31 May 2012

Softball: Knocking down the door to state

A picture's worth a thousand words...and a trip to the Class AAA State Tournament
After Tuesday's 4-3 win over Hastings in the Section 1AAA winner's bracket final, the Tigers were knocking on the state tournament door.

Two days later at Todd Park in Austin they blew that door off its hinges with a dominant 5-1 victory over Rochester John Marshall to win the section crown and advance to next week's Class AAA Championships in Mankato.

"Our captain, Allie Rice, picked up on that saying and had the girls ready to play tonight," coach Paul Harrington said, "and that's what they did. They knocked the door down."

The state tournament berth is just the second in the history of softball at Farmington. The Tigers finished runner-up to Eastview in the 2003 state tourney.

"This is great for our program," first-year coach Harrington said. "Two trips to state in 35 years isn't very many. We want to change the culture around here so that happens a lot more often from now on."

Captain Rice led by example in the section finale, following Ashley Betzold's first-inning double with a two-run homer over the right-centerfield fence for a quick 2-0 lead.

Ashley Betzold 2-3, 2 2B, HR
Betzold saw to it that would be enough to punch the Tigers' ticket to state by pitching five-plus innings of scoreless ball against the high-scoring Rockets who came into the game averaging more than eight runs a game in the post-season.

"I threw more change-ups tonight and I pitched inside more," the junior righthander said. "They had some batters who were standing right on the plate...I was a little nervous at first, but sometimes I think I pitch better when I'm that way."

Harrington couldn't say enough about Betzold's three-hitter that produced her 17th win of the season. From the first through the fifth innings she retired 13 of the 14 hitters she faced.

"She stepped up big time in a big game," he said. "She's done that all season but she's kept getting better with each game in the tournament."

By the time JM scored its lone run on two singles and a fielder's choice ground ball in the sixth, Farmington was sitting on a comfortable 5-0 cushion.

The winners doubled their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning on singles by Amber Doyle, Rice, Toni Hunsinger and Taylor Haakana and Betzold's second double of the night.

Betzold accounted for the final Farmington run with a solo home run over the leftfield wall in the top of the  sixth.

Betzold finished 3-4 at the plate with a double and run batted in. Rice went 2-3 with a walk and two RBI. Toni Hunsinger also collected a pair of hits for the section champs.

Allie Rice 2-3, HR, 2 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The win gives the Tigers a 17-4 season record heading into next week's opening round match-up with Section 4AAA winner Stillwater at Caswell Park in Mankato.

Harrington said he is sticking with his season-long philosophy as he prepares for his sixth state tournament as a coach. He previously took five Totino Grace teams to state.

"We don't look back, only ahead," he said. "I told the girls they have three days to savor this win, but then it's back to business focusing on our next game.

"I'm an optimist. I always think we'll make the pitch, make the catch and come up with the timely hit when we need to. That's the way we'll approach next week and we'll see what happens."

The Farmington-Stillwater opening round game starts at 9:00 a.m. next Thursday (June 8) in Mankato.

The Tigers show assistant coach Mal Betzold who's No. 1

30 May 2012

Softball: Knocking on state tournament door

Amber Doyle (2-3, 2 RBI) knocked in the winning run with a sixth-inning double (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington coach Paul Harrington said his team doesn't get behind early in games on purpose. It just seems that way.

Tuesday night the Tigers spotted defending state champion Hastings three runs in the first three innings before rallying for a hair-raising 4-3 win in the winner's bracket of the Section 1AAA tournament.

Farmington, which has trailed in each its three section games, needs one win on Thursday against Rochester John Marshall to earn its second-ever trip to the state tournament.

The two teams square off Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in Todd Park in Austin. A John Marshall victory would bring about a second game at 7:00.

"The first game is key," Harrington said. "We have the momentum right now and we have to keep it. We can't go into Thursday thinking that all we have to do is one out of two games. You lose the first one and everything changes."

After two-and-a-half innings of Tuesday's match-up with Hastings, the Tigers didn't seem to have much going. They had committed four infield errors, stranded five base runners and were staring up at a three-run deficit.

"I think we felt the pressure a little," Harrington said. "That's the first time some of these players had been in this situation and they knew we were facing the defending state champs."

The comeback started in the third when Ashley Betzold singled, Allie Rice laced a double to to right-center and Taylor Haakana stroked a run-scoring single to make it a one-run game.

The second-seeded Tigers tied the count in the fifth on a double by Erin Wurst and a clutch two-out hit by Amber Doyle.

The teams were still deadlocked in the home half of the sixth when Brooke Searles grounded a single to left and raced home on Doyle's double to the right-centerfield gap.

Betzold, who posted her 16th pitching win of the season, and the defense did the rest, stranding the potential tying run at first in the bottom of the seventh.

"I think Ashley pitched her best game of the season tonight," Harrington said.

Betzold scattered eight hits, struck out three and didn't allow an earned run against the hard-hitting defending champs.

Allie Rice 2b, 1b, RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Rice and Doyle each had a single and a double to pace the Farmington eight-hit offense. Doyle had a pair of runs batted in and Rice and Haakana each drove in one.  

There were many other highlights in the win, one of them the steady play of the Tiger outfield. The trio of Rachel Brietich, Searles and Haakana finished the night with with a total of six putouts.

"Our outfield is playing very well as group right now," Harrington said.

Thursday's match-up with John Marshall will present the Tigers with another high-scoring opponent. The Rockets lost to Hastings 9-8 in the opening round of the Final Four before coming back to defeat Rochester Mayo 8-7 and Hastings 9-8 in extra innings to make the championship games (s).

"It's still pitching and defense that wins at this level," Harrington said. "We'll have to come ready to play."

Farmington has made the state tournament field once before, finishing runner-up to Eastview in 2003.

