Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NDSU’s Luke Anderson Signs With St. Paul Saints

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Former North Dakota State pitcher Luke Anderson has signed a professional contract with the St. Paul Saints, the American Association baseball club announced Tuesday, June 26.

Anderson, a 23-year-old right-hander from Savage, Minn., went 8-3 with a 3.58 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 98 innings this year for North Dakota State. He tied a school record with 15 starts and was second in wins, innings and complete games (7).

Anderson will be in uniform tonight for the Saints, who begin a six-game road trip against the Wichita Wingnuts and have a three-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks beginning Friday at NDSU's home facility, Newman Outdoor Field.

A two-time Summit League Pitcher of the Week, Anderson opened his season with an 8-2 win at No. 5-ranked Arizona, the eventual national champion. He held the Wildcats to two runs on two hits with five walks and three strikeouts.

He had a career-high 10 strikeouts in a loss at Western Illinois and pitched his first collegiate shutout at IPFW, where he allowed five hits and one walk with six strikeouts in a 6-0 victory.
Anderson was 10-6 with a 4.27 ERA in three seasons at North Dakota State after transferring from Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn. He ranks ninth in NDSU history for innings (183 1/3) and strikeouts (143).

Anderson is the fourth NDSU player to sign a professional contract this summer and the third in the American Association. Third baseman Zach Wentz signed with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, shortstop Max Casper signed with the Sioux Falls Pheasants, and first baseman/outfielder Nick Colwell signed with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.

North Dakota State set a school record for victories finishing 40-20 overall, placed third in The Summit League with a 14-10 record, and advanced to the championship game of the Summit League tournament.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Joe Iverson to play in All Star Game

Joe Iverson has been selected to play in the 38th Annual Minnesota Lions All Star Baseball Tournament June 22-23 in Chaska, MN. The Lions Tournament features 80 of the state’s best high school baseball players from all three classes on four regional teams: North, South, Metro West and Metro East. The round robin tournament is sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Minnesota and the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association. All profits from this charity event will go to Pediatric Eye Research at the University of Minnesota.
Joe is a 2012 graduate of Ulen-Hitterdal and was a pitcher and outfielder for the Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal Titans baseball team and was elected captain by his peers for his senior year of baseball. Joe also plays for the Hawley Legion team. During the past two years in varsity and legion baseball, Joe has a combined batting average of .440. An All-Conference player, Joe also holds the school record for career batting average of .450. Joe was this seasons Most Valuable Player, and also received the top hitter and top pitcher awards.
Joe is sponsored by generous donations from the Hitterdal Lions, Braseth Sales and Construction, Twin Valley Lions, Twin Valley Legion and Nelson Body Shop in Hitterdal, which will go toward pediatric eye research.
Joe was also selected to the MN High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State team.

Friday, June 22, 2012

UND 2012-13 men’s hockey schedule

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota’s final run through the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) as a league member, as well as eight non-conference matchups and the first outdoor game in school history, all highlight UND’s 2012-13 schedule unveiled today.

The 2012-13 schedule features 36 regular season games, including 18 at home, 17 on the road, and one neutral-site, tournament tilt. With two home exhibition games also on the schedule, UND fans will have the opportunity to see no fewer than 20 home games.

UND will open the regular season Oct. 19-20 in Fairbanks, Alaska at the Alaska Gold Rush tournament, where UND will face WCHA rival Alaska Anchorage and non-conference foe Alaska. It will mark UND’s first trip to Fairbanks since the 1991-92 season.

UND will also travel to South Bend, Ind., for its first series at Notre Dame (Nov. 23-24) since the 1980-81 season.

UND’s home non-conference schedule includes series against Boston University (Nov. 2-3) and Holy Cross (Jan. 4-5). The Holy Cross series will be featured as UND’s annual Subway Holiday Classic.

Also on the home schedule are seven WCHA series. League rivals scheduled to visit Ralph Engelstad Arena in 2012-13 are Alaska Anchorage (Oct. 26-27), Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 16-17), Denver (Dec. 7-8), Colorado College (Jan. 11-12), St. Cloud State (Jan. 25-26), Wisconsin (Feb. 1-2) and Bemidji State (Mar. 1-2).

