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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It took a pair of come-from-behind victories last week for Farmington to earn a share of its first Missota Conference softball title since 2007. The Tigers scored six runs in their last at bat to secure a 9-5 win over Chanhassen last Tuesday, and then fell behind 3-0 last Thursday at Red Wing before plating nine runs in the final three innings of an 11-5 win. The team finished the regular season with an overall record of 13-4 and a league mark of 11-3 matched only by co-champion Shakopee. "The girls worked hard all year and deserve the credit," Farmington coach Paul Harrington said.
The Farmington baseball team got the offensive spark it needed heading into section tournament time. Coming off a three-game span where they plated four runs, the Tigers scored four in the bottom of the first and kept adding on in a 9-5 win over Lakeville South in their regular season finale Monday afternoon at Tiger Field. "We did a good job capitalizing on their pitcher's mistakes and made aggressive and smart decisions on the base paths to keep the pressure on their defense, taking the extra base when we could," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Two opening-round section tournament games will be going on just a few hundred feet from each other Wednesday night at Farmington High School. The Farmington boys lacrosse team finished the season with a program-best record of 7-5, earning it the No. 8 seed and home-field advantage against No. 9 seed Rochester John Marshall.
Monday night was a promising one for the future of Farmington track and field. The Farmington freshman boys team placed first and the girls team second at the Missota Conference Ninth-Grade Championships in Shakopee. The boys team racked up 192 points, outscoring runner-up Chanhassen by 60, and the girls finished behind only New Prague while scoring 114 1/2 points. Justin Hyytinen and Ryan Parco were part of three of the boys' six first-place finishes.
The Farmington boys tennis team closed out the regular season with a match that reminded veteran coach Jack Olwell of many of his team's matches this season. The Tigers played well and were competitive, but once again came up just short in a 4-3 Missota Conference loss to New Prague last Thursday at the Boeckman Middle School courts. "It was a fun and entertaining but heartbreaking match. In many ways it was a microcosm of the season: close, but no cigar," Olwell said. "I have to say how pleased I am with the attitude of this team.
The Farmington girls track team got a record-setting day from its Big Three while placing seventh out of nine teams at last Tuesday's Section 1AAA True Team Championships in Rochester. Senior Alyssa Parco, junior Nadia Lorencz and sophomore Izzie Ferm combined to win six events, place second in one and third in two others as they helped the Tigers score 506 1/2 points. Ferm was the lone triple winner.
A couple of tightly-contested losses have the Farmington boys lacrosse team hanging on to a 6-5 record heading into the final game of the regular season. The absences of key players due to injury and illness, and too many penalties, have been the major problems for the Tigers since their 5-1 start.
Twenty-six personal-best performances, including 14 that landed in the top 10, carried the Farmington boys track team to sixth place out of nine teams at last Tuesday's Section 1AAA True Team section meet in Rochester. The Tigers scored 584 points, 37 off the pace of fifth-place Lakeville North. Host Rochester Mayo edged Owatonna for the team title, 902 1/2-844 1/2. Ninety-six of the team's points were scored in the four relays, which all placed in the top five. The 4x200 and 4x400 relays set the pace, each finishing in third place. Tommy Weigel was a part of both relays.
The Missota Conference softball title is still up for grabs with one week remaining in the season. But only Farmington controls its own destiny. The Tigers, tied atop the standings with Chanhassen and Shakopee with matching records of 9-3, hosted Chanhassen on Senior Night Tuesday and travel to Red Wing tonight for their regular season finale.
Drew Hegseth walked just two batters when Farmington shut out New Prague on the road, 8-0, just over three weeks ago. The Tigers ended up on the other side of a shutout in Thursday night's rematch as the offense fell silent and the pitching staff yielded seven free passes and two hit-by-pitches in a 6-0 loss to the Trojans at Tiger Field. Starter Ty Vincent walked three batters and hit another as New Prague plated three runs in the top of the first.