29 May 2012

Tiger Scoreboard: May 30, 2012

Section 1AAA Final Four Winner's Bracket
Farmington 4 Hastings 3
(Farmington plays Rochester John Marshall for a berth in in the 2012 Class AAA state tournament at 5:00 Thursday in Austin. If John Marshall wins, a second game between the two teams would follow at 7:00)

Baseball: Over and out

John Stibal doubled for the only Tiger hit
The Memorial Day bus ride to Rochester lasted about as long as the game as the ninth-seeded Tigers bowed out of the Section 1AAA tournament with a 10-0 loss to fourth-seeded Rochester Mayo Monday afternoon.

The Spartans jumped to a 2-0 lead with a  two-run homer off Tiger starter J.D. Hinks in the bottom of the first inning and went on to rough up Hinks and reliever Drew Hegseth for 13 hits.

The Tiger managed just one hit and four base runners in the contest halted in the bottom of the fifth by the 10-run rule.

John Stibal collected the only Farmington hit, a double. Hegseth, Nick Newman and Jordan Lugowski each reached via walks. No Tiger runner reached third base.

"They hit, we didn't...they made the plays, we didn't," coach Mike Winters said. "Not taking anything away from them. They were by far the best hitting team we've faced.

"The attitude and approach to the game was good; sometimes things just don't click. The seven- day layoff (between games) didn't help."

The post-season loss closed the books on the 2012 season for the Tigers who finished 7-13 overall and 4-10 in the Missota Conference where they tied for seventh place in the final standings.

Tiger Scoreboard: May 29, 2012

Section 1AAA  opening round
Farmington 10 Rochester Mayo 0 (5 innings)
(Farmington eliminated)

26 May 2012

Softball: Tigers pass second section test

Taylor Yousse bases-loaded 3B in the 2nd inning (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington passed its second Section 1AAA test Friday afternoon with a convincing 12-2, five inning win over Rochester Mayo in the opening round of the Final Four tournament played at Todd Park in Austin.

"Our offense, defense and pitching looked good today," coach Paul Harrington said. "We need to keep it that way. The section playoffs are a hard grind. We need to stay focused on our next game."

The Spartans scored two runs in the top of the second inning to take a quick lead but like may times during the regular season, the Tigers came back to erase it, this time with a nine-run explosion in the second.

Pitcher Ashley Betzold rapped a two-run double and Taylor Yousse smacked a bases-loaded triple in the inning to do the most damage. Brooke Searles. Amber Doyle and Toni Hunsinger also had run-scoring hits in the uprising.

Harrington said Yousse's two-out triple was the blow that all but put the game in the Farmington win column.

"It was only 5-2 at the time," he said. "Taylor hit the triple and then scored on a wild pitch right after they changed pitchers. That really took the wind  out of their sails."

The winners scored two more in the third on a throwing error and a RBI single by Hunsinger and then sent everyone home early with a score on a double by Allie Rice, a single by Hunsinger and a fielder's choice ground ball by Taylor Haakana.
Toni Hunsinger 3-4, 2RBI, run (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Hunsinger continued to swing the hot bat, going 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Betzold, Rice and Erin Wurst each had a pair of hits for the Tigers. Betzold drove in two runs.

Betzold allowed just five hits in posting her 15th victory of the season.

"Our ability to come back in games tells you a lot about the character these girls have shown all season," Harrington said.

A second game against fellow-first round winner Hastings (9-8 over Rochester John Marshall) was postponed until next Tuesday evening back in Austin. Game time is 5:00 at Todd Park.

Boys Track: Tigers sixth in Missota

Reid Taubenheim (13-3) 2nd in pole vault (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said that he thought his team would rank somewhere in the middle of the pack in Friday's Missota Conference Championships held Friday at Tiger Stadium.

When the last race was run and the final results posted, Helmstetter proved to be a pretty accurate prognosticator as the Tigers finished sixth in the eight-team field.

Chanhassen won the meet with 206.5 points. Shakopee finished a distant runner-up at 142.5, followed by Northfield, 120.5, Chaska 118, Red Wing 94, Farmington 82, New Prague 81.5 and Holy Angels 52.

"We have good numbers and some very good athletes," Helmstetter said, "but we don't have the great athletes that some of the teams here have today. That's what you need in this meet.

"We are also very young and that makes a big difference. We won both the conference junior varsity and ninth grade meets this year so we are very excited about the future."

Three Tiger entrants, including two relays, turned in second place finishes to account for 30 of the team's point total.

The relay teams included the 4x800 foursome of Chad Retterath, Eric Stoeckman, Justin Hyytinen and Tyler Lerbakken and the 4x400 quartet of Lerbakken, Retterath, Tommy Weigel and Tanner Grubb.

Pole vaulter Reid Taubenheim turned in a personal-best effort of 13-3 to register Farmington's only second place finish in an individual event.

Helmstetter said he was very pleased with the efforts of two his throwers, Bret Hoffman and CJ Wynnings.

Hoffman achieved a personal best of 45-2 in the shot put to take fourth place, the same finish as.Wynnings who hurled the discus a personal record 133 feet.

"Both of those guys beat their old record by a long way," Helmstetter said. "That was impressive to see."

Hyytinen put together a fifth place finish in the 3200-meter run and Cullen Smith ranked fifth in the pole vault. The 4x100 relay team of  Derek Klotter, Athen Ashton, Alex Chadwick and Mason Auge also placed fifth.

Other Farmington point-scorers:
4x 200 relay:  6. Brad Parco, Weigel, Jack Erickson, Troy Hoffman
300-meter hurdles: 6. Nehemiah Rockett
110-meter hurdles: 7. Berg
Triple jump: 7. Justin Hett
400 meter dash: 8. Grubb 9. Lerbakken
800-meter run: 8. Stoeckman
100-meter dash: 8. Erickson
200-meter dash: 9.Weigel

Next Saturday the Tigers travel to Lakeville South for the Section 1AA Championships where the first and second place finishers as well as state standard qualifiers move on to the Class AA state meet.

Boys Tennis: Season ends in Rochester

Blake Olmscheid advanced to the second round (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Game. Set. Match. Season.

Blake Olmscheid was the only Tiger to win his opening round match at the Section 1AA sub-section tournament played Thursday afternoon in Rochester.

