ST. CLOUD -- The trip to St. Cloud is a familiar one for the Pipestone Area baseball team. For the fourth consecutive year, the Arrow team qualified for the Class AA state tournament, and will open its quest for a state title today. "We've had a nice run of athletes and they've performed when they needed to," PA head coach Rick Zollner said. "It's been kind of a neat thing to go four in a row." After finishing fourth a year ago, the Arrows (19-7) will face Annandale (18-6) at 12:30 p.m.
WORTHINGTON -- Luverne's Kaia Nowatzki has come a long way since her days in the back yard with plastic golf clubs. Nowatzki, along with Windom's April Buhler, signed to play golf at Minnesota West Community and Technical College Monday. "It's going to be awesome," Nowatzki said. "April and I are friends.
SLAYTON -- Slayton's Eric Wieneke felt right at home in the batter's box Monday night. Wieneke had three hits and scored four times, but Slayton (1-2) couldn't overcome an early Worthington lead as the visiting Worthington team defeated Slayton, 8-6, in a VFW tilt. "We knew we had to jump on them right away," Worthington's Mitchell Jensen said.
MANKATO -- The Pipestone Area Arrows knew defending their state championship wasn't going to be easy. However, through the first two games of the Class AA softball tournament the Arrows handled every challenge that was thrown their way. But in the championship game, the Orono Spartans jumped out to an early lead and held off a furious Arrow rally to defeat PA 4-3 and capture the state championship. "When you look at the faces of the girls, it's just so happy with the way that they are feeling," Orono head coach Steve Fedie said.
MANKATO -- The last time Pipestone Area and St. Anthony Village saw each other in a state softball tournament game, the Arrows needed 17 innings to score off the Huskies' Rose Tusa. Thursday, in the opening round of the 2008 Class AA tournament at Caswell Park, the Arrows needed just four batters to score a run en route to a 6-2 victory over the Huskies. "I thought we played really, really well," PA's Brooke Henderson said.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With two losses Thursday at the Class A boys' state tennis meet, Worthington's Danny Penaredondo and Tim Roos ended their playoff run. "We both had our ups and downs and we both had to carry each other through," Roos said. "At the end of the day, they stuck through it a lot better I think." In the first round, the Trojan pair lost a close match to Adam Cook and Dan Burke of Aitkin, 6-0, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, to send Penaredondo and Roos to the consolation bracket. "I think the first guys we played were better," Roos said.
WORTHINGTON -- As the defending state champions in the Class AA girls' softball tournament, the Pipestone Area Arrows will not have an easy road to the title if they hope to repeat. However, the Arrows bring the experience of three consecutive state appearances into today's game. "A lot of these girls on the team that are seniors right now started as sophomores and freshmen," PA head coach Troy Bouman said. "This is the third trip for a lot of these girls.
WORTHINGTON -- For Jesse Drost, Friday will be a chance to stay close to home. "I've raced just about every class of cars there is out here on the Worthington race track in the previous years of my racing career," Drost said. "For me to come back here and race on it with sprint cars -- I'm really looking forward to it." Friday night, the Jackson Speedway Touring Series Sprint Cars will visit the Nobles County Speedway, where Drost hopes to compete at a high level.
WORTHINGTON -- While some boys' tennis teams have had an entire season together to prepare for Thursday's Class A state tournament, Worthington's Tim Roos and Danny Penaredondo have had only a few matches to prepare. But that doesn't bother them. "Danny and I have been wanting to play with each other for a while, and now we get a chance to do it and let our light shine, so to speak," Roos said. As just the second group of Trojans boys to head to state, Roos and Penaredondo have made the most of their senior year. "This is pretty special," Penaredondo said.
WORTHINGTON -- Qualifying for state three times in the last four years, the Luverne Cardinals couldn't get even a little luck in their first round opponent. When the Luverne tennis team takes to the court at 2 p.m. today at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis, the opponent will be St. Paul Academy and Summit School -- the defending state champion. "We'd like to win one match," Luverne head coach Greg Antoine said. "We didn't have a good draw; we play the defending champion in the first round. You never know with them, and you want to win once up there." St.