Wrapping It up . . . With the National Pastime

belgianteatruant

As a red-blooded, patriotic veteran, I did what all such folks do on Memorial Day.  I went to two ballgames.  Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet . . . (OK, the above photo is not a hot dog . . . it’s some Belgian thing, mit kraut, the Annens wolfed down in Stillwater.)

GAME ONE

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[After being upset in the first round of the sections (committing an uncharacteristic three errors in the last inning), our softball team bounced back in the losers’ bracket with a well-played 6 – 0 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice.  It was probably the best pitched game I have seen from Taylor Ellingson.]

I should report the weather forecast for the day was the same as it had been since . . . well, forever.  I played it by ear (were they getting wet?) as there was nothing else scheduled for the day.  It remained gray and a tad windy all day, but compared to what we’ve been having, a lovely day to enjoy some ball.  But, before we proceed any further:

Lest you forgot, this is the Central Lakes Conference:

Alexandria

Brainerd

Fergus Falls

Rocori

St. Cloud Apollo

St. Cloud Tech

Sartell-St. Stephen

Sauk Rapids-Rice

Willmar

For the 2013 Spring Sports Season, the conference champions are:

Baseball – Alexandria

Softball – Alexandria

Girls’ Golf – Alexandria

Boys’ Golf – Alexandria

And the girls’ track team won 7 of the 18 events at the conference meet.  In other words, a pretty good spring for our Cards.  A big CONGRATULATIONS to all the teams.  The StarTribune has been running a series on the big money sponsors and donors to the wealthy suburban and private schools, and how these schools have been dominating the state athletic championships for the last decade or so.  I think Wayzata’s football scoreboard costs more than the new Alex high school.  And to think our Cardinals do it with the hundred-fifty I contribute to play in the Cap Paciotti Memorial Golf Tournament every year?

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[Meanwhile, back at the ballgame, the aforementioned Ms. Ellingson.]

The first inning in video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghFNBBP7lr0

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[Meanwhile, back at the 2nd inning, the aforementioned Ms. Ellingson.]

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[The necessary defensive strength up the middle:  Centerfielder Jana Roste (12), Shortstop Danielle Carlson (2), and 2nd basemen Jess Syvrud (1).]

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[And in case you missed them in the previous photo.]

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[1st baseman Dani Strater (14).]

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[Danielle.  Sat next to her mom at the game.  As a cub sports reporter, I’ve found it helps to cultivate the moms.]

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[No. 2 again.  Just like the photo.]

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[Jess, batting clean-up.]

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[And she’s been hitting like a clean-up hitter.  Several home runs recently, and in this game, with the wind blowing directly in from center, lined a double over the left fielders head.]

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[Catcher Emily Kuennen (4) stepping in.]

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[I see Jess is on 2nd.  Must have been her double.  Hard to fool me!]

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[Emily, batting 5th, with Jess on 2nd.]

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[Em takes a rip at it.]

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[Dani batting 6th.]

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[Dani swings!  (Oh, you can see that.)]

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[Rachel Peterson (3), leftfielder.]

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[A fierce cut by Rachel tousles her ponytail.]

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[Which brings us to Jana.]

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[Going with the pitch to right?]

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[Kaila Dewanz (8), rightfielder.]

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[Kaila swings, the ball appears at her feet.  The Storm’s hurler was tough the first time through our order.]

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[Sarah Bruzek (13), 3rd baseman.]

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[Danielle]

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[Danielle and Sarah]

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[Jess and Kaila]

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[Jess]

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[Emily]

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[If you catch, you’re worth two photos.]

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[Taylor and Jess]

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[A Storm (is that singular for a player?) breaks for 2nd as Emily prepares to throw.]

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[Danielle and Jana]

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[Sarah leads off the bottom of the inning.  Well, she is also the lead-off hitter in the 1st.]

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[Sarah wastes no time putting a pitch in play.]

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[Dani tries to move Sarah along.]

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[Taylor hits 3rd . . .]

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[And she can really help herself with the bat.]

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[Jess steps in with Dani on 2nd.]

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[Her sacrifice fly scored the first run.]

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[I’m waiting for Em to really launch one.  She’s capable of it.]

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[Dani rips a two-out single to left scoring Taylor with the 2nd run.]

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[That up the middle defense again.]

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[We’re ready, Taylor.]

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[The aforementioned Taylor, again.]

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[Did I mention the aforementioned Taylor before?]

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[STEEEEE-rike!]

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[Kaila . . .]

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[Had an extended at-bat here.]

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[Sarah with her fully-extended Killebrew swing!]

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[And close-up.]

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[Kaila scoring.]

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[Danielle putting the ball in play.]

