I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position.
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Saturday East Ridge 6, Stillwater 5 (8 innings) When East Ridge head coach Brian Sprout came into the semifinal game against Stillwater, he knew it was going to come down to the little things. Those things included baserunning, errors and playing small ball to score the runs. The Raptors started off the game on the right foot, which led to a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Stillwater showed its No. 1 seed as the Ponies came back to take the lead in the fourth.
It was another beautiful day on the golf course as many golfers came back for day two of the section tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. On Monday, East Ridge and Woodbury sent a total of five individual golfers to the state tournament. On Day 2, the Woodbury and East Ridge boys' teams, along with the Woodbury girls' team, were still competing for the one team spot at state. All three teams had some work to do to reach that goal, but it wasn't an impossible task.
The state golf championships took place at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was two very different days of weather, which caused the younger East Ridge and Woodbury golfers to adapt quickly. Woodbury sent two boys and one girl, while East Ridge had one boy and one girl make appearances at the state championships. The Royals had one golfer reach the top 10, while the rest finished in the middle of the pack but had many learning experiences throughout the two days.
Weekend Rosemount 16, East Ridge 3 It was the opening round of the section tournament on Friday and No. 4 seed Rosemount defeated No. 5 seed East Ridge with a 16-3 final score. This ended East Ridge's 2019 season. East Ridge scored two goals in the first half and one more in the second half, but Rosemount was dominant from the very beginning of the game. The Raptors end their season with a record of 4-8 and will graduate only three seniors. Those seniors include Katie Flynn, Kaitlyn McCarthy and Delaney Lardy.
During the regular season, East Ridge came back in the fourth quarter to defeat St. Thomas Academy. It was a similar situation on Thursday afternoon, but the Cadets were trailing 5-4 in the last quarter. This time, though, St. Thomas Academy came back from the deficit and scored six goals to win 10-5 over the Raptors. That loss on Thursday ended the 2019 season for East Ridge.
Alec Wittman was practicing at the boys' pole vault on Thursday at Hamline University and cleared 15 feet, 6 inches, a personal record. He knew that needed to translate on Friday at the Class AA state championship if he wanted to end his career with back-to-back state titles. "I think it feels better because there was tough competition today," Wittman said. "I was going into it thinking 'okay, these guys are going around 14 or something like that, if I go like high 14s, maybe 15 that will win it.' But they kept me going, they kept pushing me higher and higher."
Caleb and Luke Fridinger were here before. They understood the atmosphere and they were ready to play. It was the Class AA state doubles tournament and the East Ridge brothers started the day in a difficult position. They faced off against a duo from Edina that were seeded No. 3 in the tournament. That No. 3 seed next to their names didn't phase the two Raptors as they fought hard and battled for three and a half hours to earn the victory. That win propelled the two brothers to the state finals.
It was two days that the East Ridge softball team will never forget. In their eyes, the Raptors hope it's not the last time. East Ridge traveled down to Caswell Park in North Mankato on Thursday and Friday to compete in the state tournament with seven of the best teams in the state. It was the first time the team had reached state in program history, so the coaches and players weren't sure what to expect with the atmosphere. They did know the competition would be the best they've ever seen.
Friday The boys and girls golf teams for Woodbury and East Ridge traveled to Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids for the Section 3AAA section tournament. The first day took place on Friday and the second day will start on Monday, June 3. The Royals and Raptors fought in the 18 holes to put their team up in the leaderboard.
Thursday East Ridge 2, Burnsville 0 Ben North picked up the grounder as shortstop and ran to second base for the force out. He couldn't get there in time, so instead he tried to get the batter out at first. While he was releasing the ball, the runner at second base went to slide and took out North. The East Ridge sophomore had enough arm strength to get the ball over to first base and record the final out of the game.