After winning a tough opening game and cruising in the second, the Woodbury Royals looked like easy winners in their first home matchup of the season against visiting Hastings. Oops. Wrong script. Hastings won a close third game to grab the momentum, and then gave the Royals everything they could handle before bowing out in the fourth. It was a rollicking, emotional victory for the Royals, one the team hopes will pay dividends as the season unfolds. Woodbury won 26-24, 25-16, 23-25 and 25-22.
East Ridge put together one of its best matches of the young season Tuesday, sweeping visiting Cambridge-Isanti in three games. The challenge is going to get a lot steeper for the Raptors next match. East Ridge, which improved to 3-1 on the season, plays at top-ranked Eagan Thursday. Eagan is 3-0 and hasn’t dropped a set yet. Their latest triumph was a 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 sweep of traditionally strong Stillwater.
New Life Academy head coach Gene Teigland knew it was a matter of picking your poison against perennial 4A power St. Croix Lutheran Friday night. Teigland rolled the dice and decided to stop the Crusaders potent option running game. And while that strategy had some success, the Crusaders happily took to the passing game and bombed away at the New Life Academy Eagles, winning 47-21 at East Ridge High stadium Friday. St. Croix Lutheran had touchdown passes of 45, 42, 26 and 16 yards – along with a 50-yard run – in rolling to a 41-7 lead by the end of three quarters.
East Ridge easily swamped visiting Henry Sibley, winning 6-1.
Competing against some of the best fastpitch softball teams in the nation, the Minnesota Magic returned home with a winning record to show for their efforts. The Magic went 4-3 in the 53-team ASA/USA 18U Gold National Championships, held July 18-21 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The tournament featured some of the best fastpitch teams in the 18-and-under division from across the country.
On the heels of a Minnesota state fastpitch softball championship last weekend, the Minnesota Magic softball team will play in the national 18-and-under girls fastpitch tournament this weekend. Hits from Woodbury stars Ashley Mickschl and Lexi Jacobs lifted the Magic past the Minnesota A’s 10-1 in the state championship win last weekend. Jacobs singled to load the bases and then Mickschl had a two-out grand slam to power the Magic to the title game.
The Royals baseball team’s best-ever season went out with a bang. Playing in the third-place game of the Class 4A state tournament last Friday afternoon at CHS Field, Woodbury thoroughly dominated Lakeville North, winning 7-1 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Royals shortstop Max Meyer’s two-out, two-run triple in the third inning broke open a scoreless game and the hits kept coming. Woodbury added a run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning. The Royals finished the season with a 23-4 record. Lakeville North ended at 21-6.
Woodbury put the tying run on second base and the winning run on first base in the seventh inning and couldn't bring them home, dropping a 2-1 decision to Champlin Park on Friday in the Class 4A semifinals. Champlin Park made two first-inning runs stand up for a 2-1 win over Woodbury at CHS Field to move on to the MSHSL Class 4A championship game. It will face Wayzata in the finals on Monday night at Target Field. That game starts at 7:00 p.m.
It seemed only fitting that hurdling superstars Karina Joiner of East Ridge and Meleah Biermaier of Thief River Falls each bowed out with a triumph at the Class 2A state meet on Saturday. In a meet marked by temperatures in the 90s, the results were also red hot. No less than 10 all-time records were set.
Woodbury has climbed the state tournament ladder the last two seasons. Now there’s one more rung to go. After a consolation championship a year ago, the Royals softball team took another climb up on Friday, beating Hopkins 12-0 in the third-place game of the state tournament. After suffering a tough 3-1 loss in the semifinals to a surprising Buffalo team, it took Woodbury four innings to get rolling against Hopkins. When they got started to roll, they were impossible to stop.