Postseason gets underway this week

It might seem like the spring sports season just got going. Now, it is already rapidly approaching the conclusion. Post-season action for three Wolverine spring sports teams officially gets underway this week.

The Red Rock Conference golf tournament will be held today (Wednesday) at the GreatLife Golf Course in Worthington. The tournament was postponed from yesterday and rescheduled to today due to wet conditions at the course. The boys’ conference race figures to be wide open, with Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Murray County Central and Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda each winning during the three-meet conference invite schedule. The girls’ race figures to be less wide open. MCC won each of the three 18-hole conference invitationals, while HLOF and Adrian finished off the pace in each.

The Red Rock Conference track and field meet will be held Thursday, with teams making the trek to Munson Field for the event. This marks the second time the Wolverines will host the conference track meet. In the past, the meet had been held in Slayton each year until Mt. Lake petitioned to host the meet. Now, the meet rotates sites between Slayton and Mt. Lake. In a typical year, Munson Field hosts three regular season meets. This year, only one regular season meet was held at Munson Field due to prolonged winter weather. Mt. Lake’s home meet this year was not a complete meet, as throwing events and pole vault were not held due to unsafe conditions. Among the favorites in the conference title chase for track are the Southwest Christian and Murray County Central girls and boys teams.

Finally, the Wolverine fastpitch team will open its Section 2A playoff run Tuesday. Seeding for the tournament is expected to take place Saturday, meaning at this point the Wolverines don’t know who or where they will play. Section 2A seeds its tournament from 1 through 11, rather than dividing into sub-sections. In Section 2A, the highesr seeds each host first-day action. In the 11-team section, the top five seeds will receive byes into the doubleelimination portion of the tournament. Currently, Mt. Lake Area- Comfrey is ranked seventh in the section based on the QRF formula, but has the eighthbest record in the section at 4-6 overall. MLAC has only faced three section opponents, losing to Cleveland and Nicollet but defeating Springfield.

Wolverines earn sweep over HLOF

The Mt. Lake Area – Comfrey fastpitch team stormed to a pair of victories in the drizzle Thursday, sweeping Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda at Mt. Lake. In the opener, the Wolverines rolled to a 13-0 victory. Pitcher Molly Carnell held the Coyotes to one hit and struck out six. The Wolverines scored five runs in the first. Margo Stoesz and Jordan Boldt hit sacrifice flies, Rylie Tollefson hit an RBI single and Brooke Naas connected for a two-run double. In the second, MLAC added two runs on errors, a run scored on a wild pitch and Tollefson hit a two-run triple. Tollefson added a two-run double in the third and scored on a Boldt groundout. Tollefson had three hits and five RBI in the win. Taylor Naas had three hits and Brooke Naas had two hits and two RBI.

In the nightcap, the Wolverines scored in each at-bat, rolling to a 19-5 victory. Molly Carnell hit a two-run double and two runs scored on errors, giving the Wolverines a 4-0 lead in the first inning. In the second, the Wolverines stretched the lead to 9-0 on a Carnell RBI double, an error and a three-run double from Boldt. HLOF answered with five runs in the bottom of the second, but the Wolverines kept the offense rolling in the third with a two-run Margo Stoesz single. In the fourth, Kayla Vonk and Taylor Naas hit RBI singles. Then, in the fifth, Boldt, Carnell and Stoesz had RBI singles. Vonk added an RBI groundout and a run scored on an error. Carnell and Boldt each had three hits and four RBI in the win. Taylor Naas added three hits and Stoesz had two hits and three RBI. Carnell earned the pitching win, allowing nine hits and striking out five.

The Wolverines were scheduled to face Red Rock Central/Westbrook- Walnut Grove yesterday (Tuesday). MLAC wraps up the regular season facing Adrian Adra Thursday at Ellsworth. In a last-minute addition to the schedule, the Wolverines will travel to Mankato Friday, where they will be a special guest participant in the Valley Conference Showcase, held at Caswell Park. Wolverine Coach Brian Hopwood said that the pairing between St. Clair and Mankato Loyola opened a spot in the showcase. The Wolverines will be paired up against a team with a similar ranking in the QRF. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. MLAC will open the Section 2A playoffs Tuesday. Matchups, sites and times are to be determined.

Wolverines head toward finish line

The end of the regular season brings a string of doubleheaders with it for the Mt. Lake Area-Comfrey baseball team. The Wolverines were scheduled to host Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove yesterday (Tuesday) in a twin bill at Munson Field. The Wolverines will play their final non-conference games of the season Thursday when they travel to Madelia for a doubleheader. Then, on Tuesday, the Wolverines close the regular season with a rescheduled doubleheader against Adrian. The Adrian doubleheader poses a bit of a dilemma for the Wolverines, as the Section 2A playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 24. This is a change from previous years, when the first round of the playoffs was held on the Friday before Memorial Day. The reason behind the move was the number of schools that have graduation ceremonies on that Friday evening. But if MLAC hopes to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, having its top pitchers available will be critical. Section 2A seeds teams from 1 to 15, rather than splitting into sub-sections. Currently, based on the QRF formula, MLAC is ranked 11th out of 15 teams in the section. The Wolverines also have played fewer games than nearly every team in the section. Seeding for the tournament is expected to take place early next week, meaning MLAC likely has just four games remaining to improve its standing in the section.