Ben Cline lost his opening round singles match and the doubles teams of Jeff Zaksoki/Tyler Olson and Ivan Rodriguez/Bennett Lagro were eliminated in the first round of the highly competitive tourney.

Olmscheid scored a dominant 6-2, 6-2 win over Owatonna's No. 2 player in opening round play before dropping a tough 3-6, 6-4, 1-6 decision to Lakeville North's No. 1 player in the second.

"Blake played very well in the second set and was poised to take the match," coach Jack Olwell said, "but the Lakeville player came to life and elevated his game."

Cline lost 1-6, 3-6 to the No. 1 player from Austin while both of the doubles teams dropped their matches in straight sets.

Olson sprained an ankle in warm-ups but soldiered on in a 1-6, 1-6 defeat and Rodriguez/Lagro fell 0-6, 1-6.

Boys Lacrosse: Stellar season ends at Eastview

Trevor Howard 2 goals, 3 assists (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington's best-ever season came to an end Friday night at Eastview when the Tigers dropped a 16-7 decision to the Lightning in the quarterfinals of the Section 3 tournament.

Farmington coach Paul Sorensen said he knew his team would be in for a challenge from the No. 1 seed in the section and the second-rated team in the state.

"We felt athletically we were right there," Sorensen said. "We had a few lapses and like good teams should do, Eastview took advantage of them.

"But I'm really proud of this team. We had a great season. The teams we've lost to were quality teams (57-29 combined record), and this game was much closer than the final score indicates....It was our first game on natural turf and we had some problems with ground balls."

Eastview built a 7-3 lead by intermission and put the game away with a nine-goal outburst in the second half.

Trevor Howard, Matt Ackerman and Corey Rudrud each scored a pair of goals for the Tigers and Brendon Berg, who set a state playoff scoring record with eight goals in the opening round win over Rochester John Marshall, had the other Farmington score.

Howard assisted on three goals to put together a five-point night.

After winning just one game over their first two years, the Tigers broke through in 2012, finishing with a solid 8-6 record.

Matt Ackerman 2 goals (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Corey Rudrud 2 goals (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Girls Track: Big 3 make Tigers No. 2 in Missota

Nadia Lorencz 3 1sts, 2nd (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington's Big Three of Nadia Lorencz, Izzie Ferm and Alyssa Parco had a huge day and got some help from their friends on the way to a second place finish in the Missota Conference Championships run Friday at Tiger Stadium.

"I was hoping for the top three going in," coach Tom Hart said of Farmington's best-ever finish at the conference meet. "But we got some some amazing performances today. Nadia, Izzie and Alyssa just keep getting better and better and Megan Graham, Alicia Hett and Jessica Arey helped get us some valuable points."

A well-balanced Northfield squad took home the championship hardware with 171.5 points. The Tigers scored 147, followed by Shakopee 140, Shakopee 130, Red Wing  97, New Prague 87.5, Chaska 72 and and Holy Angels 48.5.

The Big Three had a hand in an incredible 113 points. Lorencz led the way with three firsts and a second. She won the 100-meter hurdles (15.38), triple jump (36-9.5) and high jump (5-2) and was a half inch away from a win in the long jump.

Alyssa Parco 2 1sts. 2nds (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Izzie Ferm 2 1sts, 2 2nds (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Parco, who will run for Brigham Young University next year, won the 300-meter hurdles in 44.65, breaking her own league record set last year. She took second in the 100-meter dash and ran the opening leg for the winning 4x400 relay team that set another conference record. Parc also picked up a point for a ninth place finish in the long jump.

Ferm claimed the 400-meter run in a breeze in 58.2, beating teammate and runner-up Graham by almost five seconds. She also ranked second in the 200-meter dash and triple jump and anchored the recording-breaking 4x400relay team.

"What can you say about those three," Hart said. "The big thing they all bring is their competitiveness. Whether it's practice or a meet, they lay it all out there every day.

"They set the tone and example for the younger athletes. The younger girls like Megan (Graham) see that work ethic and it becomes contagious. They are amazing to work with."

Graham had a breakout meet, scoring a second place finish in the open 400 and running an outstanding third leg of the 4x400 that broke up a close race with Northfield. She also scored fifth place points in the 4x200 meter relay.

"Megan has come so far the last couple of meets," assistant coach Lisa Lippold said.

Hett ran the second leg of the 4x400 and also picked up eighth place points in the 1600-meter run.

Arey ran a personal best in the 300-meter hurdles to pick up eight-team points and also ran on the seventh place 4x100 relay team..

"I am so proud of Jessica and her race today," Hart said. "What an effort."

Other Farmington point-scorers:
4x200 relay: 5. Jennifer Miller, Courtney Johnston, Graham, Laura Steege
4x100 relay: 7. Kelli Elmer, Kayla Watne, Arey, Elizabeth Okikolu
4x800 relay: 7. MacKenzie Vermeire, Maricella Pacheco, Alex Frost, Sarah Cummings
High jump: 7. Bekah Lippert
Shot put: 8. Aly Grebner
Long jump: 9. Destiny Schmitz

Next Saturday the Tigers make the short trip to Lakeville South for the Section 1AA Championships where the first and second place finishers in each event (as well as those meeting the state standard) advance to the Class AA state.

Last year Farmington scored a school record 72 points at state and ranked fourth in the team standings.

25 May 2012

Tiger Scoreboard: May 26, 2012

Section 1AAA Final Four
Farmington 12 Rochester Mayo 2
Farmington advances to winner's bracket final game vs. Hastings on May 29 in Austin

Boys Lacrosse
Section 3 Quarterfinals
Eastview 16 Farmington 7

Girls Track
Missota Conference Championships
Northfield 171.5, Farmington 147, Shakopee 140, Chanhassen 133, Red Wing 97, New Prague 87, Chaska 72, Holy Angels 48.5

Boys Track
Missota Conference Championships
Chanhassen 206.5, Shakopee 142.5, Northfield, 120.5, Chaska 118, Red Wing 94, Farmington 82, New Prague 81.5, Holy Angels 52

24 May 2012

Baseball: Tigers draw Mayo in section opener

Ninth-seeded Farmington will open Section 1AAA post-season play against No. 4 seed Rochester Mayo Saturday, May 26, at 1:00 p.m. at Mayo Field in Rochester.

