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East Ridge fields a young, but talented softball team this spring that will be buoyed by its pitching and defense. Last year, East Ridge averaged five runs per game, while allowing 3.9 runs per game, compiling a 12-10 overall record and were 9-9 in the Suburban East Conference, good for fifth place in the standings. Tom Nemo returns for his third year as head coach of the Raptors in 2013. Also back are starting pitchers Michaela Anderson and Kelsey Ihns. Anderson, a junior, pitched in 12 games last year, going 4-7 with a 3.13 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings.
Last year, the South Washington County Thunderbolts adapted softball team reached its first state tournament since 2007 - a feat it'd like to achieve again this season. Last spring, in their 12th state appearance, the Thunderbolts finished in fourth place. The Thunderbolts won their opening game of the state adapted softball tournament, CI Division, by beating Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville, 17-7. In the following round, however, South Washington County fell to eventual-state champion Anoka-Hennepin, 17-2.
The New Life Academy baseball team hits the field this year in hope of improving on its 9-12 overall record in 2012. Last year, after beating Trinity at River Ridge, 11-1, in the opening round of the Section 4A playoffs, the Eagles' season came to an end with a 10-0 loss to West Lutheran. This year, the Eagles have a new head coach, Dave Darr, who replaces Jim Mazzon. "I think the biggest thing is the youth of our team finally getting to a point where we can't use youth as an excuse," Darr said.
As soon as the snow melts, moms in Cottage Grove and Woodbury will have an opportunity to spring into action. Now in its sixth year, Moms on the Run - a running program geared toward the novice and intermediate runner - teaches women how to run their first 5K and also works with more seasoned runners to improve their speed and endurance. After giving birth to three children in four years, Karissa Johnson began holding group fitness classes for moms.
East Ridge won't need to worry about No. 1-ranked Apple Valley unless it reaches the Section 3AAAA championship game. The Raptors (18-8) earned the No. 2 seed in the eight-team Section 3AAAA tournament and will face seventh-seeded Rosemount (7-19) in the opening round on Wednesday, March 6, at East Ridge High School. A win would pit East Ridge against either third-seeded Eagan (16-8) or sixth-seeded Henry Sibley (17-9) on Saturday, March 9, at Burnsville High School.
South Washington County Schools are closed Tuesday after an overnight storm dumped several inches of snow with more throughout the day. All District 833 morning activities, including Kids Club, were closed. All elementary and middle school activities were canceled for after school. High school student participants should have been contacted by their coach or advisor for the status of their events and practices, according to the district. All Community Education activities will take place as scheduled this evening. The National Weather Service forecast included snow throughout the day.
East Ridge junior Reid Lyden wanted another shot at Prior Lake's Tanner Johnshoy at the Class 3A individual state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday after his first round loss to Johnshoy he just had to get there first. Lyden, ranked fourth at 120 pounds, needed to win three consecutive matches to reach the third-place match and Johnshoy needed to lose in the semifinals to set up a rematch.
The East Ridge girls basketball team did a great job of bouncing back last week. It would have been easy for the Raptors to give up after being beat by Suburban East Conference foe Roseville handily on Feb. 19, but that wasn't the case at all. On Feb. 19, the Raptors fell to fourth-ranked Roseville won 62-39. Ten total players for Roseville (24-2, 17-1 SEC) scored. Senior guard Emma Shaefer led the way with 15 points, while senior forward Larissa Graham added 11. Not one player for East Ridge hit double-digits.
One game remains on the schedule for the New Life Academy boys basketball team, and the Eagles hope it goes better than last week's games. On Tuesday, the Eagles traveled to play Mahtomedi (19-5, 10-4 in Classic Suburban play) and fell 93-72. The combination of senior guard Nuni Omot and senior forward Zach Lindquist proved to be too much for the Eagles. The duo finished with 30 and 25 points, respectively.
The East Ridge girls basketball team had arguably its best week of the season, finishing with two wins -- including one where the Raptors scored their season-high in points -- on back-to-back nights. On Friday, the Raptors traveled to Hastings and won the Suburban East Conference showdown by a score of 42-37. Despite senior guard Nicole Hollar scoring a game-high 15 points for Hastings (4-17; 0-4 SEC), the Raptors had a more balanced attack with eight players from East Ridge scoring. Junior forward Jamie Swanson finished with 14 points for the Raptors. It was the first game for East Ridge