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Pa00e 10 Sports .4 Leisure Thursday, May 7, 2009 Tri-Countv News ,Kimball, MN tournament Kimball softball wins invitational By Gary Riess, Coach gled to right and both Callander The Kimball Invitational Soft- and Libbesmeier scored to win the ball Tournament was played Sat- game. Callander and Libbesmeier V urday, April 25, with Royalton, It's what they bring to the plate led the attack with three hits each. * The Twins played .500 the player. I try to get them feel- ACGC, and Kimball. The format was a varsity and junior varsity tournament with each team play- ing the other two, and the stand- ings determined by total-com- bined wins of varsity and junior varsity teams. TIae Cubs went 3-1, ACGC was 2-2, and Royalton was 1-2. Kimball varsity defeated Roy- alton 8-7 in eight innings and lost to AGGC. ACGC lost to Royalton and defeated the Cubs, while Roy- alton defeated ACGC and lost to Kimball. The Cubs junior varsity team won both games against Roy- alton and ACGC, ACGC junior var- sity was 1-1, and Royalton junior varsity was 0-2. The Cubs started the day against Royalton. As has been the trend, the Cubs started slowly, falling behind 6-0, as they strug- gled against the Royalton pitcher. Kimball finally scored twice in the fifth, with Tesslynn Callander and Melissa Hechtel scoring. Kim- ball scored four more in the sixth, with Beth Libbesmeier, Abby Zoller, Melissa Konz, and Hechtel tying the score at 6. After a score- less seventh the Royals plated a run in the top of the eighth, set- ting the stage for the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Cal- lander and Megan Libbesmeier got aboard. Cassandra Loch then sin- Melissa Hechtel scored twice, and Megan Libbesmeier got the win, going eight innings, allowing four earned runs and nine strikeouts. Game two saw Royalton again take the lead against ACGC fall behind 7-5, and then win the game in the seventh inning by a 9-8 score. Game three pitted the Cubs against the ACGC Falcons. Both pitching staffs were on, as the ACGC pitcher had 13 strikeouts, while Kimball pitchers Kendra Albers (5) and Megan Libbesmeier (11) combined for 16 strikeouts. The difference was ACGC was able to string together five hits with two Cub errors, to score 5 runs in the second and third innings. The Cubs only had one inning with more than one hit, and left eight runners stranded as ACGC won the game. The Kimball junior varsity won both of their games over Royalton 10-3 and ACGC 13-8 to make the overall Cub record 3-1 for the day. Junior varsity players were sopho- mores Natalie Stein, Megan Gard- ing, Melody Rose, and Shannon Donnay. Freshman players are Tif- fany Berscheid, Steph Konz, Olivia Fischer, Megan Jones, Atyssa Hur- fie, Shelby Seth, Brooke Merten, Kayla Overland, and eighth-grader Ally Seth. JV baseball moves to 5-5 on the season By ]oe Krippner After a tough loss to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted and a rain out at home against Belgrade- Brooten-Elrosa, the Cubs were able to squeek out a victory versus Upsula in a game that took extra innings to decide a victor. For the Cubs, Mitch Pramann gave Kim- ball every chance to win the game, with a solid five-inning perfor- mance, striking out eight, only walking one, and giving up just two hits. On relief, Dillon Menson came in and held the Patriots' bats quiet enough to pick up the victory on the mound. Kimball's Offense had four batters get two hits apiece led byAndy Linn's 3 runs batted in, with his last being the game win- ner in the bottom of the eighth, making the final score 4-3. After getting nearly no-hit in Rockford, the Cubs played host to the Rockets and didn't look like they did in Rockford. Offen- sively the Cubs were led by Tyler Loch and Aaron Laabs, Loch scor- ing four times on three hits and a walk while Laabs had two hits and 5 runs batted in. The Rockets' offense was held quiet by starting- pitcher Dillon Menson going 4-2/3 innings, followed by Ryan Young finishing out the game and picking up the win for the Cubs. With the victory in reach the Rockets mus- tered 4 runs in the top half of the seventh inning, to tie the game. After another pitching change to bring the Rockets' starting pitcher back on the mound, Ryan Young started the bottom of the seventh .with a single and Mitch Pramann's ground out moved him to second with two outs, Aaron Laab's seeing eye single between the shortstop and third baseman gave Young a chance to race home scoring the winning run on a high throw from the shortstop. With the victory, the JV Cubs evened their record to five wins and five losses. WILDER PAGEANT walnutgrove.org Walnut Grove, MN 32nd annual outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder July I0-11, 17-18, 24-25, 2009 eeome ane Tickets 888-859-3102 baseball for the first 22 games , of the season without their all- ,q star catcher, Joe Mauer. That " is not too bad, considering the  Contributions Joe brings to the ballpark every day. He is a two-time batting champion, g and the spark ofhis bat can ,, ignite his teammates' bats, too. Defensively, he is one of , the best catchers ever. Joe has f a great arm to second base, he  handles pitches cleanly, and , he has full control of his field-  ers. It's almost as if he were  Gardy's sixth sense. He sees  things happening on the field ,. and can maneuver the fielders  around. And the way he han- ,I dies his pitchers ... they all " seem to have a bit more confi-  dence and an inner calmness , when he is behind the plate. ' Mike Redmond and Jose  Morales did a fine job in Joe's / absence. Redmond is not only tough, but a wise old goat who  knows the game as well as V' any TV analyst, seasoned vet- eran, or baseball philosopher. Y, c He is a perfect backup back- stop to a guy like a healthy Joe Mauer - but early this season, with Mauer disabled, Mike sustained a groin injury that ' cramped his style even more. In Jose Morales, have a you talented kid who is still learn- ing howto play catcher. I asked Jose what his experience with the Twins