Monday proved to be a momentous night for New Richmond High School sports. The New Richmond girls soccer team locked up its third straight Middle Border Conference championship while the Tiger baseball team showed it can compete, and defeat, the best team in the WIAA Division 2 regional bracket.
New Richmond soccer
The Tigers are unbeaten champions in the MBC after winning at Spooner, 11-1, on Monday. The Tigers are successes because of their unselfish play, so it was fitting that’s how they capped the conference title. In the win at Spooner, 10 different Tigers netted goals. Kacie Malone scored twice and Maya Greenquist, Hannah Jensen, Zoe Christensen, Shelby Pahnke, Jhette Gabriel, Lauren Graham, Katie Moeller, Amelia Feuerer and Delaney Brown each scored one goal Spooner.
The Tigers finish with an 8-0 conference record. They scored 57 goals in their conference games. The Tigers will be playing at home on Tuesday against Baldwin-Woodville. This will be Senior Night for the Tigers.
Teamwork has been the foremost idea within the Tigers this season and the conference title is a product of putting the team first.
“I’m very proud of how our girls work. They’re such unselfish players. This is such a humble, awesome group of kids,” Boyle said.
New Richmond baseball
A night after River Falls received the top seed and New Richmond was seeded second in the WIAA Division 2 regional bracket, the two teams squared off. It was the kind of battle you’d expect from two conference leaders. And it was New Richmond that came out on top, winning 11-9 at the NRHS varsity field. This was the third time all season that River Falls has been defeated.
Both teams had big offensive moments. The Tigers took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the second and third innings. River Falls scored four times in the top of the fourth inning, but the Tigers immediately answered back with three runs to lead 5-4.
The Tigers’ lead ballooned with a six-run fifth inning. Tiger senior Reece Lucas has a huge game, highlighted by his fifth inning exploits. He led off the fifth with a double and he doubled again later in the rally. He finished the night with four hits, three of them doubles.
Talon Seckora also doubled in the inning. Jacob Gondreau delivered a two-run single. Gondreau hasn’t had many at-bats this season as the coaches are concentrating on developing his catching skills.
“Jacob knows his role. He knows he’s our guy,” said Tiger coach Travis Helland.
This was the biggest inning the Wildcats have allowed this season. No opponent has scored more than four runs in a game against River Falls all season until Monday.
Cole Eastep was the winning pitcher for the Tigers, working the first four innings. He was making his first start in two years. Only one of the four runs scored against him was earned. Eastep succeeded by getting ahead in the count against most of the Wildcat hitters.
“We gave the ball to the senior and he did everything we wanted,” Helland said of Eastep. “He’s a smart guy and he knows how to get out of tough positions.”
New Richmond-SCC softball
The individual hitting star on Monday? That would be New Richmond junior catcher Lexy Kupczak. Kupczak hit three homers as the Tigers earned a 13-2 win at St. Croix Central.
Kupczak finished 4-4 at the plate, including her three solo homers. Tiger coach Lynzi Pechacek said Kupczak’s been in a bit of a slump recently. She said Kupczak suddenly looked more confident Monday and it showed in each of her at-bats.
It wasn’t just Kupczak either. The Tigers generated 16 hits in the game. Emma Tappe had three hits and Anna Hams, Bella Cacka, Lanie Veenendall and Erika Emerson each had two hits. Emerson’s hits included a triple.
Leah DeYoung threw the complete game for the Tigers, finishing with a four-hitter.
Pechacek was enthused in comparing this game to the 10-8 the Tigers had over Central the first time they met.
“You could tell how much we’ve grown,” Pechacek said.
The Tigers finish the MBC season with a 5-9 record. Central finishes at 0-14.
For Central, this wasn’t the result they were looking for in their final MBC season game. The Panthers open Division 3 regional tournament action on Thursday at Fall Creek. They finish the regular season on Tuesday, hosting Elmwood-Plum City.
The lone highlight for Central was a two-run homer hit by Angelica Olson in the fifth inning. Olson had two of the Panther hits with Bailey Davis and Catherine Skoglund each registering one hit. Defense was a downfall for the Panthers, committing seven errors.
New Richmond golfers
New Richmond’s golfers got an early look at the site for the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament, playing in event at the Nemadji Golf Course in Superior on Monday.
The results were good for the Tigers. They finished in third place, with a 314 score. They finished behind Hudson and River Falls.
Sophomore Owen Covey has caught fire for the Tigers. He shot 72 at Superior and on Saturday at Chippewa Falls, he shot 75.
“Owen’s coming into his own,” said Tiger coach Neal Ziller. “Owen went for pars at Lake Wissota on Saturday and he did the same thing today.”
Covey finished two shots behind the leader on Monday. All six Tigers who played in Monday’s event played strong rounds. Michael Benedict finished at 80, Max Davis, Blake Peterson and Clay Gess all shot 81 and Nick Andersen shot 82.
The Tigers are also prepping for Wednesday’s Middle Border Conference tournament.
“I’m very encouraged,” Ziller said. “We seem to be peaking at the right time.”
The Spartans recorded their 11th win of the season by winning over Barron, 6-0. The Spartans took charge of this game quickly, leading 6-0 at halftime, before the teams played a scoreless second half.
Satin Mull scored three of the Spartans’ goals. Taylor Paulson, Erin Huerta and Kristine Scherz each scored once. For Scherz, it was her first varsity goal. It came off a corner kick. Spartan coach Bill Roll said the team has come close a number of times to scoring off a corner kick and it finally happened.
This was the seventh time this season the Spartans have shut out their opponent. They will try to add to their win total on Thursday when they head north to play at Washburn.
The Spartans earned a major amount of respect around the MBC by defeating Prescott 7-0 on Monday. With the win, the Spartans finish 7-7 in the final conference standings. Over the second half of the season, the Spartans have been one of the MBC’s hottest teams. Somerset went 5-2 in the second half of the conference schedule.
“Everything was clicking,” Somerset coach Paige Johnson of Monday’s win. “We had girls diving all over for balls.”
A strong defensive performance backed up the three-hit pitching from Somerset freshman Roxanne Ring.
The offensive highlight was produced by junior Isabel Garcia. In the fourth inning, Garcia launched the first homer of her career over the centerfield fence. Johnson said it was the first Somerset homer at their home field in at least seven years.
“(Garcia) has so much power, when she gets ahold of a ball, it moves,” Johnson said.
Madison Trautmiller, Georgia Hammer and Makenzie Weeks also were key offensive contributors.
This ends Somerset’s regular season. The Spartans host Sparta at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the opening round of WIAA Division 2 tournament action.