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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After giving up 27 runs in its first two games, the Farmington baseball team finally got the pitching it will need to be competitive this season Wednesday afternoon against Edina. Starting pitcher Jonathan Ellis and reliever Nathan Graham combined to hold Edina to three unearned runs on six hits over seven innings as the Tigers got in the win column with a 9-3 victory over the Hornets in Farmington. "The pitching was awesome. Hopefully we're starting to realize that success starts with strikes," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Just about every Farmington High School varsity sporting event scheduled to take place from Wednesday to Saturday has been put on hold due to inclement weather. All varsity events scheduled from Wednesday through Friday have either been canceled or rescheduled. Saturday's softball game in Lakeville has been moved up from a 7 p.m. start to a 2 p.m. start.
Sam Hanson's senior season is off to a flying start. At the first indoor meet of the season, Hanson tied the school's indoor record with a leap of 6 feet, 2 inches. He bested that by five inches at Thursday's first outdoor meet at St. Thomas Academy, soaring to a jump of 6-7 that broke the school record previously held by Nick Rechtzigel, who cleared 6-5 in 2004. Woodbury outscored St. Thomas Academy 90-57 for the team title at the triangular.
Relays have been a strong suit for the Farmington girls track and field team over the last few seasons. That continued to be the case at Saturday's indoor triangular at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where the Tigers won four relays and placed second in the other during a second-place team finish. Shakopee won the meet with 71 points, 21 more than the runner-up Tigers. Holy Angels finished third with 38 points. "We ran pretty well on the track, but we are needing to find ways to score in the field events," Farmington coach Tom Hart said.
The Farmington boys lacrosse team lost its first game of the season April 11 against Lakeville South. Jacob Bauman, Marques Words, Quinn Malcolm, Matthew Ackerman and Justin Rees scored for the Tigers in the 8-5 loss at Tiger Stadium. Goaltender Charlie Weierke stopped 21 of 28 Lakeville South shots. Farmington plays Lakeville South at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at home.
Farmington scored with 5.7 seconds left to force overtime, then had time run out on a second rally in a season-opening 13-12 overtime loss at Lakeville South Monday night. The Tigers trailed 7-4 at halftime, then outscored the Cougars by the same score in the second half to force the extra session. Captain Ally Midboe knotted the score at 11-11 with a goal on a pass from eighth-grader Shelby Klotz. "We could have played all night and this would have been a one-goal game, we just ran out of time or we would have tied it up," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said.
Pitching was undoubtedly the biggest question mark for the Farmington baseball team heading into the 2011 season. The Tigers didn't find many answers in their opener last Thursday against Shakopee. Six pitchers combined for 16 walks and the Sabers rolled to a 15-4 rout in Farmington. Starter Jonathan Ellis walked four batters and surrendered five runs before getting an out. The Sabers scored single runs in the second and third, then plated three more in the fourth to extend their lead to 10-0. "It's hard to win with 16 walks," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Shakopee provided a tough match-up for a largely inexperienced Farmington team playing in its first game of the season. The Sabers, coming off an 18-5 season and a Missota Conference championship, return 11 seniors from a year ago, including standout pitcher Ashley Walker. They looked ready to defend their title in last Thursday's opener in Shakopee, rolling to a 4-0 shutout. Walker struck out 12 Tiger batters and allowed just one hit, a first-inning single to freshman shortstop Alyssa Kalmes. "They are loaded with talent and good pitching.
The Farmington boys tennis team rebounded from a season-opening loss last Wednesday in South St. Paul with a 6-1 win over Faribault Monday afternoon in Faribault. The Tigers swept the four singled matches, led by junior Ben Cline's 6-0, 6-1 effort at No. 1 singles. Blake Olmsheid (6-2, 6-2), Seth Roberts (6-2, 6-0) and Brian Waldbillig (6-1, 6-4) followed suit with victories in the other three singles matches. In doubles play, Jeff Zakoski and Ivan Rodriguez teamed up for a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 and Austin Tremmel and Colton Sanders scored a 6-3, 6-3 decision at No.
Shakopee handled Farmington on both the baseball and softball diamonds in Thursday's season openers. The defending Missota Conference champion Sabers softball team held the Tigers to just one hit - an Alyssa Kalmes single - in a 4-0 shutout in Shakopee. Meanwhile, the Shakopee baseball team was building a 5-0 first-inning lead in an eventual 15-4 win in Farmington.