On Thursday, April 29, the Maple Lake Irish softball team traveled to Pierz for a double-header against the Pioneers.
The top of the first led off with Brooke Decker hitting a single, followed by Sydney Knudsen, also with a single. The Irish took an early 1-0 lead over the Pioneers when Brittany Negley’s sacrifice out allowed Decker to score.
The bottom of the first was dominated by Decker’s pitching as the Pioneers went three-up and three-down by striking out.
On a windy, cool October evening, the Maple Lake Irish closed out their regular season on MEA Wednesday with a hard-fought 20-13 victory over the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers. The win pushed their record to 6-2 and a number two seed in the 4AA playoffs. The Irish hosted Kimball on Oct. 26 in quarter-final action (results will be reported in next week’s Messenger).
The cross country meet on Tuesday, October 19, was not quite what the Maple Lake team was expecting. Instead of the usual woodsey park, it was at the Howard Lake School. The ground there turned out to be uneven and bumpy.
This was not the only thing that hurt the boys’ team.
“Our top two boys were out,” said Coach Ben Youngs. “It was more of a practice meet.”
The Irish headed north on a beautiful fall Friday to do battle with the Pierz Pioneers. Both teams had identical 5-1 records and each needed a big win to help their playoff pushes. What was billed as a close call, the game was just that, a well-played, tight football game that ended with the Irish on the wrong side of the score, 7-14.
On Tuesday, October 12, the Irish volleyball team traveled to Zimmerman High School for a non-conference match against the Thunder.
The first game was a battle, with both teams playing their hardest trying to get a lead. The game was close up until the end, when it came down to the final serves, and who would make the mistakes. The Irish fell just short of the win when game one ended with a score or 23-25 in Zimmerman’s favor.
Weeks of training over the summer, during the school year, on their own time, and with the team, all led up to one big event for the Irish cross country team: the Central Minnesota Conference meet on Tuesday, October 12, in Pierz.
All of the cross country runners had their own opinions and methods of training.
After a week of heavy rains and indoor practices, the Irish finally got out to the great outdoors on Friday night to do a little mudding and bear hunting in Kimball territory.
The Irish practiced a bit of capture and release as they captured a big 47-8 victory, releasing a potent ground game to roll up 418 yards rushing and a season high in points. The Irish have put up 93 points and over 950 yards of offense the past two weeks. This with four starters and three back-ups on the injured reserves.
It was the Maple Lake cross country team's largest meet yet this season at Pierz on Monday, September 20. With 16 teams competing at the varsity level, Maple Lake runners had to be extra competitive if they wanted to place well.
“In a big meet there are more runners, so it's a totally different field. There are usually people all around, while at smaller meets you might be running by yourself,” said Coach Ben Youngs.