UND’s WCHA road schedule includes series at St. Cloud State (Nov. 9-10), Colorado College (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), Michigan Tech (Dec. 14-15), Minnesota (Jan. 18-19), Nebraska Omaha (Feb. 8-9), Denver (Feb. 22-23) and Minnesota State (March 8-9).

The Feb. 8-9 series will feature the Mutual of Omaha Battles on Ice, to be played outdoors at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, the home of the College World Series. The game, held Saturday afternoon at 4:07 p.m., will be the first outdoor game in UND men’s hockey history.

The Fighting Sioux will open the 2012-13 season with home exhibition games against Manitoba (Oct. 6) and the United States Under-18 Team (Oct. 12).

UND went 26-13-3 overall last season, winning its league-record third straight Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA playoff champions and advancing to its sixth NCAA regional title game in eight years.

The 2012-13 season is UND’s last as a member of the WCHA before beginning National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) play in 2013-14.

Oct. 6
Oct. 12
Oct. 19
Oct. 20
Oct. 26
Oct. 27
Nov. 2
Nov. 3
Nov. 9
Nov. 10
Nov. 16
Nov. 17
Nov. 23
Nov. 24
Nov. 30
Dec. 1
Dec. 7
Dec. 8
Dec. 14
Dec. 15
Jan. 4
Jan. 5
Jan. 11
Jan. 12
Jan. 18
Jan. 19
Jan. 25
Jan. 26
Feb. 1
Feb. 2
Feb. 8
Feb. 9
Feb. 22
Feb. 23
Mar. 1
Mar. 2
Mar. 8
Mar. 9
Mar. 15-17
Mar. 21-23
Mar. 29-31
Apr. 11-13

Manitoba (Exh.)
U.S. Under-18 Team (Exh.)
vs. Alaska Anchorage ^
at Alaska ^
Alaska Anchorage *
Alaska Anchorage *
Boston University
Boston University
at St. Cloud State *
at St. Cloud State *
Minnesota Duluth *
Minnesota Duluth *
at Notre Dame
at Notre Dame
at Colorado College *
at Colorado College *
Denver *
Denver *
at Michigan Tech *
at Michigan Tech *
Holy Cross #
Holy Cross #
Colorado College *
Colorado College *
at Minnesota *
at Minnesota *
St. Cloud State *
St. Cloud State *
Wisconsin *
Wisconsin *
at Nebraska Omaha *
at Nebraska Omaha *&
at Denver *
at Denver *
Bemidji State *
Bemidji State *
at Minnesota State *
at Minnesota State *
WCHA First Round
WCHA Final Five (St. Paul, Minn.)
NCAA Regionals
NCAA Frozen Four (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

All times Central (schedule subject to change)
Home games in bold
* - indicates WCHA game
^ - Alaska Goal Rush (Fairbanks, Alaska)
# - Subway Holiday Classic (Grand Forks)
& - Outdoor game, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

2012-13 NCAA Regional Sites
Providence, RI; Manchester, NH;
Toledo, OH; Grand Rapids, MI

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Monday, June 11, 2012

NCHC Championship to be at Target Centerin 2014

MINNEAPOLIS - The National Collegiate Hockey Conference will conduct its NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey championship tournament at Target Center in Minneapolis beginning in 2014 to conclude its inaugural season.

NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr and Target Center Vice President and General Manager Steve Mattson were joined by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak in making the announcement today of a five-year agreement at a news conference at the arena.

The winners of the conference quarterfinals, which will be played on the home ice of the top four regular-season finishers in the eight-team league, will qualify to come to Minneapolis for the NCHC Championship at Target Center. CBS Sports Network, the Conference’s national television partner, will televise the tournament’s two semifinal games and the championship game. A third-place game also will be played at Target Center. The dates and times for the games of the NCHC Championship at Target Center will be announced at a later date.

“We welcome the opportunity to host the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Championship tournament for five years beginning in 2014.  This is very significant for our city,” said Mayor Rybak. “We also will be proud to showcase a revitalized Target Center, which competes with any arena in America for top sports attractions. The tournament’s games over a March weekend will be a significant economic benefit to the hospitality community in Minneapolis, from hotels to restaurants and other businesses.”

The agreement between the NCHC and Target Center is the second major announcement in the last month for Minnesota’s preeminent sports and entertainment arena, following news that the home of the NBA’s Timberwolves and WNBA’s 2011 World Champion Lynx will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation over the next several years.

