Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
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The Woodbury girls' lacrosse team has not won a game in Suburban East Conference play this season. But the nonconference schedule is a much different story. The Royals went 1-2 last week, starting with an 11-5 loss at Park on May 9. The Royals came back to win at home against St. Croix Prep 11-7 on Thursday, May 11, before making the trip to Duluth and winning 12-11. Martina Jaruszewski, Isabelle Parker and Isabel Sanchez each scored two points in the loss at Park.
The Math and Science Academy track and field teams had a few standout individuals at the True Team Class 1A, Section 4 meet in Maple Lake last Tuesday, May 9. Distance runner Tierney Wolfgram wrapped up two first-place finishes for the Dragons. She took first in the 1,600-meter run in 5 minutes, 8.89 seconds and also won the 3,200 run in 10:49.62. Her teammate senior Ellie Haland also finished near the top in a few distance events. Haland won the 800 run with a time of 2:22.90 and also finished third in the 1,600 run in 5:27.27.
Sometimes too much effort can be, well, a bit too much. That's what Woodbury ace pitcher Max Meyer discovered during a few uncharacteristic starts this spring. With electric stuff, striking out batters has never been a problem for the future University of Minnesota baseball player. But during a few starts earlier this season, the command had been subpar. Meyer did not have his best stuff in April games against East Ridge and Stillwater when he walked four batters in each appearance.
Friday's game between Park and Woodbury had the look of a pitcher's duel. With the Wolfpack's Brandon Alt facing off with the Royals' Max Meyer, a low-scoring game appeared to be a safe bet. And for the most part, it was. Woodbury scored all of its runs on two different two-out extra base hits in a 5-0 Suburban East Conference victory over Park on Friday. Meyer was at his ace form once again, pitching a complete-game and allowing only two hits with seven strikeouts. "I like throwing on warm days," Meyer said. "Everything seems like it is going faster."
A close-knit group of players has helped propel the East Ridge boys' tennis team to becoming one of the top Class 2A programs in the state over the past four seasons. How close knit are they exactly? Well, more than half of the players who make up the varsity roster have a brother on the team. Out of 64 boys in the tennis program, there are 54 families. Tennis is a sport that people of almost any age can play. Just ask East Ridge head coach Suzie Heideman, who grew up playing tennis with her family and still plays in tournaments with her two siblings to this day.
The East Ridge boys' tennis team faced some stiff competition at Saturday's Edina tennis tournament. The invitational, which is designed to include the top ranked tennis teams in the state, gave No. 2 ranked East Ridge a test starting with Class 2A's top-ranked team Minnetonka. While the Raptors lost a close 4-3 decision to Minnetonka, they came back to win close matches against two other teams to finish 2-1 on the day.
The Woodbury girls' golf team finished fourth behind three Suburban East Conference teams in Wednesday's Forest Lake Invitational at Tanner Brook Golf Course. The Royals finished fourth out of 16 teams with an 18-hole team score of 374. Forest Lake finished first in the meet with a score of 337, followed by Stillwater in second with 364 and Cretin-Derham Hall in third with a mark of 368.
It wasn't pretty, but the East Ridge baseball team was able to hold its position in third place in the Suburban East Conference standings with a win against Roseville on Wednesday. Mistakes made the home 8-6 victory an adventure for the Raptors. East Ridge trailed 6-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when they were able to strike for four runs. The biggest hit came off the bat of Charlie Larson, a two-run single that scored Joe Trollen and Max Gamm.
The New Life Academy baseball team is now in the driver's seat in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association. The Eagles scored four runs in the fourth and fifth innings Tuesday to pull ahead in a 5-1 victory against Legacy Christian Academy at home. With the win, New Life Academy took over first place in the MCAA as the only conference team without a loss at 8-0. Legacy Christian dropped back to a record of 8-1. After losing a road game 12-1 in Rochester to Caledonia on Saturday, New Life Academy was happy to respond with a clean game on Tuesday.
If you ever question the importance of hard work, ask East Ridge track and field athletes Allyson Weiss and Ansley Schug about what they did this offseason.