Anticipation was high going into the Section meet held at SJU for seniors Austin Pelkey and Connor Wittenberg. They were looking for a repeat of last year and qualifying to go to State by winning the 4x400 Relay competition. Connor went into the Section competing in 4 events as well as Pelkey. Both competitive athletes with the talent to get them to the next level. Connor would qualify to advance in the 110 hurdles. Pelkey ran his 200 prelim and then on his first longjump he pulled a muscle; so bad that he was unable to compete in the rest of his events. He was devastated; his dreams of advancing to state in his sprints, the 200 and 400, or the longjump, or the relay were gone. So Austin Marx, the alternate filled in. But mentally the downed team mate might have hindered the relay team’s hopes. They finished fourth.
With the softball season quickly fading, the Kimball girls’ fast pitch team was flawless on May 16 at home, taking a double-dipper from Pierz, 8-7 and 3-0. The lady Cubs committed just one error all day and Coach Eric Primus was very pleased. “It was a win we needed. The girls work very hard in practice, and our record doesn’t show how good they really are.” The Cubs pounded out 11 hits in the double header. Game one was fast and furious, with Kimball scoring first in the second inning. They held the lead for just an inning as Pierz scored five runs in the top of the third. The Kimball gals trumped that effort with two more runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning. In the fourth inning, Megan Bozer hit a solo shot, making the score 6-3, Pierz. Pierz scored another run in the 5th inning, making the score 7-3. Kimball answered back with 4 runs in the sixth inning, tying the game at 7-7. Two Pierz batters got on in the sixth inning, but Kimball shut them down and got out of the mess. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Stacy Hurrle took a walk. Raelynn Callander doubled, and the speedy Hurrle circled the bases, scoring the winning run.
On the heels of a two-game sweep of the Pierz Pioneers, the Kimball Cubs traveled to Melrose for a non-conference game on Friday, the 17th. The weather was not the nicest for a softball game, but that did not dampen the spirits of the Cubs players. Cubs’ Stacy Hurrle smacked a 1-1 pitch to left field to get things started, and scored on a Raelynn Callander hit to right field. Kimball’s Alexis Rose started out with a bang, fanning the lead-off hitter. But then, as fast as the weather was changing, so did Rose’s pitching. She walked 3 of the next 4 batters, and following an error and wild pitch, the Cubs ultimately found themselves down 2-1. Left fielder Madison Libbesmeier entered in relief and was able to temporarily put out the fire. Melrose added a run in the third inning, extending their lead to 3-0.
Finally, Madison Libbesmeier broke the trend by getting a hit to center, followed by Katelyn Lichte who hit a rocket to right field. Alexis Rose reached on an error, allowing Libbesmeier to score. After Katelyn Lichte scored on a passed ball, the game was tied. With momentum on their side, the Cubs added three more runs in the fourth, and four more in the seventh. Melrose scored twice in the seventh, but it was too little too late. Kimball took the big victory, 10-5. Coach Eric Primus was happy with the win over his home town Dutchmen. “It was great coming home and winning. I knew a lot of people in the stands from Melrose, and I was proud to show that my girls were the better team that day. It just felt great. It was a nice way to end the season.” The Cubs enter the playoffs with a game on Thursday, May 23, vs. Osakis, at Minnewaska, 1:00.
The Kimball Cubs’ softball team’s post-season ended shortly after it began Thursday, May 23, in Minnewaska, with a 7-4 loss to the number 3-seed Osakis Silverstreaks. Finally getting a break from the 3-day rains, the sixth-seeded Cubs journeyed to Minnewaska, to face the Osakis club, in their first meeting of the year, since being “snowed out” earlier in the season. The game would have been just fine for the Cubs had they not played the first inning. After a scoreless top half of the first, the Cubs took the field with Alexis Rose on the mound. Retiring the first two Silverstreaks via a strike out and ground out, things went suddenly south. Rose walked the next two batters and hit the next one, loading the bases. Following yet another walk, Osakis took a 1-0 two-out lead.
Last Tuesday, May 16, The Greens of Howard Lake was the site of the final conference meet for the Kimball-Eden Valley-Watkins girls’ golf team. The ladies finished the meet in a shared tie for Fourth Place. Coach Kristine O’Brien reflects on the fleeting season. “Nicole Vossen was All-Conference this year, averaging a score of 45.7. Paiten Schreiner placed 15th in the conference, averaging 48.5, while sophomores Maddy O’Brien and Hannah Serbus held steady at the 23rd and 25th positions. We will be busy getting ready for sections, which will be held on June 3 and 4 at Blackberry Ridge in Sartell.”
The Howard Lake meet included teams from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Kimball-Eden Valley-Watkins, Maple Lake, Pierz, Rockford and Osakis. Scoring summary: K-EV-W’s senior Paiten Schreiner, 52; sophomore Nicole Vossen, 48; sophomore Hannah Serbus, 63; sophomore Madelyn O’Brien, 53; junior Erin Salo, 68; Trinity Erickson, 66; B-B-E’s Peyton Miller shot 46, Maple Lake’s Tabitha Latzig shot 46, Pierz’s Jessica Hawks shot 49, Rockford’s Rachel Clem shot 46, Howard Lake’s Emily Roufs shot 52, Osakis’s Peyton Garcia shot 41, and also took Medalist Honors for the meet. Osakis took First Place with a net 172; Second Place, Maple Lake, 195 net; Third Place,
B-B-E, 215; tied Fourth Place, K-EV-W and Rockford, 216 net; Fifth Place, Pierz, 234; Sixth Place, HL-W-W, 221; last, Pierz, 234.