“The athletic directors and coaches of our member institutions are pleased that we will present our men’s ice hockey championship at a first-class venue in one of the nation’s best markets for college ice hockey,” said Scherr. “It is our goal to become an outstanding college ice hockey conference in every way, and this announcement is in keeping with that goal.”

“We are thrilled to have such an exciting event come to our building and our city,” said Mattson. “Those in a ttendance each year and the millions watching on CBS Sports Network will surely be impressed not only with the exceptional talent on the ice representing a great college hockey conference, but with what Target Center offers as a first-class sports and entertainment facility.”

During its 21-year history, Target Center has hosted an array of outstanding ice hockey events, including National Hockey League regular-season and pre-season games, International Hockey League games, four University of Minnesota “Border Battle” showdowns against Wisconsin, WCHA Final Five tournaments, Minnesota State High School tournaments, and United States Olympic Team exhibition games.

“Target Center and Minneapolis have a solid reputation for making teams and fans feel welcome,” said Scott Sandelin, head coach of the 2011 NCAA national champion University of Minnesota Duluth. “Our conference’s players, coaches and loyal fans will have a great home for our tournament in a city with a great history of supporting college ice hockey.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

State Boys' and Girls' Track and Field Meet preview

Twenty-four individual event champions and representatives from 11 relay teams that won gold medals last year have qualified to defend those titles this Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, when high school athletes gather at Hamline University in St. Paul for the 2012 State Track and Field Meet.

Preliminaries in track events for both classes will be conducted on Friday. All of the 3,200-meter run events will be finals only on Friday, as will be some field events. Friday's schedule begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Class AA competition. The Class A events are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., but possibly may start later depending on the pace of the Class AA meet. The same schedule will be followed on Saturday.

Class A Girls Highlights

Champions return in three individual events and two relays.

Analisa Huschle, a senior at Bagley/Fosston, is looking for her fourth consecutive title in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. She set the Class A record in the triple jump last year and is the top qualifier in both events this year.

Ninth-grader Kayla Huhnerkoch of Redwood Valley, Redwood Falls, returns to defend her title in the 1600-meter run. Her qualifying time is 5:16.51. Four other 2011 medalists also return, including McKenzie Holt, a sophomore at St. Cloud Christian School, who has the best time of 5:08.13. Holt was sixth last year.

Windom Area senior Hannah Steele will defend her discus championship. Her qualifying throw was 120 feet, 8 inches. Five other 2011 medalists also return, including St. Clair senior Ashley Thooft who has the best qualifying throw of 137 feet, 4 inches. Thooft finished third last year.

Junior Emma Lange of Caledonia/Spring Grove is the final returning champion. She won the high jump last year and holds this year's highest qualifying jump of 5 feet, 5 inches. The only other returning medalist is New Richland-H-E-G sophomore Carlie Wagner, fifth last year, and who has also qualified at 5 feet, 5 inches.

Pequot Lakes returns with another 4x100-meter relay team in pursuit of consecutive titles. Five other teams that placed last year are also back, including Chatfield, which owns the fastest qualifying time of 49.98. Less than three seconds separates the 17 qualified teams.

Seven of the nine medal-winning 4x400-meter relay teams return, including a squad from Breck School of Golden Valley, the defending champions. Osakis, the 2011 runner-up, has the best qualifying time of 3:59.02.

Class A Boys Highlights

Three individuals, all in field events, and representatives of two relay teams are returning to defend titles.

Senior Aaron Wubben of Central Minnesota Christian of Prinsburg returns to defend his high jump title. He has qualified at 6 feet, 5 inches, and will compete against three other 2011 medalists, including Waseca senior Yves Spies who finished eighth last year but who has qualified with the highest jump at 6 feet, 8 inches.

Grant Krieger, a junior at The Blake School of Minneapolis, is back to seek another pole vault championship. He qualified with a 14-foot vault and faces two other 2011 medalists, including Blue Earth Area senior Jake Zebedee who has the highest qualifying vault of 15 feet, 3 inches, a full 15 inches higher than the rest of the field.

Ada-Borup senior Brian Blasey will attempt to defend his discus title. He qualified with a throw of 145 feet, 10 inches. Three other 2011 medalists will also compete. Junior Steffan Stroh of Ottertail Central, a co-op of Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood, has a qualifying throw of 169 feet, 1 inch, a full 3 feet farther than the rest of the field.

