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August 20, 2003     Winthrop News
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I Winthrop News Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 Page 6 by Michael Mattison The dream continues for the Winthrop Eagles baseball team and its fans. The Eagles won their opening round game in the Class C State Baseball Tournament on Saturday. The most recent draft pick for the Eagles, Dave Kreft of Arlington, paid dividends as he pitched a three-hit, complete-game 1-0 shutout over Perham. In only one inning did Krefl allow a runner to second base or more than one baserunner in an inning. Meanwhile, the Eagles offense was able to come up with eight hits but only one run. The Eagles scored the lone run of the game in the fourth inning. Ben Melius led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Scott Dose single. After Chris Fahey's ground out advanced the runners, Kreft reached on an error that scored Melius. Winthrop threatened in the first inning. With two out, Melius and Dose hit back-to-back singles that put runners on first and third but a strike out ended the threat. Kreft sent down the first seven batters he faced before allowing a single to Nick Esala. He would advance no farther than first base. Winthrop made a slight threat in the fifth inning. James Panning singled with one out and moved to second base on a sacrifice by Paul Jones but a ground out ended the inning. Perham recorded its second hit in the fifth inning as Kreft gave up a one-out single to Jeremy Morganroth. He would be stranded there as Kreft got Chad Burkman to fly out and Esala to strike out. The third and final hit by Perham came in the sixth inning. Mike Winjum came up with a one- out single but again Kreft got two Above are the 2003 GFW Thunderbird volleyball seniors. Front row, from left to right: Alisha Kruggel, Bethany Werner, Nikki Black, Cassie Schmidt and I by Michael Mattison Seven players who saw signifi- cant action last year return to the GFW Thunderbird volleyball team which posted a 13-8-2 record a year ago and exited the Section 3AA North Tournament in a disap- pointing first-round loss to Tracy- Milroy-Balaton. With the majority of the starting squad returning alter a good year on the court, expectations are high for this group. Ashley Busch and Nikki Black return to Coach Bob Kaukola's squad as middle hitters. On the out- side are Ashley Vorwerk and Alisha Kruggel, on the right is Emily Vantton, setting is Lindsey Kiecker and in the back row is Cassie Schmidt. "'We have a lot of depth and experience and that is a nice thing," Kaukola said. He will have to replace three who graduated last season. Gone is leading setter and hitter Krystie Kaukola, as well as defensive spe- cialist Amber Schreiner and Jackie Rieke. "Those three will be missed alot," Kaukola said. Krystie Kaukola led the team in spike kills with 146, tip kills at 70 and set assists with 411. Amber Schreiner was one of the team's leading servers at 95 per- cent and was tough in the back row. "Although Jackie (Rieke) didn't get on the floor much, she was the heart and soul of the team," Kaukola said. Busch is the top hitter returning with 116 spike and 28 tip kills. She spends most of her time on the front line and added 58 blocks. Kiecker shared "setting duties last year while Kaukola was in the front row. She tallied 295 set assists on the season and posted 163 points and a 95 percent serve. Black led the team in blocks with 66 and also had a nice kill rate with 99. She also was responsible for 127 points at the service line. VanHon brought 97 kills to the table last year while Kruggel scored 110 points and added 77 kills. Ashley Vorwerk led the team in scoring with 169 points on a 93 percent serve. She added 77 kills and 32 blocks. Cassie Schmidt filled in in the fly outs to end the inning. Both teams would threaten in the ninth inning. Kreft and Kris Swenson led off the final stanza with singles. Jarod Werner then hit a grounder to Perham pitcher Shawn Ohman who threw Kreft out at third base. AI Frank walked to load the bases but Panning grounded to third base and Aaron Kalina gunned down Swenson at the plate. Jones then flew out and the threat was over. Perham looked like it might do some damage and tie the game up in the ninth inning. Mike Winjum drew a walk from Kreft to lead off the inning and Mark Winjum put down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runner ahead. Kreft got the next batter to pop out to the short stop but he then walked Ohman with two outs. There was no need to worry, though, as Kreft struck out Peyton Burkman to end the game. Dose connected on three of four attempts tbr hits, while Panning, Jones, Melius, Kreft and Swenson also had hits. The only run that Perham pitch- er Ohman allowed was unearned. Kreft picked up his first win of the season in an Eagles uniform, allowing three hits and three walks while shutting out Perham. He also had five strike outs. Ohman scattered eight hits and two walks while striking out six. The Eagles play Hayfield- Austin on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Northfield. The winner of that game will play again on Sunday with the loser going home. It takes just one more win lbr the Eagles to be able to advance to the double elimination portion of the tournament which begins on Sunday, Aug. 24, in Dundas at 1:30 p.m. lteidi Bruns. Back row: llelene Dahl, Ashley Busch, Ashley Vorwerk, Emily Vanllon and Katharina Pundt. Pho, o by Miclaael Mattison back row and came away with 92 digs. The T-Birds will scrimmage twice this week and begin play on Monday, Aug. 25, when they travel to Gaylord to face Sibley East. "I think our biggest strength is out team unity," Kaukola said. "We have a common goal. We were not satisfied with the way we ended last year. "We have a more positive team and I think they will handle things better when it's not going as well as we would like. They are full of intensity and are willing to work hard." Kaukola is looking for his play- ers to put the ball away consistent- ly. Rule changes will make the game look more like the college and Olympic game. A switch to rally scoring, you can score points with or without the serve, will be a major difference. Games will also be played to 25 points and if the ball strikes the net and goes over into the field of play, it is a live ball. "I think the officials will be a little looser with the ball handling as well but it will depend on which ones we get. We will just have to adjust," he said. The team has set goals of play- ing well into the Sub-Section Tournament, making the finals or even making it into the Section. That won't be an easy task. In the Tomahawk Conference, Kaukola sees teams like Buffalo Lake-Hector, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Sleepy Eye and Sleepy Eye St. Mary's to be tough. Then in the Sub-Section, they would face the likes of Tracy- Milroy-Balaton, a young team that knocked the T-Birds out of the tournament last year, BOLD and perennial powerhouse Renville County West. Kaukola said RCW graduated much of its squad but the program is so strong they should field a good team once again. "I'm looking forward to the season," Kaukola said. "It will be a tad bit different as I'm not coach- ing one of my children. I'm excited to coach these girls. I'm looking t~r good things out of this team." :i :~ :i:i:i: i: }:i: ~ i:i:i:~:i :~:i .'." :~:~:~ :! ::: ~:i:! :~ :!::.x~ ~: i: !: !: !: i:~:i~:i:i :~: i:?,~ :~ :.:.':: i:i a~ :~:!:i :~:::::}:~:: :: ::: :~: :::: :: "~ .~:?.~::~" :: .'. :::: :: .': :: :: :::: :: :1" :"'1 :" :' :'" :::: :"" ~::::::::~:::':::::': ::" "~": :~ ::!~.' 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