SPRINGFIELD -- After taking the first pitch of the first game Friday in the American Legion baseball playoffs, Luverne leadoff hitter Zack Clark wasn't going to let a good pitch get past him. He took the second pitch of the game deep to left field, and wound up with a triple before the play was over, and the Luverne offense took off from there. Clark had three hits and scored three times in the game to lead Luverne to a 16-8 victory against Lake Crystal in the first game of the day.
WORTHINGTON -- After years of waiting, Joni Reitmeier is finally getting her chance. With the departure of Worthington head gymnastics coach Shelly Eklund, Reitmeier is taking the helm of the program. "I'm really excited," Reitmeier said. "It's something I've always wanted to do and I'm excited to see how it goes.
WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West head baseball coach Jeremy Irlbeck has been busy. After suffering through a 4-27 season in his first year at the helm of the Bluejay program, Monday Irlbeck added yet another player to his growing roster for next season. Jamison Kleinsasser, a 6-5 pitcher and first baseman, signed to play baseball at MW next season. "It feels good to make the decision and get it off my shoulders," Kleinsasser said. "It's better late than never." Kleinsasser was a first-team All-State pitcher and was a second-team All-State first baseman from his Brookings, S.D.
SPRINGFIELD -- Before the game started, the Pipestone Legion baseball team set a goal to score 15 runs against Luverne on Saturday. Post 6 nearly reached its goal in a 14-6 victory, setting up a matchup with Wabasso tonight at 8 p.m. "We've been hitting the ball pretty well lately," Pipestone's Sammy Schneider said. "Before the game we talked and said that we need to score runs right away. It would be nice to get 15 runs, and that was our goal.
SLEEPY EYE -- For six innings, the Worthington Legion baseball team kept the Sleepy Eye offense under wraps. However, Sleepy Eye Post 7 scored three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to turn a 2-1 lead into a 7-1 victory in the first round of playoffs Saturday. "The guys came out and put up 14 or 15 hits on the board, but we just weren't getting things together," Sleepy Eye head coach Bruce Woitas said.
WILMONT -- With everything on the line Friday night in an elimination game of the Gopher League amateur baseball playoffs, the stage couldn't get any bigger. And that's exactly how Pipestone veteran pitcher Ken Woelber likes it. The crafty right-hander allowed one run on nine hits and pitched his way out of numerous jams to lead the A's to a 2-1 victory over the Wilmont Cardinals. With the win, Pipestone clinches a spot in the regional tournament, with only its seed left to be determined. The A's will face Adrian Sunday for the No.
PIPESTONE -- The Slayton VFW baseball team had a 7-1 lead Monday night and appeared to be cruising to the No. 2 seed out of the Southern Division. However, Pipestone wasn't giving up easily. Pipestone scored five unanswered runs in the middle innings but was never able to overcome the early deficit, as Slayton advaced with a 10-6 victory. "It was nice to get that early lead, but then they scored those five unanswered runs and we were held scoreless there for three or four innings in the middle," Slayton head coach Ryan Beers said.
PIPESTONE -- All season long, the Slayton VFW baseball team has used big innings to overcome opponents. Sunday's playoff games were no different. Slayton used a pair of three-run innings and received a solid pitching performance from Tayler Streff to defeat Luverne 6-3 in the first game Sunday. "All year, it's been a team of big innings," Slayton coach Denny Anderson said. "We have a pretty good hitting lineup.
LUVERNE -- Having not played a game in a week, head coach Jared Pick and the Luverne American Legion baseball team didn't know how the pitching would respond Friday night against Edgerton. However, Adam Ossefoort and Chris DenHoed cast all the doubts away to combine on a masterful performance on the mound. Ossefoort allowed one run on four hits while striking out six to lead Luverne to an 11-1 victory in the first round of the legion playoffs. "I got behind a couple of hitters, and it's tough to get people out when you get behind them," Ossefoort said.
LUVERNE -- After striking out for just the second time all summer, Okabena's Lon Eichenberger was determined not to let it happen twice in a game. In his last at-bat, Eichenberger crushed a triple and later scored to put the finishing touches on a 7-1 victory over Windom in the opening round of the American Legion baseball tournament Friday night. "I was a little upset about striking out, because I don't like striking out that much," Eichenberger said. "So I said what the heck, I'll give it a ride in my last at-bat.