Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.
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The Rosemount and Farmington baseball teams enter the last week of their regular season coming from completely opposite places. The Irish got off to a rough start but have since turned things around while the Tigers look to rebound from a two-week rough patch before section playoffs start.
Section playoffs have arrived for the Farmington Tigers and Rosemount Irish softball teams after a hectic and condensed regular season. The Tigers played 20 games in 29 days, often playing at least six games a week. Meanwhile, the Irish played 18 games in 22 days thanks to a tournament in Shakopee despite the snow.
Christian Life Academy (CLA) in Farmington celebrated two of its athletes choosing to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.. Seniors Allison Eide and Jaselyn Anderson both committed to playing their chosen sports at the Division 3 level. Eide will play on the girls' basketball team at Bethel University in St. Paul and Anderson will play volleyball at North Central University in Minneapolis.
The Farmington Tigers varsity girls' golf team competed in a "best ball" meet Wednesday night at Rich Valley Golf Course. In a "best ball" format, there are teams (in this circumstance teams of two) and on each hole, both team members tee off and from there the best shot is chosen and both players play from there. With two players attempting the same shot every stroke, many times "best ball" matches feature some very low scores.
The Farmington Tigers boys' tennis team played in the opening round of section 1AA team playoffs Tuesday night. The Tigers were the No. 12 seed and took on No.5-seeded Owatonna at Owatonna, where they lost 7-0. Owatonna moves on to play the No. 4 seed, Lakeville North. Farmington is next in action on Thursday, May 24, when the host individual subsection B individuals and doubles. The finals for singles and doubles will be held at Farmington on Tuesday, May 29.
The Farmington girls' lacrosse team is in the midst of a five-game skid, but their coaches think they're not far away from turning the corner. "Sometimes we're just trying too hard," assistant coach Brad Albano said. "We've been working on basics, fundamentals, taking our time, taking a breath, understanding what's going on around us rather than rushing. Sometimes we get a bit frantic, not in a bad way, we just get really excited to do something with the ball and sometimes they're overly excited."
The last two weeks, the Farmington Tigers softball team has hardly had time to breathe. Playing 10 games in 14 games (four two weeks ago and six last week), you could hardly complain if the Tigers had stumbled even slightly over that stretch. But they barely even blinked. Head coach Paul Harrington's squad took the rigorous test in stride and won four-out-of-six games this past week (four of which came against teams just behind them in the South Suburban Conference standings) after winning three-of-four the week before. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that this has been done almost exclusively on the arm of senior pitcher Becca Silber. Silber has pitched all but one game for Farmington.
The Farmington softball team took care of business over the last week, playing seven games in nine days from last Monday, April 30, until yesterday. The Tigers came away with a 5-2 record over that span and still sit within striking distance of South Suburban Conference-leader Prior Lake, despite the Lakers handing Farmington one of their two losses. The Tigers are 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the SSC, sitting one game in the loss column behind Eastview and two behind Prior Lake.
Doubleheader is a word that baseball fans across the state of Minnesota will hear all spring, and none more so than fans of the Farmington Tigers. Farmington started their regular season two weeks ago and have played four doubleheaders against South Suburban Conference foes. They dropped their first two games at Shakopee, 9-8 and 8-2, on Thursday, April 26. Last Monday, they bounced back for their home opener and swept Burnsville 3-1 and 7-4. On May 3, they hosted Lakeville North and were swept 4-2 and 11-3, despite leading for much of Game 1. Then on Monday, they lost both games at Rosemount 10-9 and 8-4. The Tigers are 2-6 overall, and 2-6 in the SSC, which is tied for last with Lakeville South and Rosemount.
Boys' head coach Adam Lippold said that Farmington's last few meets has highlighted the team's growing depth. "We placed third at the Lakeville Mega Meet, just missing second-place Lakeville North," he said. "We are developing some depth in many events that we haven't seen in a while. The quality of our third and fourth runners are solid, and our field events and hurdles are improving on last year as well. It will be exciting to see how our True Team meets go in the next two weeks."