The 4x200-meter relay team from Caledonia/Spring Grove will attempt to win consecutive titles. The only other medal-winning team back is St. Croix Lutheran of West St. Paul, which finished fifth. The Rochester Lourdes squad has the fastest qualifying time of 1:30.41.

Four 4x800-meter relay teams that medaled last year are back, including champion Cotter of Winona. The squad from Madelia/Truman owns the fastest qualifying time of 8:07.09.

Class AA Girls Highlights

The Class AA girls' field is well represented with previous title holders. Defending champions in 10 individual events return and representatives from all four medal-winning relay teams will be competing.

Six of nine medalists return in the 800-meter run, including defending champion Haylie Zenner, a Fergus Falls senior. Her qualifying time of 2:13.74 is a mere one-hundredths of a second slower than the best qualifying time of Prior Lake senior Taylor Scholl. A little more than 9 seconds separates the entire field.

The 1600- and 3200-meter runs will be premier duels between Alexandria senior Jamie Piepenburg and Shakopee junior Maria Hauger, with Albert Lea Area junior Christina Monson battling alongside them both. Piepenburg won the 1600 in 2010 and 3200 last year. Hauger won the 3200 in 2010. Monson won the 1600 last year, but Piepenburg has the fastest qualifying time of 4:54.19 this year. Piepenburg also has the fastest qualifying time of 10:24.57 in the 3200, with Hauger's qualifying time within about 3 seconds.

Richfield junior Jessica January will attempt to defend her 100-meter high hurdles title. She has the fastest qualifying time of 14.29. Three other 2011 medalists are also among the qualifiers.

Minneapolis Southwest senior Tatyana Pashibin will attempt to defend her high jump title. Her qualifying jump of 5 feet, 4 inches is just two inches shy of the best qualifying jump made by Lakeville South sophomore Morgan Pieri, one of two other 2011 medalists also returning.

Minnetonka sophomore Piper Jensen is back to defend her triple jump title. Her qualifying jump was 36 feet, 1 inch, more than a foot and a half short of her 2011 winning jump. Two other 2011 medalists also return. Farmington junior Nadia Lorencz has the best qualifying jump of 37 feet, 6 and three-quarters inches.

St. Francis junior Maggie Ewen has the best qualifying shot put distance of 46 feet, 8 inches in her attempt to defend her title. Among her competitors are four other 2011 medalists. Ewen also won the discus last year and the year before that and is back to defend that title, too. Her qualifying throw of 150 feet, 8 inches is second best to White Bear Lake Area senior Angela Guenther's throw of 154 feet, 3 inches. Guenther is one four other 2011 discus medalists' who return. She was last year's runner-up.

Hopkins is looking to repeat in two relays: the 4x200 and 4x400. The Royals own neither best qualifying time. In the 4x200 that distinction is held by 2011 runner-up Osseo, and in the 4x400 the best qualifying time belongs to Prior Lake, the 2011 third-place finisher.

Apple Valley will attempt consecutive wins in the 4x100-meter relay among three other 2011 medal-winning teams. Minneapolis Washburn has the fastest qualifying time of 48.70, 25-hundredths of a second faster than Apple Valley.

Rochester Century is the final winning relay team to return, in the 4x800-meter relay. Two other 2011 medal-winning teams are also back. A Wayzata squad has the fastest qualifying time of 9 minutes, 25 seconds.

Class AA Boys Highlights

Eight individuals and three relay teams have qualified to defend 2011 titles.

Blaine senior Ayuk Tambe is back to defend his 100-meter dash title and has three other 2011 medalists as competitors. Tambe's qualifying time of 10.87 is just six-hundredths of a second off the best time of senior Leandre Campbell of Eastview in Apple Valley.

Hopkins senior Austin Salargo is one five returning medalists in the 400-meter dash. He will attempt to defend his title and has the fastest qualifying time of 47.82.

White Bear Lake Area senior Eric Gebeke is one of three 2011 returning medalists in the 800-meter run. He will try for two in a row and has the best qualifying time of 1:52.23.

Moorhead senior Glen Ellingson is back to attempt a title defense in the 3200-meter run. So are two other 2011 medalists. Richfield sophomore Obsa Ali has the fastest qualifying time of 9:18.87.

