchfield with a 51.
SARTELL -- Behind 11 wins, including a sweep in all four relays, the Willmar boys beat Alexandria and Sartell at the Sartell Triangular Thursday. The Cardinals had three double-winners; Paul Kimpling (110 and 300 hurdles), Kaafi Adeys (800 and 1,600 runs) and Zac Kjolsing (100 dash and long jump). The three helped Willmar accumulate 123.5 points, 11.5 more than Alexandria.
Prep Baseball YME 7, Morris 3 ACGC 10, MACCRAY 6 Litchfield 9, Watertown-Mayer 2 TMB 13, Dawson-Boyd 2 Prep Softball Minnewaska 13, Paynesville 11 YME 7, Morris 6 Watertown-Mayer 10, Litchfield 0 Minneota/Canby 6, RCW 5 Minneota/Canby 8, RCW 6 Dawson-Boyd 14, Ortonville 2 Nicollet 13, BL-Hector 1 Tennis SC Tech 6, Willmar 1 NLS 6, Minnewaska 1 Litchfield 4, Providence Academy 3 Boys Golf Central Lakes (1) Alexandria 309 (2) Sauk Rapids 325 (3) St. Cloud Tech 327 (4) Brainerd 328 (5) Little Falls 329 (6) Willmar 343 (7) Rocori 346 (8) St.
BURNSVILLE - Ridgewater belted four home runs - two from Zac McCann - Wednesday in its MCCC Southern Division opener, but managed only to split a doubleheader against Dakota County. Ridgewater (1-1, 15-7) led 7-4 going into the bottom of the seventh inning in the opener, but Dakota County (2-2, 12-10) collected four hits and four earned runs off Ridgewater right-hander Ethan Vogt to win 8-7. "We were just cruising along with a 7-4 lead," said Ridgewater coach Dwight Kotila of the first game. "Vogt pitched well, but they just found the gaps.
ROSEMOUNT - Laura Suter spun a no-hitter and went 4-for-6 at the plate on the day to help Ridgewater sweep Dakota County in an MCCC Southern Division doubleheader Wednesday. Suter opened the twinbill by stifling the Knights, allowing just one walk while striking out four to give the Lady Warriors (6-0, 6-0) a 12-0 win in five innings.
BENSON - The New London-Spicer boys and Benson/KMS girls won the four-team Benson/KMS Invitational on Tuesday. Wade Powers and Kolt Therkilsen were each double-winners for the Wildcats. Powers was first in both the shot put and discus, while Therkilsen won triple jump and high jump. The BKMS girls won three of the four relays. BOLD/BLH had three double-winners with Sam Broderius first in shot put and discus, Leah Ashburn first in long jump and triple jump and Kaelene Lundstrum winning high jump and the 400 dash.