Wolverines sweep HLOF

The Mt. Lake Area-Comfrey baseball team had two stellar pitching outings Thursday, sweeping a doubleheader from Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda at Heron Lake. The games were originally scheduled for Friday, but were moved up a day because of rain in the forecast. In the opener, MLAC senior Dylan Hillesheim tossed a gem, scattering three hits in a 10-0 victory. Hillisheim walked one and struck out eight. The Wolverine offense got going with four runs in the second. Fletcher Hanson and Brett Willaby hit RBI singles and Hillesheim and Drake Harder drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks. The Wolverines took a 5-0 lead in the third when Jesse Jepsen walked and scored on an error. Then, MLAC pulled away with a five-run fourth. Hanson and Regan Syverson drew bases-loaded walks, a run scored on a wild pitch and two runs scored on errors. In the nightcap, Abraham Stoesz tossed a one-hitter and struck out eight in an 8-1 Wolverine win. HLOF’s only hit of the game was an RBI single in the top of the first inning. The Wolverines tied the game on a Syverson double in the bottom of the second, then took the lead for good in the fourth. Two runs scored on errors and Hillesheim added a two-run single. In the fifth, Eli Karschnik hit a bases-clearing double for MLAC’s final runs. Syverson had three hits in the win.

Wolverines run shorthanded at Slayton

Mt. Lake Area was severely shorthanded Thursday when it took part in the Dick Davidson Invitational at Slayton. The Wolverine girls finished ninth in the team standings with 16 points while the boys were 10th with 10 points. Southwest Christian-Edgerton won both team titles. Individually, the Wolverine girls were led by a runner-up finish from Saige Wall in the shot put (31-3). Sierra Pankratz placed fourth in the triple jump (28-0½). MLA’s boys’ top finish was from Kris Menken, who took fourth in the shot put (39-9).

Sleepy Eye Invite

Mt. Lake Area’s boys placed second and the girls fifth at the Sleepy Eye Invitational, held last Tuesday. MLA’s boys scored 87 points. Sibley East won the meet with 137 points. The Wolverine girls scored 52½ points. Sibley East won the meet with 93½ points. MLA’s boys were led by Josiah Gardiner, who won the 300 hurdles (46.77) and placed third in the 100 hurdles (19.33). MLA also won the 4×100 relay (48.94). Kris Menken added a runner-up finish in the high jump (5-4) and took third in the shot put (37-0). Emilio Garcia de la Cruz was second in the 800 (2:17.00) and third in the 1,600 (5:08.33). A.J. Vongsy took third in the 100 (12.23), 200 (25.05) and long jump (16-9). Sam Paulson was third in the triple jump (35-0½). Michael Watkins placed third in the discus (100-8). For the girls, Jenneel Rodney finished first in the discus (110-4) and second in the shot put (31-8¼). Marta Stoesz won the high jump (4-6). Sierra Pankratz took second in the long jump (12-8½) and third in the triple jump (27-8). Saige Wall was third in the shot put (31-0½).

Wolverines play at Red Rock Invite, top RRC

Seven Red Rock Conference teams and Windom took part in an invitational meet that had been rescheduled from the previous Tuesday. The girls played at Fulda while the boys played at Westbrook. The Mt. Lake Area- Comfrey boys finished the meet in seventh place with a team score of 399. Murray County Central won the team title with a 337. Meanwhile, MLAC’s girls took part in their first-ever 18-hole varsity tournament, finishing in seventh place with a team score of 582. Murray County Central won the meet with a 390. For the girls, MCC’s Abby Hamman was the medalist, shooting an 86. Olivia Christians led MLAC with a 128. Mallary Drake shot a 148. For the boys, MCC’s Tyler Groves was the meet medalist, shooting a 70. Ryan Pedersen led MLAC with a 92, followed by Dima Hanson with a 94, Maleek Stewart with a 106 and Junior Louangsaphakdy with a 107.

Wolverines sweep RRC

A late addition to the schedule on May 7 saw Mt. Lake Area-Comfrey record a sweep over Red Rock Central at the Mt. Lake Golf Club. The Wolverine boys edged the Falcons 193-195. The MLAC girls, playing as a complete team for the first time, shot a 288 against an incomplete RRC team. For the boys, MLAC’s Thomas Regier was the meet medalist, firing a 46. Ryan Pedersen, Dima Hanson and Maleek Stewart each added a 49. For the girls, RRC’s Carley Baumann was the medalist with a 54. Mallary Drake led MLAC with a 67, followed by Kylee McMullen with a 68, Olivia Christians with a 71 and Madison Hartle with an 82.