"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tigers of softball, baseball end 2016 road

The diamond sports are done for the 2016 season, for Morris Area Chokio Alberta. Double-elimination can make things interesting in the post-season, although I can often get confused. You lose twice and then you're done.
The MACA softball girls had the fleeting exhilaration of beating New London-Spicer. Could they parlay that quality into subsequent games? Yes and no, as the Tigers split their next two tournament contests, before having the curtain come down on their season in a 10-7 loss to the Thunder Hawks of Montevideo, on Wednesday, June 1, at Marshall.
It seems a premature end to a a season that had so many highs: dominating wins, power bats etc. We might have expected more. Normally we expect the main challenge in the post-season to come from the teams way down south who seem to possess some mystical quality. Montevideo is generally not seen as in that category. But the T-Hawks had the tools to prevail in the June 1 game. So it's on to the summer months for Morris athletes, before the leaves start turning brown and we can look forward to volleyball. Remember last fall when the volleyball Tigers made state! Boffo.
 
Tigers 5, Windom 2
The first inning says it all in connection with this MACA softball win. We scored all five of our runs in the first inning. We played errorless ball. We scored the five runs on just three hits, while Windom had four hits. Windom committed two errors. This was one of two games the Tigers played on Tuesday, May 31, at Marshall.
Ashley Solvie connected for a two-run home run in the first inning. She had two RBIs. The other two MACA hits were by Lindsey Dierks and Madison Wevley.
The pitching department saw Solvie get the win and Brooke Gillespie the save. Solvie struck out a batter, walked one and gave up two hits in her four innings. Gillespie fanned a batter, walked one and gave up two hits in three innings of hurling. The losing pitcher was Faith Willard. Ellie Maricie also pitched for Windom. Willard's bat produced two hits.
 
Martin County West 4, Tigers 1
MACA dropped into the loser's bracket as a result of their Section 3AA loss to Martin County West. This was a winner's bracket semi-final game on May 31. Our bats were mostly quiet as we managed only two hits. Piper Gibson doubled and drove in the lone Tiger run in the fourth. Nicole Solvie had the other MACA hit. Karli Siegel scored our lone run.
Brooke Gillespie pitched like a trooper but was tagged with the loss. She fanned two batters, walked none and allowed eleven hits in her seven innings. She was out-dueled by Sierra Williamson of MCW. Williamson set down six Tiger batters on strikes. She walked two and gave up two hits in her seven innings.
MCW's Jessica Kilma had four hits in four at-bats. Jordan Gregory powered a double and a home run and drove in three runs. MCW scored two runs each in the third and fifth innings, while MACA plated its lone run in the fourth.
Our fielding was quite flawless: zero errors. MCW had two fielding miscues but they had other strengths to compensate. Surely hitting topped that list: eleven hits compared to the Tigers' two.
Alas, we were now in the loser's bracket and had no margin for failure. Failure occurred with that 10-7 loss at the hands of Monte. There would be no state tournament in the Tigers' script for 2016. There were plenty of successes along the way, to be sure. Plenty of memories to embrace from the diamond.
Now we'll start getting ready for fall sports. A key question: Will we see a drop-off in participation in football? Hopefully the answer will be "yes." I watched the movie "Concussion" with Will Smith a couple days ago on DVD.
 
Baseball: New London-Spicer 8, Tigers 5
The Wildcats of NL-Spicer always seem to be hovering out there as an obstacle for our MACA Tigers. It applies in baseball like in softball. The baseball Tigers came up against the Wildcats in loser's bracket play.
MACA fans were heartened by a strong start by their squad. The orange and black shot out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. But MACA would not score again over the next five innings. That hurt. The Wildcats began clawing away, first with a two-run third inning. Then the Wildcats made a big step forward with a four-run rally in the fifth. The Tigers kept languishing at bat, while NL-Spicer moved forward with a two-run seventh.
MACA managed a feeble one-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, which wasn't going to be enough. We lost 8-5. Season over. It seemed our offense was slumbering too much in the closing stages of the season.
NL-Spicer had a line score of eight runs, eleven hits and three errors. Fielding was certainly no problem for us, as we had zero errors. Our hit total was eight.
The winning pitcher was Will Roguske who fanned five Tiger batters while walking two and allowing four hits. Matt Spaulding pitched 2 1/3 innings for the winner.
Sean Amundson was tagged with the pitching loss for MACA. He worked 4 1/3 innings with a strikeout total of three and walk total of three. He gave up seven hits. Toby Sayles hurled for 2 2/3 innings and fanned five batters while walking two and allowing four hits.
Sayles handled the bat well, recording two hits and driving in a run. Brady Jergenson had a pair of safeties and drove in a run. Robert Rohloff's bat was good for two hits in three at-bats. Philip Messner had a hit and a run scored. Sean Amundson crossed home plate once. Ryan Dietz came through with a hit, plus he drove in a run and scored one.
Two NL-Spicer batters had three hits each: Wyatt White and Evan Haugen. John Perkins went two-for-five for the victor.
 
Baseball: Minnewaska 2, Tigers 0
Austin VerSteeg's name is a most familiar one for MACA sports followers. This Minnewaska Area Laker was a thorn in our side in basketball. His talents flourish in the spring too. VerSteeg tossed a no-hitter at the expense of our MACA Tigers, leading his Lakers to a 2-0 win on May 28 at 'Waska.
The Lakers were seeded No. 2 in Section 3AA-North, while our Tigers were No. 3. Our loss put us in the loser's bracket.
VerSteeg set down eight Tiger batters on strikes, while walking just two. Brady Jergenson held up the Tigers' pitching just fine. Brady fanned five Laker batters, but struggled with control some, walking six. He allowed just three hits in his six innings. One of the two Laker runs was unearned.
The Lakers scored one run each in the second and third. Those runs were scored by VerSteeg and Matthew Gruber. The three 'Waska hits were off the bats of Matthew McIver, Matthew Gruber and Justin Amundson. We hurt ourselves with three errors while the Lakers committed one.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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