Senior Rilwan (RJ) Alowonle of Park of Cottage Grove will attempt to defend both his 110-meter high hurdles and his 300-meter intermediate hurdles titles. He has back-to-back wins in the 300-meter event. He owns the fastest qualifying times in both events.

Lakeville South junior Lee Bares won the 2011 pole vault title and his event-best qualifying vault of 15 feet, 6 inches is a half-foot better than his 2011 winning vault. He is one of only three qualifiers to meet or eclipse the 15-foot mark.

Andover senior Thomas Anderson has qualified to defend his shot put title and has the furthest qualifying put of 64 feet, one-half inch. Two other 2011 medalists are also in the field.

The 4x200-meter relay team from White Bear Lake Area is looking for its fourth consecutive title. The 2010 squad of Ryan Olson, Matt Glasgow, Cody Thibault, and John McCoy set a new All-Time State Meet record of 1:27.63 in the preliminaries. They are one of five medal-winning teams returning. North, North St. Paul, was the 2011 runner-up and has the fastest qualifying time this year of 1:28.11.

The 2011 champions from Apple Valley are back in the 4x100-meter relay, as are three other medal-winning teams, including fastest-qualifying Park of Cottage Grove.

Bemidji returns in search of consecutive gold medals in the 4x800-meter relay. So are three other 2011 medal-winning teams. Chanhassen qualified with the fastest time of 7:55.74.

Wheelchair Division

In addition to several additional events now available, athletes can not only win individual titles but also earn points for their team. In Class A, Pine Island senior Kathryn Lubahn is the only returning athlete and she will compete again in the shot put. There are no returning athletes in Class AA. However, seniors Jackson Larson of Cambridge-Isanti and Mark Braun of Irondale in New Brighton will compete head-to-head in the 1600, shot put and discus.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Timberwolves Dancers Open Auditions Set for July 17

Minneapolis/St. Paul -  The Minnesota Timberwolves Dancers, led by director Natalie Alvarado, are searching for talented and energetic women who are passionate about dance to become members of the 2012-13 team. For the third consecutive year, the Timberwolves Dancers are partnering with the Graves 601 Hotel to host open auditions on Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. registration) at the Graves. The auditions are open to all aspiring dancers at least 18 years old (as of July 17, 2012). No previous dance team or cheer experience is required. After the open auditions, finalists will take part in interviews and training prior to the final auditions at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

"I’m thrilled to kick off the 2012 Timberwolves Dancers audition process," said Alvarado. "Last season, the Timberwolves Dancers brought a new and exciting hip hop style to the court every night at Target Center. IĆ¢€™m looking for more confident young women who have the passion, commitment, and swagger that it takes to perform alongside veteran Timberwolves Dancers who are considered the dance world’s most elite."

Details for the audition process are as follows:

What to Bring: Photo ID, Current Photos: Headshot and Full Body Shot (5x7 preferred), Dance/Cheer Resume, $25 Registration Fee

What to Wear: Crop Top, Hot Pants/Shorts, Dance or Tennis Shoes, Full Hair/Make-Up

Prior to the July 17 auditions, the Timberwolves Dancers will host four prep classes in the months of June and July. The prep classes will be conducted at Life Time Fitness - Target Center beginning with registration at 4:00 p.m. and classes being held from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The dates for the prep classes are June 10, 24, and July 1, 15. The classes cost $15 per session and participants will gain experience learning the types of dance routines the team performs, while getting an inside look into the brand and philosophies of the Timberwolves Dancers. Attire for the prep classes is comfortable dance clothes and non-marking sole shoes/sneakers. Participation in a prep class is not required, but is highly recommended. For more information or to RSVP for the prep classes, e-mail dancers@timberwolves.com.

The Timberwolves Dancers are among the elite performance teams in all of professional sports. Two years ago they introduced their new coach Natalie Alvarado, who has over 15 years of professional dance experience. Her resume includes seven years as a dancer and assistant coach with the NBA's Houston Rockets where she also split time as a professional back-up dancer and choreographer. The Timberwolves Dancers represent the Timberwolves organization at all home games and at numerous events throughout the community each season. For more information on the Timberwolves Dancers and this summer's open auditions, log on to timberwolves.com or e-mail dancers@timberwolves.com

MNState Girls' Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament

(via mshsl) New Life Academy of Woodbury only returning champion; Four teams making first appearances

The Eagles of New Life Academy of Woodbury in Class A are the only returning champions. A new champion will emerge in Class AA because Park Center, the 2010 and 2011 champion, moved up to Class AAA this year and didn’t even make the section tournament. Hastings, the 2011 Class AAA champion, was beaten by Farmington in the section semifinals.