Five other single-elimination, opening round games will also be played on Saturday with the six winners moving on to second round play on Monday, May 28.

The four teams.surviving the second round will meet in Red Wing May 31, June 2 and June 5 to determine the Section 1 berth in the Class AAA state tournament.

Alumni Tracker: Davis 6th in Big Ten shot put

Trey Davis
2007 FHS male Athlete of the Year Trey Davis (left) brought down the curtain on his Big Ten Conference career at the University of Minnesota with a sixth place finish in the shot put at the conference meet held in Madison, Wisconsin.This weekend he will be competing in the NCAA regional track and field meet in Austin, Texas.

Former Tiger track standout Michael Bendix took fourth in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Track and Field Championships held earlier this month at Northern State University...In the same meet 2011 Tiger grad Erin Hickey ran a leg on Minnesota-Duluth's eighth place 4x100 relay team

In the spring of 1997, Pat Klinkhammer pitched the Tigers to their only state state tournament appearance in school history. This spring, his son is trying to do the same for Lakeville North. 

Joel Klinkhammer, the grandson of retired Farmington teacher and middle school coach Dick Klinkhammer, has compiled a 6-1 record with a 2.07 earned run average for the Panthers who are the No. 3 seed in the Section 3AAA.

First-year Tiger softball coach and ex-Tiger athlete Paul Harrington has been selected to coach one of the Minnesota all-star teams that will play a series of games the Sunday after the state softball tournament in Mankato.

1994 FHS female Athlete of the Year Amber Hegland has her Wayzata softball team ranked as the top seed for the Section 6AAA tournament. Wayzata owns an 11-9 record and finished third in the always-tough Lake Conference. The Trojans finished runner-up to Hopkins in last year's section tournament.

Former Tiger Ryan Pietsch moved up to the varsity softball coaching position at Northfield this spring after serving as ninth grade coach the previous several seasons. The Raiders finished 12-10 overall and 8-6 in the Missota Conference, good enough for fourth place in the final standings.

Carl Elmer
 Former FHS three-sport athlete Jean Everly, who ran on a couple of Tiger state meet cross country teams in the late 1980's and early 1990's, is a teacher of special education at Cherry View Elementary School in Lakeville...2011 Male Athlete of the Year Carl Elmer (left), a member of the St. Olaf College wrestling team, recently finished second out of 47 participants in the St. Olaf College Triathlon.

Former Tiger state meet golfer Greg Werner who helped his Minnesota State, Mankato team win the 2012 NSIC team championship earlier this spring, was the second lowest Maverick scorer at the NCAA Division II West/Central Regional played in Litchfield Park, Arizona. 

Tiger grad Jim Cordes, an inaugural member of the Farmington Athletic Hall of Fame, died at the age of 62 last week. Cordes, the 1968 FHS Athlete of the Year who later play hockey at Notre Dame, was the first Tiger to compete in in that sport at the NCAA Division level.


Girls Lacrosse: Jaguars end Tiger season 14-13

Ally Midboe 5 goals vs. Jefferson (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Tigers record-breaking season ended in heart-breaking fashion in a 14-13 loss to Bloomington Jefferson Wednesday afternoon in Bloomington.

"This was a tough one to swallow," Tiger coach Dan Pickens said. "It was back and forth all game long. We would get up by one or two goals and they would crawl back in it."

The sixth-seeded Tigers and the third-seeded Jaguars were fittingly tied at halftime at 8-8 but Farmington managed to carve out a 12-10 lead with a little over four minutes to go in regulation.

"We certainly didn't do anything wrong," Pickens said of Jefferson's 4-1 closing run. "We just couldn't get possession to kill out the clock at the end of the game."

Tia Jacoby goal, 4 assists
Ally Midboe had an outstanding final game in a Tiger uniform, scoring five goals, four of them coming on the same play on assists from fellow senior Tia Jacoby.

Jess Erchul also closed out her career in style, scoring four times. Sophomore Rachael Welzin added a pair of goals and leading scorer Haley Bradshaw and Jacoby each scored one.

Goalie Maddie Kohlbeck picked up 11 saves on 25 shots in the season finale.

"What a great way for the seniors to go out," Pickens said. "It was a great season. All eight of them started for us today...Even though they (Jefferson) were higher-seeded, I think we were the better team."

The loss closed the books on the best season in the program's three-year history. The Tigers finished 9-5 with three of the five losses coming by a single goal.

"All of the girls should be be very proud of themselves," Pickens said. The record aside, they worked hard and accomplished pretty much all of their individual and team goals they set forth before the season started."

23 May 2012

Boys Lacrosse: Tigers move on with first-ever playoff win

Brendon Berg eight goals on eight shots (photo by Jim Lindquist)
To say Farmington and Rochester John Marshall/Lourdes are evenly matched teams might be something of an understatement.

During the regular season eked out a 12-11 win when the teams met in Rochester. Monday night at Tiger Stadium, it was another nail-biter with the eighth-seeded Tigers pulling out a 10-9 victory over the No.  9 seeded Rockets in the opening round of the Section 3 tournament.

The win, the first-ever in post-season play for Farmington, advanced the home team to a quarterfinal match-up Friday night at top-seeded Eastview.

"The difference this time was our staying out of the penalty box and man-short situations," Tiger coach Paul Sorensen said. "Also, our guys on defense stepped up to take on a more physical style that seemed to help quite a bit."

It didn't hurt either that attacker Brendon Berg had a career night, scoring goals, connecting on all eight of his shots, to dominate the game offensively. Trevor Howard and Matt Ackerman garnered the other scores for the winners.

Trevor Howard goal, 3 assists (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Howard also had three assists for a four-point game. Chris Fitzgibbons had two assists and Ackerman and Jake Bauman one apiece.

