Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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Fifth-seeded Farmington managed to make some noise in the South Division Senior Babe Ruth Tournament last weekend. Farmington upset fourth-seeded Faribault 7-4 in the opening round, then put a scare into top-seeded Bloomington, holding a 5-2 lead late in an eventual 8-5 loss on Friday night. The team concluded a 3-14 summer season with a 10-8 loss to No. 3 Lakeville North on Saturday at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville. "We finished relatively strong. We weren't scoring a lot of runs up until this last week when we hit the ball pretty well," Farmington coach Scott Molitor said.
A little over a year ago, Katie VandenBosch played tennis for the first time. Now, she owns an Olympics bronze medal. VandenBosch, a Farmington High School graduate, was one of eight Minnesota athletes selected to participate for Team USA in the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, which began in late June in Athens, Greece. The former state qualifier for the Farmington/Lakeville/Burnsville Blazing Cats adapted soccer, hockey and softball teams came in third place in her division in the tennis singles event, competing against players from Great Britain, Germany and Austria.
The Farmington Senior Babe Ruth baseball team was outscored 48-15 while dropping four straight games last week. Farmington lost to Faribault 9-3 last Tuesday, then was swept by undefeated Burnsville 12-3 and 15-7 Wednesday before a 12-2 setback to Bloomington on Thursday. The four-game skid dropped the team to 2-9. "We were short on pitching all week due to vacations, which is why we gave up so many runs," Farmington coach Scott Molitor said. "Not a good week for wins, but our hitting finally came around against Burnsville.
Farmington VFW coach Chris Dittman says his team has been guilty of playing down to the level of its competition during a 5-5 start to the season. He said it happened in all three of the team's games last week, but Post 7662 was able to overcome the tendency and rally for a pair of one-run victories over Eagan last Monday and Tuesday. Post 7662 jumped out to a 3-1 first-inning lead on Wednesday, but let New Prague hang around long enough to steal a 10-8 decision. Farmington committed a season-high seven errors in the loss.
Zach Wallace didn't get worked up after allowing two runs on back-to-back doubles in the first inning of last Thursday's game at New Prague. Instead, Wallace settled in and pitched the Farmington Legion Post 189 baseball team to victory. Wallace limited New Prague to two unearned runs over the next six innings and Post 189 used a 10-hit attack to pull away for a 10-4 road victory. "(Wallace) is a finesse pitcher. He doesn't overpower anybody, he's just smart," Farmington Legion coach Andy Pierskalla said.
A long, successful weekend at the Grand Rapids Invitational finally caught up with the Farmington Legion baseball team Monday night. Post 189, coming off back-to-back wins over North St. Paul and Marshall on Day 2 of the tournament Saturday and a three-hour drive back to Farmington on Sunday, were swept 1-0, 10-2 in Faribault. "We came out of the Grand Rapids tournament a better team than when we went in, which was nice to see," Post 189 coach Andy Pierskalla said. "We had one little hiccup in the first game and by the second game we were out of gas.
A big sixth inning allowed the Farmington Senior Babe Ruth baseball team to escape Faribault with its second win of the season Tuesday night. Trailing 6-3, Farmington loaded the bases to start the sixth courtesy of walks to Eric Slobodnik, Simon Lindstrom and Jake Adam.
Farmington managed just one baserunner on Monday against Lakeville North -- and he was picked off. It was that kind of night for the Senior Babe Ruth baseball team, which was no-hit in a 10-0, five-inning loss in Lakeville. The pitching and defense also faltered as starter Matt Molitor gave up seven runs (three earned) over the first 1 2/3 innings.
The weekend rain came at just the wrong time for the Farmington VFW Post 7662 baseball team. Post 7662 bounced a talented Eau Claire team 11-4 in the opening round of the Burnsville Tournament, then spent Saturday and Sunday waiting to resume play in a tournament that was eventually rained out. "The guys were kind of bummed out they didn't get to keep playing," VFW coach Chris Dittman said. "We came out and played well against a good Eau Claire team." Post 7662 trailed 3-0 early against Eau Claire, but took control with four runs in the third inning and five more in the fifth.
Some timely hitting gave Post 189 the lead, then some clutch pitching preserved a win and forged a doubleheader split with Red Wing Friday night. Post 189, after getting drubbed 12-1 in five innings in Game 1, got run-scoring hits in four innings to take a 7-4 lead into the seventh inning of the nightcap. Starting pitcher Justin Tang took the mound to start the seventh and gave up a hit-by-pitch and back-to-back run-scoring hits that made it a one-run game with nobody out.