WILLMAR - Willmar's perfect start looked like it was coming to an end Friday night. The Stingers entered the game 3-0 on the young season but the Mankato MoonDogs looked determined to tally their first win of the season, with a huge first inning. Just two-and-a-half innings into the game, the deficit looked insurmountable for the Stingers. Willmar rallied like a group of experienced veterans, though, fighting back to win 9-8 and maintain their season tie with Bismarck at 4-0 in the Great Plains West Division.
MARSHALL — It took Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian an entire game to warm their bats up. But once they were warm, they sure were hot. Lac qui Parle Valley held off the Dutch with a 1-0 victory in Game 1 of the Section 3A championship but Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian came out with bats blazing in Game 2 on the way to a 9-0 win.
Thirty-six times a summer, Dave and Fran Oestreich make the short jaunt over to Bill Taunton Stadium from their Willmar home just blocks away from the ballpark. Wednesday night, this tradition reached its 10-year milestone. The Oestreichs were one of 1,107 people in attendance Wednesday as the Willmar Stingers celebrated their 10th opening day against the Mankato MoonDogs. And just like every other opening day at Taunton Stadium, the Oestreichs held their post in Section 203, Row K, seats eight and nine.
Litchfield's baseball season started with a historic streak and the Dragons hope it ends with one, too. In the same year senior captain Owen Boerema broke the state record for longest hitting streak, the Dragons are in the pole position heading into the Section 5AA tournament. Their eyes are set on the program's first state tournament berth. The top-seeded Dragons kick off the Section 5AA playoffs at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Norwood-Young America in Litchfield. Norwood-Young America defeated Breck 2-1 Thursday in the tournament's first round.
PAYNESVILLE - In the third inning of Monday's Section 6AA playoff game between Paynesville and Foley, the entire field held their breath for a moment. It was still early in the game, but it felt like the game was on the line. In truth, the ball was on the line.
ELROSA — Willmar needed a strong sixth and seventh innings to come back and defeat BBE, their hosts, in Friday's 12-8 ballgame. The Cardinals scored three runs in the sixth to tie things up and ran away with four runs in the seventh to take a lead, which they never relinquished. The Jaguars outhit their visitors 11-8 and grabbed the lead in a four-run third inning, knocking out Willmar starter Dalton Ogdahl. Thaniel Cebulla and Evan Wiener paced the Jaguars with a pair of hits and two RBIs each.
Willmar's track and field teams have ruled the True Team state meet this decade and they're looking to cap it with another dominant performance this Saturday. The boys have won three straight Class AA True Team championships with their eyes set on a fourth in Saturday's True Team State meet at Stillwater High School. The girls will try to win the meet for the first time during their 10-year run of true team state appearances. The Card girls are the owners of three-straight runner-up finishes. The Class AA meet starts at 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
WILLMAR - Anoka-Ramsey put on a hit parade Wednesday afternoon, defeating Ridgewater twice, including a 19-4 win in game two of a doubleheader at Ridgewater College. The Golden Rams won the opener 15-1. Both games ended after five innings. In Game 2, the Golden Rams scored in all five innings and jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two innings. Bailey Zenk and Sunny Strait each homered in the game and Strait went on to win the game from the pitching rubber with five strikeouts.
MORRIS — BOLD's Tersteeg duo of Braeden and Hayden put up big offensive numbers in the Warriors' 14-3 West Central Conference win in five innings over Morris/CA on Tuesday. Already up 2-0 in the top of the second inning after an Aiden Elfering RBI single and a bases-loaded walk by Matt Moorse, Braeden hit a two-out, bases-clearing double to make it a 5-0 Warriors lead. Then in the third, Hayden led off with a solo home run to left-center.
DANUBE - Mary Bothun is going to remember Monday. The Dawson-Boyd pitcher earned the win from the pitching rubber in both games of a doubleheader Renville County West, but it was her offensive ability that will likely stick with her longer. Bothun hit a pair of home runs straight into the teeth of an aggressive wind in the opening game, a 16-1 win, and added another two dingers in a 22-3 Dawson-Boyd win in game two.