Four teams are making their debut appearances at this year’s tournament, all in Class A — Cherry (singly without a co-op), Eden Valley-Watkins, Red Lake Falls, and Sebeka.

All three classes of the tournament will be conducted at Caswell Park in North Mankato on Thursday and Friday, June 7 and 8. Detailed statistics provided by qualified teams are available on the League’s website — www.MSHSL.org — as a Media Guide link under Tournaments > Spring > Girls’ Softball.

Class A Quarterfinal Highlights (All games Thursday, June 7)
(Note: None of the Class A qualifiers played each other during the regular season.)
 (Section 5) Eden Valley Watkins (16-7) vs. (Section 1) Blooming Prairie (20-3) @ 11:00 a.m. —The Eagles of Eden Valley-Watkins are making their first tournament appearance. They scored 153 runs this season while allowing opponents 95 and bat .331 as a team. Junior pitcher Baylee Lahr compiled a season record of 15-5 and threw 80 strikeouts in 129 innings. Her ERA is 2.90 and she also boasts a batting average of .348, including 3 home runs. Senior catcher Brooke Scherer, with a batting average of .452, hit 2 home runs this year and tallied a team-leading 18 RBI and .452 batting average. The Awesome Blossoms of Blooming Prairie, fourth last year, are making their third consecutive and overall appearance. The team scored 176 runs and held opponents to 51 while hitting .356 as a team and limiting opponents to 134. Senior Tricia DeBoer has a team-leading 45 hits and .495 batting average. Junior pitcher Shelbi Swenson struck out 209 batters in 156 innings and has a 1.032 ERA. Swenson also swatted four of the team’s six home runs this season and helped her cause with 22 RBI.

(Section 8) Red Lake Falls (22-4) vs. (Section 2) New Ulm Cathedral (20-4) @ 1:00 a.m. — The Eagles of Red Lake Falls have qualified for the first time and scored 246 runs this season and held opponents to 115. The Eagles are led by senior Britta Glass with a team-leading .542 average and 50 hits. Eight different players have driven in 15 or more runs, led by junior Kayla Schmitz with 38. Junior Rachel Berdahl is the leader on the rubber, going 18-3 with 108 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched. The Greyhounds of New Ulm Cathedral are making their third consecutive and 13th overall appearance. They took consolation honors the last two years, but won titles in 1993 through 1995, 2003, 2005 and 2007. This year the Greyhounds scored 226 runs on 275 hits and they have a team batting average of .391. Senior Amy Eckstein bats .483 for New Ulm Cathedral and junior Lisa Helget hit .475 with a team-leading 38 hits. Senior pitcher Ali Brey, who went 13-3, struck out 112 in 97 innings and has an ERA of 2.60.

(Section 7) Cherry (23-0) vs. (Section 3) Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (24-0) @ 1:00 p.m. —The last two years, theTigers of Cherry had Cotton as a cooperative partner and finished second in 2011. The Tigers batted .401 as a team this year and outscored their opponents 250-33, hit 12 home runs and stole 36 bases. The team provided no individual hitting statistics. Senior pitcher Shaina Novak compiled an 18-0 record, with 141 strikeouts in 110 innings pitched and has an ERA of 0.958. The Fighting Saints of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance and finished third in 2011. The Fighting Saints outscored their opponents 239-25 this year and they bat .401 as a team. Junior pitcher Samantha Dunn compiled a season record of 9-0 and a 1.170 ERA. But her bat provided a team-leading .593 average, including eight of the team’s 27 home runs. Junior Courtney Olson and senior Ellen Johnson contributed 75 and 71 RB I, respectively, plus seven homers each.