The Tigers led only 5-4 at intermission but looked to be in control of the outcome when they took a four-goal lead into the final period.

"Give credit to John Marshall," Sorensen said. "They played hard all 48 minutes. They have a gutty team."

Friday's match-up with Eastview that will present a whole new set of challenges for Sorensen's 8-5 team.

"Our D poles are growing up fast," he said, "and they will face two of the best attack men in the state with Eastview. We look forward to the challenge."

Tiger Scoreboard: May 24, 2012

Section 1AAA
Farmington 9 Winona 2
(Farmington advances to Section 1AAA Final Four vs. Rochester Mayo Friday in Austin)

Boys Lacrosse
Section 3 (opening round)
Farmington 10 Rochester John Marshall/Lourdes 9
(Farmington advances to Section 3 quarterfinals Friday at Eastview)

Girls Lacrosse
Section 3 (quarterfinals)
Bloomington Jefferson 14 Farmington 13

Softball: On to the Final Four

Erin Wurst 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Winona scored first and last but in between it was all Farmington as the Tigers advanced to the Section 1AAA Final Four with a 9-2 victory over the Winhawks Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Field.

Seventh-seeded Winona defeated Rochester Century 10-0 earlier in the day while No. 2 Farmington sat out the opening round with a bye.

"There are four teams left and I honestly think the section is wide open," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said. "It's sounds simple to say but the team that plays better and makes fewer mistakes the rest of the way will win it. I don't see any dominant team."

The Winhawks touched Tiger ace Ashley Betzold for three hits and a run in the first tinning but the lead lasted all of five batters as Toni Hunsinger's two-run single in the bottom of the inning opened the flood gates for six Farmington runs.

Ashley Betzold 12 strikeouts (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington sent 11 hitters to the plate in their first at-bat and six of them--Hunsinger, Betzold, Amber Doyle, Taylor Haakana, Taylor Yousse, Erin Wurst and Hailey Monroe--getting base hits. Wurst's hit was a triple driving in two runs.

The winners added solo runs in the second, third and fourth innings to build a 9-1 bulge before the visitors used a single and a two-base error to score their final run in the seventh.

Betzold was in control all the way in the circle, finishing with 12 strikeouts. The junior righthander scattered five hits, walked two and allowed just one earned run.

Farmington finished with 13 hits off two Winona pitchers with each player in the starting lineup collecting at least one. Doyle, Betzold, Wurst and Allie Rice rapped two apiece. Wurst and pinch- runner Molly Berdan each scored a pair of runs.

The Tigers (14-4) open the double-elimination Final Four tournament against sixth-seeded Rochester Mayo (10-10) Friday evening at Todd Park in Austin. Rochester John Marshall and defending state champion Hastings also made the Final Four field.  

22 May 2012

Girls Lacrosse: Tigers advance to quarterfinals with first-ever section win

Betsy Anderson (3 goals, assist) faces off with a Kennedy player (photo by Jim Lindquist)
For the first time in their brief, three-year history the Tigers have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Section 3 tournament.

Sixth-seeded Farmington defeated No. 11 Bloomington Kennedy 13-11 Monday night at Tiger Stadium to earn the right to face off against third-seeded Bloomington Jefferson on Wednesday afternoon.

The home playoff contest was the first ever played by a Tiger girls lacrosse team.

"It was good to see more people come out to watch the game," coach Dan  Pickens said, "and to see the girls play under the lights, both figuratively and literally."

Pickens said Kennedy provided a unique challenge as it has two of the leading scorers in the state, Leah Gefroh and Bri Dubose, in its lineup.

"Between them they had scored 120 goals," he said. "We thought if we could shut them down we should win the game.

"They only had three goals between them. Our defense and goaltender (Maddie Kohlbeck) played great."

The Tigers led 5-3 at the halftime break and enjoyed a 13-9 lead with two minutes remaining before the Eagles scored a pair of late goals.

Haley Bradshaw 4 goals, assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Haley Bradshaw had four goals and Adrienne Jolicoeur and Jess Erchul each recorded a hat trick to lead the Farmington attack. Betsy Anderson found the net twice; Lindsay Benson accounted for the other Tiger score.

Ally Midboe added a pair of assists and Jolicoeur, Bradshaw, Erchul, Anderson and Michaela Tonsager had one apiece.

"We got back to our roots on offense," Pickens said, "and scored a lot of power goals. They let us run around a bit and we took advantage

 "Their goalie played very well or we could have easily had another five or six goals in the first half. We just didn't finish around the net."

Kohlbeck had a busy night in net, stopping 15 of 26 shots.

Last season Jefferson took the Tigers out of section play in the opening round by a score of 20-8.

"We're looking for some revenge," Pickens said.

Wednesday's game time is 4:30 at Jefferson.

Maddie Kohlbeck 15 saves (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Jess Erchul 3 goals, assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Boys Golf: Tigers settle for 5th in Missota

Tommy May All-Missota Conference
After moving up the standings in four straight Missota Conference meets the Tigers slipped to fifth at the league championships played Monday at Northfield Golf Club.

That showing left Farmington in fifth place for the conference season in what was a tight race for places three through six.

"We had an off day," Tiger coach Jon Holmes said. "We still finished fifth but it was not what we were hoping for. Up until the last two holes we were in position to grab third or fourth, but a couple of our guys got into some trouble that was too much to overcome.

All in all, it was a good conference run though. We showed improvement with every match and we proved we had the ability to compete with the top teams."

Tommy May had another quality outing for the Tigers with a round of 75. His steady play throughout the conference season earned him a spot on the all-Missota team.

"Tommy will be taking some well-earned confidence into next week's section meet," Holmes said.

Mitch Reed shot 82, Ryan Kelly 83, Erik Holmstrom 88, Jake Hanson 89 and Tony Lalani 90 for the Tigers. Holmstrom, who had played steady golf through the first four league meets missed all-conference honorable mention by half a point.

Wednesday the Tigers travel to Emerald Greens in Hastings to tee it up against Rosemount as well as tune up for next week's Section 1AAA Championships at Bellwood Oaks Golf Course.