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[Sarah displays proper sliding form as she scores . . .]

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[That sliding wound used to be called a strawberry.]

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[“Baby Bruiser” bounced right up.  The two runs scored in the 4th came without the aid of a hit.]

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[Taylor says, “Nope, don’t like that one.”]

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[But I’ll take a whack at that one!]

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[Men In Black, the Cardinal brain trust of coaches Albers and Loch.]

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[Jess]

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[Hmmm, a little high.]

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[Em squares to bunt . . .]

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[And does.]

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[Dani tries to drive Jess in from 2nd.]

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[Ooops!]

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[Rachel comes through with a 2-out single . . .]

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[Scoring Jess with the 5th run.]

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[Good job, Jess!]

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[Fly-out to end the top of the 6th.]

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[Let’s make this last bats.]

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[Invading the sanctity of the dugout.]

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[Just checking for tobacco chewers and spitters . . .]

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[OK, just exchanging DQ Blizzard coupons.]

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[Bottom of the 6th, Erin Ann Schueler (15) led off with a pinch hit single to right.]

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[“Baby Bruiser” was next with Kaila (back in for Erin Ann) now on 2nd.]

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[Moved Kaila to 3rd.]

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[Then Danielle . . .]

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[Whose sacrifice fly scored Kaila for the final run.]

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[Cards win!  They play the next round in Bemidji on Wednesday.  Then it was on to . . .]

GAME TWO

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[In our haste to rush from a crowded ball park (I was parked somewhere just south of Villard), the scoreboard had yet to catch up to events.  The Cardiac Cards scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win 3 – 2.]

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[Knute Nelson where our No. 1-seeded Cardinals were hosting St. Michael-Albertville.  The Knights had just defeated St. Cloud Tech, in a time so fast that this game began well before its scheduled 3:00 start time.  I missed the first 3 innings, and our Cards were down 2-0.]

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[I have been to three baseball games this year.  Beau Backhaus has pitched them all.  Is that like kismet . . . or a coincidence.  I have heard all year about our depth of pitching.  You wouldn’t know it by me.  😉 ]

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[As in the Rocori game, Beau held the Knights for the rest of the game until we could pull it out.]

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[Ben Allen (9), 3rd baseman]

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[Zach Peterson (3), shortstop]

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[Parker Bowden (1), 2nd baseman]

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[Closer-upper]

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[Nick Knoblach (13), right fielder]

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[And again]

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[Mitch Thompson (18), centerfielder]

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[Doesn’t get cheated on his swing.]

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[Ben at bat.]

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[Cody McLaughlin (15), DH]

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[Mitch, the loneliness of the outfielder.]

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[Parker approaching the plate.]

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[And takes a nice cut.]

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[Nick didn’t like that one.]

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[But he liked one well enough to double to left.]

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[Mitch drove Nick home with another double to left.  That made the score 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th.]

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[In the bottom of the 7th, Cody led off with a single.  Grant Becker (19) ran for him and stole 2nd.  Pat Leary (6), catcher, reached on an error.  Runners on 1st and 3rd with one out.  As in the Rocori game, a perfect time to squeeze in the tying run.  Didn’t work, popped up.  With the runner on 1st being held, Parker (above) tried a couple of times to hit the gap between 1st and 2nd.]

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[Pinch runner Kaden Anderson (14) then stole 2nd – no play from the Knights which I thought interesting because it put the winning run in scoring position.  Now with 2 outs, Toby Helgeson (7), 1st baseman, took strike one.]

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[Then he was badly fooled on strike 2.  The Cards were down to their last strike . . .]

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[Then Toby lashed a hard grounder between the 3rd baseman and the shortstop.   Run, everybody, run!]

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[Nick and Ben cheer one run in.]

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[Then the winning run.  Another come-from-behind, walk-off win for the Cardiac Cards!]

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[Let the celebration begin!]

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[I think the entire softball team was there to witness this . . .]

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[Cheer-oh-cheer for Alex . . .]

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[I hope Toby survived the pummeling because next the Cards host Brainerd on Thursday @ 4:30 – as always, weather permitting.  But, hey, Crazy Dave is back – it’s got to start getting better!]

p.s.  Did I mention the Illies girls were barefoot at the weekend graduation party.  It was freezing!!  I guess that’s the easiest way to tell who’s a hockey player?  Oh, and my high level sources have advised that the soloists on “Somebody to Love” at the choir concert were Tori Long, a junior (she was fabulous), and Anthony Smith (not too shabby either).  And my fortune cookie Monday night read: You will soon be involved in many gatherings and parties.  As Maxwell Smart used to say, “Missed it by that much!!”

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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