(Section 6) Sebeka (21-4) vs. (Section 4) New Life Academy of Woodbury (16-7) @ 1:00 p.m. —The Trojans of Sebeka are making their first trip to the state tournament. They outscored opponents 191-101 and hit .383 as a team. They also like to run, having stolen 71 bases this season. Senior Jessica Lillquist is hitting .544, including a team-leading 31 RBI on 49 hits. She batted .800 in the section tournament. Junior Brett Brockpahler went 20-3 from the rubber, struck out 179 in 153 innings and has a 2.33 ERA. The four-time defending champions from New Life Academy of Woodbury are making their seventh consecutive and overall appearance. The Eagles scored 161 runs and gave up 102. They, too, like to run and stole 61 bases. There are no seniors and just two juniors on the squad. Thus, ninth-grader Valerie Hohol is the team leader, hitting .446 on 33 hits and 24 RBI, and going 15-5 as the leading pitcher, striking out 125 in 131 innings and has a 2.96 ERA.
Class AA Quarterfinal Highlights (All games Thursday, June 7)
(Section 3) New Ulm (20-2) vs. (Section 1) Kasson-Mantorville (23-2) @ 9:00 a.m. — The Eagles of New Ulm are making their sixth appearance and first since 1997. They split a pair of games against tournament qualifier Maple River during the regular season, dropping the first 1-0 and winning the second 7-1. New Ulm outscored opponents 194-49 while hitting .364 as a team and limiting opponents to hitting .155. Their offensive firepower included 21 home runs. The Eagles provided no individual statistics. The Komets of Kasson-Mantorville are making their third appearance and first since 1990. Their last regular season game was a 5-0 win over Maple River. The Komets provided no team or individual statistics.

(Section 6) Albany (19-1) vs. (Section 2) Maple River, Mapleton (18-6) @ 9:00 a.m. — The Albany Huskies return for their second consecutive and fifth overall appearance. They are the only team in this class to return from last year’s field, having finished sixth. This year’s team compiled a .322 batting average and outscored its opponents 162-44. Senior Lisa Keppers leads the team with a .507 batting average on 34 hits, including 4 home runs. Senior pitcher Karli Persson compiled a season record of 18-1 and tossed 189 strikeouts in 127 innings and has an ERA of 1.54. The Eagles of Maple River earned titles in 19 92, 1996 and 2001, and are making their 13th appearance, their last in 2008. Maple River provided no team statistics. Junior Makayla Rahn is the leading hitter, batting .438 on 35 hits and 19 RBI. She also pitches, went 12-7, struck out 139 in 131 innings and has a 0.960 ERA.

(Section 8) Hawley (16-3) vs. (Section 4) St. Anthony Village (2-3) @ 1:00 p.m. — The Hawley Nuggets return to tournament action in their second consecutive and third overall appearance. Last year they competed in Class A and finished sixth. This year’s team compiled a .369 batting average while holding opponents to a .200 batting average and outscoring them 159-59. The team also had 60 stolen bases. Ninth-grader Haley Cederberg leads the team with her batting average of .511 and her 22 RBI on 24 hits. Senior pitcher Jessy Noreen compiled a season record of 11-1 with 78 strikeouts over 71 innings and has a 1.76 ERA. The Huskies of St. Anthony Village are making their fifth appearance and scored 239 runs to their opponents’ 42, batting .362 as a team. Junior Mary-Clare Couillard is one of the offensive leaders with her .568 batting average on 46 hits. Senior Becca Bates went 15-1 toeing the rubber, struck out 100 in as many innings for a 1.19 ERA. She also is hitting .400.

(Section 5) Mound Westonka (16-9) vs. (Section 7) Cloquet (16-6) @ 1:0 0 p.m. — The White Hawks of Mound Westonka earned a title 1997 and are making their fifth appearance, with their last in 2009. The team batting average is .300. Two of the White Hawks pitchers also provide offensive firepower. Sophomore Emmi Christensen, 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA, is hitting .358 and has a team-leading 23 RBI. Senior KatieJo Delisle, 12-7 with a 2.75 ERA, is hitting .446 and has 4 home runs. Junior Brooklyn Pouti is the slugger. She has stroked 8 home runs and also drove in 23 runs on 35 hits. The Lumberjacks of Cloquet are making their second appearance and first since 2002. The team is hitting .314. Six players have compiled 20 or more hits. Senior Dalyce Gustafson has the most with 27 and a .360 average. Senior Kayla Masessa has the highest average of .415. Sophomore Chandler Beaupre went 13-9, striking out 93 in 153 innings and has a 3.02 ERA.