Girls Golf: End of the Missota road

Alexis House shot a personal-best 109
The Tigers closed the books on their 2012 regular season with an eighth place finish at the Missota Conference Championships played Monday at Deer Run Golf Course in Victoria.

Chanhassen surprised perennial league champion  Red Wing 319-332 to win the league final. New Prague ranked third at 325, followed by Northfield 342, Chaska 345, Holy Angels 385, Shakopee 386 and Farmington 457.

Farmington's stroke total was 16 fewer than its showing at the last conference meet.

Brianna Swenson kept her place atop the the Farmington scorecard, shooting rounds of 56 and 51 for a 107 total. Alexis House finished two shots back with a season-best 109. Kaitlyn Jokenin shot 120, Halea Wright 121 and Megan Elliott 123.

The girls have one remaining meet on their schedule, the Section 1AA Championships slated for May 31 and June 4 at Cannon Golf Club in Cannon Falls.

Tiger Scoreboard: May 22, 2012

Girls Lacrosse
Section 3 Tournament (1st round)
Farmington 13 Bloomington Kennedy11
(Farmington earns first-ever post-season win)

Farmington 9 Lakeville South 5

Boys Golf
Missota Conference Championships at Northfield Golf Club
Chaska 308, Chanhassen 312, New Prague 314, Red Wing 318, Farmington 328, Shakopee 329, Holy Angels 335, Northfield 335

Girls Golf
Missota Conference Championships at Deer Run Golf Course
Chanhassen 319, Red Wing 332, New Prague 325, Northfield 342, Chaska 345, Holy Angels 385, Shakopee 386, Farmington 457

21 May 2012

Baseball: Hinks, Merle lead Tigers past South

Spencer Merle 3-4 (photo by Jim Lindquist)
J.D. Hinks picked up his second win and Spencer Merle rapped a triple and a pair of singles to pace the Tigers to a 9-5 non-conference win over Lakeville South Monday afternoon at Tiger Field.

Hinks allowed two runs in five innings of mound duty, scattering eight hits while striking out two an walking two. Farmington  is a perfect 3-0 in the Hinks' three starts.

The Tigers scored six runs in their first two at-bats and led from the first inning forward.

John Stibal's two-run single in the first keyed a four-run inning that also featured run-scoring walks to Drew Hegseth and Nick Newman.

The Tigers went up 6-2 in the second on a triple by Merle, a double by Ty Vincent, Hegseth's fielder's choice ground ball and a throwing error.

Hegseth's RBI single plated the seventh run in the fourth and Jordan Lugowksi put some icing on the victory cake with a two-run double in the fifth.

J.D. Hinks second win
Hegseth followed Hinks to the mound in the sixth and pitched an inning and two-thirds of relief. Andy Morris came into get the final out and snuff out a three-run rally by South in the seventh

"We did a good job of capitalizing on their pitcher's mistakes," Tiger coach Mike Winters said, "and we made aggressive and smart decisions on the base paths to put pressure on their defense....Situational hitting was also a key factor."

The win in the regular season finale gives the Tigers an overall mark of 7-12 and a little bit of momentum heading into this weekend's opening round of the Section 1AAA post-season tournament.

Softball. No.2 Tigers start section at home

Farmington ranked No. 2 behind Rochester John Marshall in the seeding for the Section 1AAA tournament and will open post-season play at home Wednesday afternoon.

Three teams will gather at Tiger Field for the single-elimination, opening round play with  No. 7  Winona facing off against No. 10 Rochester Century at 3:30 with the winner squaring off against Farmington at 5:30.

Owatonna and Hastings drew the third and fourth seeds and will also host opening round games in the 12-team tournament.

The winners from the four host sites advance to the double-elimination Section 1AAA Final Four on Friday at Todd Park in Austin. The tournament continues May 29 and May 31 in Austin.

19 May 2012

Boys Lacrosse: Tigers earn section home game

Farmington (7-5) received the No. 8 seed for the 15-team Section 3 playoffs and will open post-season play against Rochester John Marshall/Lourdes (9-3) at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Tiger Stadium.

Rochester John Marshall/Lourdes edged the Tigers 12-11 when the two teams met in Rochester earlier this month.

The winner of Wednesday's opener moves on to face top-seeded Eastview on Friday, May 25, at Eastview.

Farmington will host the the Section 3 championship game on Friday, June 1.

18 May 2012

Boys Track: Gearing up for the Missota

Justin Hyytinen 3 1st place finishes
The Tigers tuned up for next week's Missota Conference Championships with a solid performance at the three-team Pat Foley Classic held Thursday afternoon at Carleton College in Northfield.

No team points are kept in this one-of-a-kind meet where the traveling trophy goes to the team that wins a random event drawn by lot. This year, that event was the 110-meter hurdles so Rochester John Marshall walked off with the hardware.

"We saw some improvements in our horizontal jumps which has been a weak spot this year," Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said. "Some of our athletes were competing for a relay or a top three spot (for the conference) and that added to the competition."

All in all, Farmington scored five firsts in the meet, three in individual events and two in relays.

Freshman phenom Justin Hyytinen showed his versatility by winning the 400-meter run and 3200-meter distance event. Daniel Berg provided the other blue ribbon performance in the high jump.

Dan Berg 1st pace high jump (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Hyytinen made it three first place finishes when he, Eric Stoeckman, Chad Retterath and Tyler Lerbakken hooked up to claim the 4x800 relay. The other relay win came in the 4x100 where Sam Wyatt, Athen Ashton, Justin Hett and Sam Hoffman led the field.

Seven more Tigers turned in second place performances, including Hoffman (100-meter dash); Lerbakken (800-meter run); Hett (long jump); Nehemiah Rockett (300-meter hurdles); Reid Taubenheim (pole vault); Cullen Smith (high jump) and Bret Hoffman (shot put).

Farmington also racked up five third place finishes: Retterath in the 800-meter run; Stoeckman in the long jump; Smith in the triple jump; Bret Hoffman in the discus and Jake Lee in the shot put. 