has been like. "Man! It's a dream come true," he told me. "Since I started playing / baseball in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when I was young, all I / wanted to do is play in the big leagues. I definitely remember watching the Twins play in the '87 and '91 World Series." Were  the Twins his favorite team? "I watched them, but I also  loved to watch Michael Jordan i' and the Bulls," he said with an ear-to-ear grin. He went on to say: "Then in 20011 signed as a !' shortstop. When they first told xme they were going tO convert me to a catcher, I didn't like the idea at all. But then Twins batting coach Joe Vavra told me this could be my quickest route to the big leagues. It paid off! And ha ha, you knowwhat? The Twins fans are great!" The lumber doctor When a team's bats are "/sleeping, it is easy for folks -, to point fingers and blame the coaches or the manager. " Twins batting coach Joe Vavra V is a peaceful and caring man. "g He tends to his players like a " holy man tends to his flock. He is always there for them. I see him at the ballpark early, xt and I see him there late. I have  often heard him volunteering . to come in on his own time to work with a player who may f need special attention. I asked Joe if he changes x/ , his routine when the team's x/ slumping. "No, it doesn't really change," he said. "We try to be consistent with our routine. You might start ana- lyzing swings a little bit more. You might have a little more video time. I try to see a dif- fer, ference from when they were , going good versus when they went bad. If I notice a differ- '. ence, I'll try to present that to ing good about handling the bat. I try to not let them leave the cage on a negative. The coaches are in the business to try and help peo- ple succeed. I love to teach. I love to help people. I love to try to help others find success. I can't achieve that as a player anymore. I'm never going to go up to the plate again holding a bat." Joe was drafted by the Dodg- ers in '82 and played in the minors for several years. He was about to be called up to the majors when he broke his thumb, then came down with desert fever - which took him two years to recuper- ate from. When he did, the Dodg- ers took him on as a minor-league coach. He managed and coached at various levels before coming to the Twins' organization in 2002. In 2005 he became the Twins' major- league batting coach. He loves it. "If I can help others to succeed, I'm happy. I've always considered Joe Vavra hits infield. whatever my job is, as the best job in the world. When I take that kind of passion towards my work, I never have a bad day." Softball team has tough week By Gary Riess, Coach The week of April 27 turned into a tough hard-luck week for the Cubs as three close games all ended with losses. The Cubs took on HLW-W on Monday at How- ard Lake. The Cubs started well, scoring three runs in the first inning. Kendra Albers, Megan Lib- besmeier, and Cassandra Loch scored with Kelsey Vigoren col- lecting two RBI. The lead held until the bottom of the third, when the Lakers tied the game at 3. The fifth would be the crucial inning. The Lakers first three batters reached base by error and instead of a 1-2-3 inning, the Lakers pushed across two runs for a 5-3 lead. The Lak- ers scored another unearned run in the sixth. The Cubs got one run back in the seventh when Tesslynn Callander doubled and was driven home by Loch. The final was 6-4 for the Lakers. Callander was 2-4 for the game, and Libbesmeier gave up 4 hits with 2 earned runs, 5 strikeouts, and 2 walks. Five Kim- ballerrors led to 4 unearned runs and was the reason for the loss. The Cubs traveled to BBE on Thursday for the second of four CMC doubleheaders. The first game was another nail-biter for the Cubs. The game was tied at 1-1, with Callander doubling and being driven home by Loch. then BBE took a 3-2 lead, Kimball tied game at 3-3 when Vigoren singled and was driven home by Kristin Kuechle in the fourth. BBE scored in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead into the seventh. The Cubs tied the game when Callander singled and scored, but the Cubs only tied the game and left the bases loaded to send the game to the bottom of the seventh, tied at 4. BBE used two walks and a base hit to load the bases, Kimball pulled the infield in to cut off run, but a base hit to left scored the winning run in a 5-4 BBE vjctory. Callander had 3 hits in the game and Megan Lib- besmeier was 2-3 and pitched the complete game, striking out 6 and walking 5, while allowing 2 earned runs. The second game started very poorly for the Cubs. Kimball pitche.r Kendra Albers was hit by a pitch on her right ankle while bat- ting in the first inning. She tried to carry on, but then the injury was aggravated when a BBE player slid into the same ankle while Kendra was covering a play at home. Ken- dra had to leave the game, but the damage was done. The Cubs had a horrendous first two innings, committing seven errors, allow- ing numerous unearned runs. JV pitcher Natalie Stein came over from the JV field to relieve Albers and was met by BBE shortstop Emily Roelke Who hit a two-run home run to welcome Natalie to varsity softball. Stein then settled down and pitched the rest of the game, giving up only two earned runs and five hits. The Cubs out- scored BBE 6-2 for the rest of the game, but the first two innings were too much of a deficit to over- come, and BBE won the second game of the double-header for a two-game sweep. For the game, Cassie Loch was 2-3 with a dou- ble, Erin Gilpatrick was 2-3 with a double and two RBI, and Abby Zoller was 1-2, with her first career homerun and an RBI. Three tough losses in games where errors and missed chances proved to be the difference, halted the Cubs four-game winning streak from the previous week. This week.the Cubs travel to Rock- ford on Monday and host Swan- ville on Tuesday. Wednesday is the Section 5A seeding meeting to" set the playoff schedule, and the Cubs conclude the week with a double- header Thursday against Pierz.