Class AAA Quarterfinal Highlights (All games Thursday, June 7)
(Schedule Note — To accommodate commencement ceremonies: Any second-round game involving Bloomington Jefferson will be played Thursday, June 7, at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Field 5. Any second-rou nd game involving Forest Lake will be played Thursday, June 7, at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Field 6)

(Section 4) Stillwater Area (18-8) vs. (Section 1) Farmington (17-4) @ 9:00 a.m. —The Ponies of Stillwater Area are making their eighth appearance and first since 2008. The Ponies earned titles in 1995, 1996 and 1998. Stillwater Area provided no team or individual statistics, but did lose a pair of games against tournament qualifier Forest Lake, dropping the first 10-6 and losing the second 1-0. The Tigers of Farmington are making their second appearance, their last in 2003. The Tigers are hitting .306 as a team and outscored opponents 148-61. Senior catcher Allison Rice powers the offense with her team-leading .458 average and 24 RBI on 33 hits, including 4 home runs. Farmington provided no pitching statistics.

(Section 3) Bloomington Jefferson (17-2) vs. (Section 2) Mankato East (24-3) @ 9:00 a.m. —The Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars are making their second consecutive and overall appearance, having won the 2011 consolation title. They lost a 4-3 game to tournament qualifier Maple Grove. The team provided no team or individual statistics. The Cougars of Mankato East are making their third consecutive and 16th overall appearance. They placed third last year in Class AA and seek a fifth title to add to their championship s in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991. The Cougars scored 163 runs while holding opponents to 47 and they have a .331 batting average. Junior Savannah Quandt wields a heavy bat, slugging 8 of the team’s 15 home runs. She also leads the Cougars with her .438 average, 37 RBI and 39 hits. Senior Nicole Ries is the primary hurler (23-2) and struck out 248 in 158 innings and has a 1.03 ERA. Ries also contributes with her bat, hitting .346, including 2 home runs.

(Section 8) Big Lake (14-7) vs. (Section 5) Maple Grove (22-2) @ 11:00 a.m. — Big Lake is making its eighth appearance and first since 2008. The Hornets bat .341 as a team. Ninth-grader Jaiden Lund has the most innings, 111, and struck out 61 for a 2.27 ERA. She also owns the team-leading .458 batting average. Junior Jenna Stein and sophomore Sam Kuhlow are hitting .447 and .438, respectively, and Stein has knocked 6 round-trippers and Kuhlow added four. The Crimson of Maple Grove are making their third appearance, their last in 2010. The Crimson defeated Bloomington Jefferson 4-3 in early May. Maple Grove hits .338 as a team, with junior Abby Bunnell leading the offense with her .440 average and team-leading 33 hits. Senior Mandi Mauch has 31 hits for a .403 average and drove in a team-leading 18 runs. Senior Cayli Sadler went 22-1 toeing the rubber and has a 0.75 ERA.

(Section 7) Forest Lake (23-1) vs. (Section 6) Orono (23-1) @ 11:00 a.m. —The Forest Lake Rangers are making their fifth consecutive and 11th overall appearance. They were the 2011 runners-up, shut out 4-0 by Hastings. Two of their wins, 10-6 and 1-0, came against Stillwater Area. This season the Rangers batted .325 as a team and had 133 RBI on 215 hits. Opponents were held to 48 runs while they scored 148. Junior Jennifer Zidar has the best batting average of .405 for Forest Lake; including a team-leading 28 RBI on 32 hits. Junior Michelle LaCasse is 12-0 on the season and has a 0.88 ERA. The Spartans of Orono are making their third appearance. They won a title in their last appearance in 2008. The team bats .362 and scored 180 runs while holding opponents to 36. Sophomore Rebekah Smith is the offensive leader with her .494 average and 35 RBI on 42 hits. Junior Samantha Hartmann is 15-0 on the season, striking out 125 in 90 innings and has a 0.690 ERA.

Friday’s Schedule
Following Thursday’s quarterfinal games, the Class AAA semifinals (both championship and consolation) are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (with the exceptions noted above). The Class AA semifinals will be played at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Class A semifinals will be played at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The consolation championships for all three classes will be played at 9:00 a.m., followed by all third-place games at 11:00 a.m. The Class A championship will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Class AA title game will start at 1:30 p.m., and the Class AAA title game will begin at 2:00 p.m.