Thursday (May 24) the Tigers will look to take advantage of a familiar venue and a supportive crowd at the conference meet slated for Tiger Stadium.

Girls Track: Tigers score 6 firsts at Foley Classic

Nadia Lorencz won 3 events (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Each spring Farmington, Rochester John Marshall and Northfield gather at Carleton College in Northfield to participate in a very unique track meet.

Unique in that team points aren't counted. Unique in that the "winner" is determined by whatever team finishes first in a random event pulled out a hat.

For the record John Marshall won the featured event, the 110-meter hurdles, to take home the traveling trophy.

All in all, Farmington had a good day, winning six events and finishing second in three others.

"The kids all ran very hard and competed," Farmington coach Tom Hart said. "It was a lot of fun in a great environment. Carleton's stadium is awesome.

"We approached the meet as a training day and a day to get all of our athletes participating. It was also a good day to let the seniors enter what events they wanted to and experiment with different combinations."

The Tigers won four individual events and Nadia Lorencz owned three of them, claiming the high jump, triple jump and 100-meter hurdles. Izzie Ferm provided the other individual win in the 400-meter dash.

Farmington also captured two relay events. Ferm hooked up with Alyssa Parco, Alicia Hett and Megan Graham to win the 4x100 and Alex Frost, Nicole Knoepke, Victoria Jacoby and Sydney Bockelman led the field in the 4x800.

Hett finished runner-up in the 800-meter run and Sarah Cummings took second in the 3200-meter distance event. Jessica Arey ranked second in the 300-meter hurdles.

Three other Tigers had third place finishes: Maricia Pacheco in the 1600-meter run; Abby Haugen in the pole vault and Bekah Lippert in the high jump.

Hart said the meet also served as a tune-up for next Thursday's Missota Conference Championships to be held at Tiger Stadium.

"Our goal is finish in the top three there," he said, "although injuries may make that tough to do."

Girls Lacrosse: A fiittng ending

Jess Erchul 4 goals, assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington closed its regular season in a fitting fashion, outscoring Holy Angels 9-3 in the second half in a 17-11 win over Holy Angels Thursday night at Tiger Stadium.

The victory capped an outstanding third season for the fledgling program, one in which the Tigers won eight of 12 games and played competitively in all.

"This was a great cap on a great season," Tiger coach Dan Perkins said.  "It was senior night and they controlled the game. Fourteen of our 17 goals came from the seniors."

Win No. 8 wasn't an easy one, however. The teams were tied 8-8 after a back-amd-forth first half. Pickens said some changes of strategy over the break helped produce the win.

"We had to go over some defensive reminders," Pickens said, "and after that we only gave up three more goals.

"With this win we became the 15th ranked team in the state, a long way from where we were a few years ago....This is a team full of athletes; it's fun to watch them play."

Betsy Anderson 3 goals, assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)
 Four different players scored multiple goals for the winners. Jess Erchul led the way with a four-goal night. Betsy Anderson and Adrienne Jolicoeur each netted three and Tia Jacoby and Shelby Klotz had two apiece. Ally Midboe, Rachael Welzin and Kaeli Halverson also scored for Farmington.

Haley Bradshaw, the team's leading scorer, didn't record a goal but led in assists with two. Jolicoeur, Midboe, Anderson and Erchul each added one.

Maddie Kohlbeck picked up her eighth win of the season. facing 25 shots and recording 14 saves.

The fine regular season earned the Tigers the No. 6 seed in next week's Section 3 tournament. They will entertain No. 11 Bloomington Kennedy (7-6) Monday night at Tiger Stadium in the opening round. Start time is 7:30 p.m.

"They (Kennedy) beat us in the first round a couple of years ago, something like 20-3," Pickens said. "I am confident this time it will be a different story."

Softball: Tigers earn piece of Missota crown

Ashley Betzold wears the look of a conference champion (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Thanks to an 11-5 win at Red Wing Tuesday afternoon the Tigers own a piece of the Missota Conference championship for the first time since 2007.

Farmington  and Shakopee finished with identical 11-3 conference records to share the 2012 title.

The championship win didn't come easily, however. The winless Wingers led 3-0 after two innings and  3-2 heading into the fifth.

"We got behind early," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said, "and maybe put a little too much pressure on ourselves.

"But like so many other games this year, we came back to take the lead and win the game. Once we got the lead, we were determined not to give it back."

From there on the runs came in bunches for the visitors. Farmington plated four runs in the fifth to take the lead and then three in the sixth and two more in the seventh to seal the deal.

The Tigers rapped 12 hits in the contest and also took advantage of some shoddy fielding (8 errors) by the Wingers to post their 13th win of the season against just four losses.

Brooke Searles 2-4, R (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Molly Berdan had her best game of the season at the plate to lead the  Farmington offense. Berdan went 3-4, including a clutch bases loaded in the fifth that gave her team the lead at 5-3.

Ashley Betzold, Allie Rice and Brooke Searles each had  two hits. Rice knocked in a pair of runs.

Betzold went the distance in the circle to pick up the win, striking out seven Wingers in the process.

 Harrington was gratified by the conference championship but cautioned bigger goals lie ahead.

"It was great to win a share of the championship," he said, "The girls worked hard and deserve the credit. But we have to put that behind us a bit and focus on the section playoffs. A trip to the state tournament is still our No. 1 goal."

Farmington is expected to garner one of the top four seeds in the section and host a home game next Wednesday night at Tiger Field.. A win there would mean a trip to the section double-elimination "Final Four" in Austin next weekend.

Girls Golf: Reaching their personal goals

Kaitlin Jokenin shaved 5 strokes off her previous round
After four consecutive eighth place finishes in Missota Conference tournaments the Tigers are pretty sure where they will rank in the final league standings.

But that doesn't mean some individual season goals can't be met and first-year coach Jon Stock says his players are doing exactly that.

"The golfers all scored well for them on a difficult course," he said.  "We were only able to send four golfers to this meet...Again, the girls achieved personal goals and overall, had good individual days."

