The Royals softball team blew past New Prague in the opening round of the state tournament, only to suffer a tough 3-1 loss to Buffalo in the semifinals on Thursday. Woodbury romped in the opener, winning in an 8-2 rout. Nothing seemed to go the Royals way in a defeat to Buffalo in the semifinals, though.
Raptors senior champion hurdler Karina Joiner has cleared just about every obstacle in sight in her years at the East Ridge High School. Now all that’s left is to go out in a blaze of glory at this weekend’s state meet. She’s aiming to do just that. Joiner goes into the state meet as the defending champion and prohibitive favorite to win the 100-meter hurdles, and a definite threat in the 300-meter hurdles as well. She has the two fastest times in the state in both events.
The South Washington County Thunderbolts bounced back from a tough opening-round loss to claim more hardware on Saturday afternoon. The Thunderbolts edged Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee 5-4 for the consolation title in the 2016 State Adapted Softball Tournament played at Coon Rapids High School. Thunderbolts senior second baseman Austin Sager’s savvy baserunning turned a walk into three runs in the fourth inning to lift South Washington County to the win. Nicholas Jones added three hits.
Ashley Mickschl supplied the pitching and Meagan Bliese the dramatics to lead the Woodbury softball team back to the state softball tournament. Mickschl pitched a three-hit shutout and Bliese slammed a solo home run in the sixth inning to lift the Royals to a 1-0 win over archrival North St. Paul on Thursday evening at McKnight Fields.
Another day, another defensive and pitching gem from the Royals softball team. Woodbury on Tuesday moved to within a game of a second-consecutive trip to the state tournament with a convincing 3-0 win over Roseville. The Royals (17-6) will play for the Class 4A, Section 4 title on Thursday with a berth to the state tournament on the line. That game will start at 4:30 p.m. against either Roseville or North St. Paul.
The Raptors softball team battled, as it has all season long, but eventually fell to sixth-ranked Eagan in the consolation round of the Class 4A, Section 3 playoffs.
With one event to go, East Ridge’s Otumos Payemanu learned the Raptors had never won a Suburban East Conference track and field team title. “Today’s the day,” Payemanu said. He was right. Powered by dominating relay teams, the Raptors boys soared to a first-ever SEC track and field championship on their own home turf on Thursday. East Ridge scored 163 points to edge out Mounds View, who finished with 160.5 points.
Upset-minded East Ridge put a fourth-inning scare into top-ranked Park on Wednesday in. But the Wolfpack had too much firepower for the Raptors in the end. Park (20-2) moved on in the Class 4A, Section 3 playoffs with a 9-5 victory, rallying from a 4-0 deficit earlier in the game.
Royals junior pitcher Ally Hjort threw a no-hitter and Woodbury softball team advanced through the first round of the Class 4A, Section 4 playoffs with a 4-0 win over eighth-seeded White Bear Lake on Tuesday at McKnight Fields. The Royals scored two runs in the first inning and added two more in the third inning. That was more than enough for Hjort.
Trailing by a whopping score of 17-4 going into the fifth inning of an elimination game, the New Life Academy softball team were staring a disheartening end to the season right in the face. The defending Class 1A champions had been wiped out in Saturday’s first game, and weren’t looking much better in the second. Instead of folding, however, the Eagles lived to soar another day, rallying for a wild, improbable, 19-18 win over St. Paul Johnson in the consolation round of the Class 2 A, Section 4 playoffs.