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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Farmington walked 16 batters in its season-opening loss to Shakopee back in mid-April. The Tigers didn't approach that number the rest of the spring, but the pitching staff continued to struggle with its control throughout a 4-16 regular season. Nine more free passes in Saturday's Section 1AAA Tournament opener put Farmington over the century mark for the season and were a big contributer in a season-ending 12-2 loss at Rochester John Marshall. "We didn't pitch well," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
With just three seniors and a handful of returning starters on its roster, the Farmington softball team was inexperienced heading into the 2011 season. The cold and wet spring weather didn't help the young Tigers get prepared to make the transition to the varsity game. They were limited to just six outdoor practices over the course of the season.
The first Missota Conference track and field meet held in Farmington was a successful one for the Tiger girls. Led by sophomore Nadia Lorencz's three victories and three school records, the Tigers set four school records and were crowned conference champions in six events en route to a third-place finish Thursday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. "We were third and had some opportunities to move up, but they just didn't fall into place," Farmington coach Tom Hart said. "We had six champions, which is an awesome accomplishment for these ladies.
Fourth-seeded Farmington advanced past No. 5 Northfield with a 3-2 victory Wednesday afternoon in Farmington. The Tigers (11-10) play again Friday against top-seeded Hastings at Todd Park in Austin. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
A fifth-place team finish Monday at New Prague Golf Course gave Farmington sixth place in the final Missota Conference standings. Junior Tommy May led the Tigers with a round of 82 that placed him 12th in the final individual standings and earned him all-conference honorable mention honors. Toni Lalani and Cooper Loew were just a stroke back of May with matching rounds of 83 and Erik Holmstrom stepped up to provide the final counting score with a round of 84. Matt Provost (87) and Jacob Hanson (89) provided the final two varsity scores. The Tigers actually fared better in the JV portion of
Farmington's run in the Section 1AA team tournament ended quickly with a 7-0 first-round loss to Owatonna last Tuesday in Faribault. The Huskies won all four singles matches and all three doubles matches to advance to a second-round match against Hastings. The Tigers compete again today in the Sub-Section 1AA Individual Tournament at the Rochester Outdoor Tennis Center. Play begins at 10 a.m. Results No. 1 singles: Ben Cline lost 0-6, 0-6 No. 2 singles: Blake Olmscheid lost 1-6, 3-6 No. 3 singles: Tyler Olsen lost 1-6, 1-6 No. 4 singles: Ivan Rodriguez lost 0-6, 0-6 No.
One stroke left Farmington behind Holy Angels in last place at Monday's Missota Conference Championships, and bumped the Tigers back into a tie for seventh with the Stars in the final league standings. The Tigers shot a team score of 441 on Monday, led by Mia Johnston's 106. Usual team leaders Terra Klima and Bri Swenson turned in their highest scores of the year with rounds of 109 and 112, respectively. Alexis Preese and Alexis House both shot rounds of 114. The Tigers close out the season next Thursday at the Section 1AAA Championships at Cannon Falls Golf Course.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, Farmington is still trying to consistently put together complete games. The Tiger pitching staff allowed 21 runs and the defense committed six errors in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of 17th-ranked (Class 3A) Red Wing last Thursday, then the offense struggled to come up with timely hits in a 5-4 setback Monday at Lakeville South.
The team's win total didn't go up, but there was no doubt in coach Dan Pickens' mind that his Farmington girls lacrosse team was vastly improved in its second year as a varsity sport. "The girls improved so much this year. Bloomington Jefferson is a good team and we gave them a scare for awhile," Pickens said after Monday's season-ending 20-8 section tournament loss in Bloomington. "We lost 19-2 in the section game against them last season and I think they were expecting the same game....
Team scores aren't kept at the Pat Foley Classic. Nevertheless, the meet has plenty of value to the Farmington boys and girls track programs.