Brianna Swenson continued to lead the Tiger scorers at Thursday's meet played at Mississippi National in Red Wing with a round of 107. 

Megan Elliott finished at 117, Kaitlyn Jokenin 120 and Jessica Olson 138 to round out the abbreviated Farmington scorecard.

The Tigers will try to improve on those numbers some more on Monday when they travel to Deer Run Golf Course in Victoria for the final Missota Conference meet of the season.

Baseball: Champion Wingers blank Tigers

Ty Vincent takes a rip (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Missota Conference champion Red Wing (13-1) lived up to its billing with a 10-0 shutout win over Farmington (4-10) Thursday afternoon at Tiger Field.

The hard-hitting Wingers pounded 10 hits against four Tiger pitchers and also took advantage of three Farmington errors in the conference finale for both teams.

"Pitching, Pitching, untimely errors, pitching," coach Mike Winters said. "That's the difference between our ugly and our good games."

Red Wing built a 5-0 lead through five innings and then sent everyone home early with a five-run sixth. The contest was halted after six innings by the 10-run rule.

Jonathan Ellis started on the hill for the Tigers but lasted only an inning. Andy Morris, Jordan DeCrook and Andrew Sharratt followed but only Morris had much in the way of success. He threw 2.3 innings of relief, giving up one run.

Reliever Andrew Sharratt lets it fly (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Offensively, the Tigers were limited to just three singles, one each by Jake Baskerville, Spencer Merle and Jordan Lugowski.

Farmington closes its regular season Monday when it entertains Lakeville South at Tiger Field. Section 1AA play begins later in the week.

Tiger Scoreboard: May 18, 2012

Farmington 11  Red Wing 5
(Farmington ties Shakopee for Missota Conference championship)

Girls Lacrosse
Farmington 17 Holy Angels 11

Red Wing 10 Farmington 0 (6 innings)

Girls Golf
Missota Conference #4 at Mississippi National Golf Club
Red Wing 311, New Prague 325, Chanhassen 340, Chaska 349, Northfield 350, Shakopee 377, Holy Angels 402, Farmington 473

Boys and Girls Track @ Pat Foley Classic in Northfield
No team points recorded

17 May 2012

Girls Lacrosse: Tiger gain 6th seed; play Kennedy at home Monday night

Farmington (8-4) drew the No. 6 seed in the Section 3 post-season tournament and will open play Monday night at home  against No. 11 Bloomington Kennedy (7-6). Opening draw is 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.

The winner of that contest will square off against the winner of No. 3 Bloomington Jefferson and No. 14 Eagan on Wednesday, May 23, at the higher seeded team.

Girls Lacrosse: Tigers assured of winning season

Adrienne Jolicoeur 13 goals in 2 games (photo by Jim Lindquist)

After winning 3 of 23 games over their first two seasons, the Tigers have assured themselves of a winning record in 2012.

That assurance came in a convincing 15-4 win over Rochester Mayo Tuesday night at the Regional Sports Center in Rochester.

The win upped Farmington's season record to 7-4 with one regular season game remaining. Post-season play begins next week.

"This team has the ability to turn it on just before game time and really get into the zone more than any other I have ever coached," coach Dan Pickens said. "None of us want this year to be done and we are hoping to extend it in the playoffs for as long as we can."

The Tigers put their final road game of the season to bed early, scoring 11 first half goals on the way to an eight-goal lead at intermission.

Adrienne Jolicoeur continued her red-hot scoring streak, netting six goals, and running her two-game total to 13.

"She, along with a couple of other girls, have really stepped up," Pickens said. "They seem to have a new motivation late in the year."

Jolicoeur had plenty of offensive help with Haley Bradshaw netting three goals and Jess Erchul and Lindsay Benson two apiece. Ally Midboe and Betsy Anderson also scored for the winners. Benson's goals were her first as a varsity player.

Haley Bradshaw 3 goals, 2 assists (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Michaela Tonsager had three assists, Bradshaw and Midboe two apiece and Jolicoeur and Brittany Olson one each.

Maddie Kohlbeck had another quality night in goal, stopping nine of the 13 shots she faced.

The Tigers close out their regular season Thursday night with a home game against Holy Angels and then await the announcement of the seeding results for next week's section tournament.

Boys Golf: A steady climb up MIssota ladder

Tommy May two-over 74
Things just keep getting better and better for the Tigers in Missota Conference tournaments.

Farmington started the season with a sixth place finish at the first league meet. It placed fifth at the second and then tied for fourth at the third.

Monday coach Jon Holmes' team climbed another rung on the Missota ladder, ranking third at the fourth (of five)  conference meets played at the Chaska Town Course.

State power Chanhassen won the meet with 294 strokes. Chaska was runner-up at 306, followed by Farmington 312, New Prague 317, Shakopee 317, Red Wing 327, Holy Angels 334 and Northfield 354.

"We played well as a team and also had some individuals step up and take advantage of the wonderful playing conditions," Holmes said.

"That (312) is the lowest score Farmington has shot in many, many years. Add the fact that we posted it at a conference meet at one of the premier courses in the state, and to say we played well is an an understatement."

Tommy May had his best round of the season, firing a two-over par 74, to lead the Tiger effort. Erik Holmstrom continued his steady play with 77 and Tony Lalani checked in at 79. Jake Hanson carded 82, Mitch Reed 84 and Ryan Kelly 88.

Jake Hanson season-low 82
"It was really nice to see Tommy play to his ability," Holmes said  "He has been frustrated this year with his scoring.

"He has been hitting the ball pretty well but has just not found that scoring rhythm which is so difficult in golf...I am hoping that this will be his break through point to keep scoring lower where he deserves to be."

Next Monday the Tigers head to the Northfield Golf Club for the conference finale where points double and final league rankings are on the line.

"The key to doing even better will be to get a fourth score at 80 or below," Holmes said. "We are consistently getting better every meet and our hard work and practice hours are really paying off...Hopefully we can claim the third spot again to give us a shot at claiming it for the year."