SACRED HEART -- Jordan's T.J. Oakes knew he had to be on top of his game. With a fastball hitting 90 mph on the radar, Oakes and the three-time defending Division II Legion state champions defeated Pipestone 3-1 Friday in the opening round of the 2008 American Legion baseball state tournament. "I'm going to say that I'm not sure we were the better team necessarily, we just ended up with more runs this game," Jordan head coach Ron Beckman said. "If we played those guys 10 times and each team went three or four deep on pitching, I think Pipestone would win far more games than we would.
WORTHINGTON -- Pipestone's Nate Alfson has seen his fair share of time behind the plate this season. As the catcher for both the Pipestone amateur and Legion team, Alfson has had a busy summer. Add on catching games on a Ridgewater College team that finished fourth in the nation, and Alfson has caught somewhere between 60-80 games this year. So, when Pipestone faces Jordan at 9:30 a.m. today at Sacred Heart for the first round of the American Legion state baseball tournament, it will be just another day at the office for Alfson. "I've caught a lot of games.
WORTHINGTON -- Toni Ingenthron didn't expect to hear her name called. Competing in a triathlon July 13 in Algona, Iowa, Ingenthron battled with more than 100 other runners who were separated into different age groups. The Worthington native finished first in her division with a time of just more than one hour, 36 minutes. "While I was doing it, I was like, 'oh my god, I'm going to die, this is hell,'" Ingenthron said. "But at the end, I was so proud of myself. I just wanted to finish.
SPRINGFIELD -- All Pipestone pitcher Bryce Beyers wanted to do was keep the ball low and let his defense make the plays. A week after Pipestone's Greg Quist threw a no-hitter against Wabasso, Beyers nearly matched Quist as Pipestone cruised to a 10-0 victory in five innings against Wabasso Saturday to advance to the Legion state tournament. "Our bats just don't stop," Pipestone head coach Steve Moffitt said. "Let's hope it keeps going up there. We 10-runned the Class A state champions twice.
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.