Next stop: State Tourney
The Eden Valley-Watkins softball team won the Section 5A Championship Thursday, May 30, beating Isle, 8-4, behind the strong arm of complete game-winner Baylee Lahr. The Eagles soared through the winner’s bracket, ousting a good Isle team for the second time, at Whitney Parks in St. Cloud. Eden Valley-Watkins coach Dave Dziengel is excited for the girls and is proud of their accomplishments this year. “We won the Section 5A Championship today using a total team effort. Baylee Lahr did a great job of limiting a very good Isle team to 4 runs on 6 hits. She also had 4 strikeouts and 1 walk.” Ultimately, the battle was decided on the mound, as Lahr gave up just 1 walk, and the Isle pitcher surrendered 6 walks to the Eagles, along with 5 hit batters. “We look forward to playing another week together at Caswell Park,” Dziengel said.
The 2013 Eden Valley-Watkins softball team defeated ACGC May 24 (6-5) to take the Section 5A West Championship. They faced Isle, the 5A East Champs, Tuesday afternoon, May 28, soundly defeating them 16-1 in five innings. The will next play either Osakis or Rush City at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Whitney Park Field. Team seniors are Baylee Lahr, Mickael Lies, Holly Schumacher, Briana Plantenberg, Kaylee Forcier, and Tina Streit. Juniors are Jamie Scherer, Lexi Klatt, and Ashley Huschle. Underclasswomen are Breanna Stang, Faith Forcier, Brook Stang, Mindy Forcier, Sarah Pauly, and Kali Covert. Congratulations, girls, on a great season (albeit a short and fast one)!
The Eden Valley-Watkins softball team has begun a habit they don’t soon want to break. Claiming their second consecutive 5A-West title, the Eagles overcame a 5-inning, 3-run deficit, at the Minnewaska tournament complex on Friday, May 24, to capture the championship final game over the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons, 6-5. EV-W coach Dave Dziengel is filled with exuberance and pride. “This was a fabulous win for our program and our seniors. We trailed the entire game and scored 5 runs in the final 2 innings to steal a victory against a very good Falcon’s team.” Briana Plantenberg had the big shot in the 6th inning, when she hit a 2-out smash up the middle to score Brook Stang and Baylee Lahr, who had both reached on base hits. Equally as important in that inning was a successful sacrifice bunt by Faith Forcier, who advanced the runners to second and third. Briana scored later in the inning on a base hit down the left field line by Mindy Forcier. After 6 complete the score was 5-4 Falcons.
“We held ACGC scoreless in the top of the 7th, on a nice catch by Jamie Scherer and two catches by Mindy Forcier. In the bottom of the 7th Mickael Lies led off with a double to put the tying run on second base,” Dziengel said. Jamie Scherer attempted to sacrifice bunt, but the Falcon’s third-baseman threw the ball into right field, allowing Scherer to get all the way to third base. On the very next pitch Kaylee Forcier again sacrifice bunted, scoring Scherer, and securing the victory. The Eagles’ season record now stands at a hefty 12-4. “We look forward/fortunate to again be playing in the winner bracket of section 5A tourney,” said Dziengel. Eden Valley-Watkins will take on the Huskies from Isle at 5:00 in Saint Cloud’s Whitney Park, on Tuesday, May 28.
EV-W box score: Baylee Lahr,
2 for 3, run scored; Jamie Scherer, 0 for 3, 2 runs scored; Kaylee Forcier, 0 for 2, RBI; Holly Schumacher, 0 for 3; Brook Stang, 2 for 3, 1 run scored, RBI; Mickael Lies-Thielen, 3 for 3, run scored; Briana Plantenberg, 2 for 3, run scored,
2 RBI; Faith Forcier, 0 for 2; Mindy Forcier, 1 for 3, RBI.
(See the championship team photo on page 10.)
Spoiler alert: The Eagles defeated Isle Tuesday, May 28, and are one game (May 30) away from the Section 5A championship.
The Eden Valley-Watkins softball team cooked-up another baker’s dozen Thursday, May 23, at Minnewaska, pasting the Browerville Tigers 13-3. Matching the score of their first-round defeat of Swanville, the Eagles are peaking at the right time. Coach Dave Dziengel is pleased with the overall efforts thus far. “We did a nice job rebounding from a flat first inning, as we gave the Tigers 2 unearned runs. Brook Stang hit a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 1st and Briana Plantenberg hit a long double off the fence, to score Faith Forcier, who got on via a walk. Baylee settled down and allowed just 2 hits the rest of the game.
Despite out-hitting the Tigers, 6 to 3, the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles couldn’t manage a run Friday, May 24, at Browerville, losing the game 1-0, and any hopes of a continued, extended season. The Eagles pounded out six hits, but were unable to get them in a timely fashion, stranding seven runners on base. EV-W senior Hayden Willner pitched a good game, yielding just three hits and one earned run. Coach Mike Tomsche is proud of the boys’ efforts in a very tough season.
“The Browerville loss was a real tough one. We hung in there against a very good ball club, but ultimately a couple of mistakes ended our season. Hayden Willner pitched a very good game, and we had opportunities to score a few runs, but again we couldn’t get that timely hit when we needed it.”
The Eagles are naturally disappointed about the loss, but it was a tough year in more ways than one. The weather conditions we played in, coupled with losing
5 one-run ball games, made for a challenging spring. We improved as the season progressed but every team goes through seasons like this from time to time. We need to regroup for next year and keep striving to improve all areas of our game,” Tomsche said. Losing most of their pitching to graduation, the Eagles will be an inexperienced team in 2014. “Our young players will need to step up and be ready to play at the varsity level,” said coach Tomsche.