Area notebook: Roseau bats come alive

Roseau opened the baseball season with five consecutive losses, scoring a total of 14 runs and no more than four in any game. Since that slow start, Roseau has improved to 8-6. On its current 8-1 run, the Rams have averaged 9.9 runs per game, sco...

Roseau opened the baseball season with five consecutive losses, scoring a total of 14 runs and no more than four in any game.

Since that slow start, Roseau has improved to 8-6. On its current 8-1 run, the Rams have averaged 9.9 runs per game, scoring five or more in every outing.

"There was some concern,'' Roseau coach Tracey Wensloff said of the start. "But we have a group of athletic kids. We felt we'd turn it around. I can't say, though, that I thought we'd go on a run like this so quickly.

"We weren't hitting the offspeed stuff early on. Now we've gotten outside, seen different kinds of pitching and have gotten better at hitting. We're driving the ball better.''

It's not a one- or two-man show.


Kevin Erickson is hitting .419 with a team-high 16 RBIs and Adam Knochenmus is at .417. But four other regulars are hitting better than .300 -- Tyler Landman (.396), Ethan Kvidt (.381, 12 RBIs), Tyler Orgon (.326) and T.J. Erickson (.317).

Roseau isn't relying on power; the team has only four home runs, two of them by Orgon. "It's guys getting on base and running the bases aggressively,'' Wensloff said.

"The last time we've had this kind of hitting depth was probably in 2006, when we went to state. We've developed some pretty good offensive balance.''

Minto has big turnaround

Minto has had one of the biggest turnaround seasons among North Dakota Class B high school baseball teams in the area.

The Rockets were 2-12 last season; this year, they won nine of their 13 games.

Minto coach Shane Robinson gives two reasons for the turnaround -- experience and pitching.

Last season, he had only two seniors. This year, he has seven. "That really makes a difference,'' Robinson said.


Also, pitchers Michael Shutt (2-1, 3.20 earned run average) and Lucas Kelley (3-0, 2.30) have developed consistency.

"Pitching is probably the biggest difference from a year ago,'' Robinson said. "They're hard throwers but not overpowering. They worked on their game, going to a fall league in Fargo. What they're doing now is throwing strikes and letting the defense do its job. And our kids are making plays.''

Minto's defense, anchored by shortstop Gabe Garza and third baseman Nathan Linstad, had only six errors in the team's first 11 games. Shutt (.342) and Linstad (.320) are the Rockets' top hitters.

Hoglo sets table for Freeze

Liza Hoglo is a quick-start offense for the Northern Freeze softball team.

Northern Freeze is 10-5. Hoglo has been the leadoff hitter in the lineup in 12 games; in 10 of those, she's scored in the first inning.

"When she was an eighth-grader, Liza told me she wanted to hit home runs,'' Northern Freeze coach Jake Foslien said. "I told her that her time (to be a power hitter) would come, to just concentrate on hitting now.

"She's a very aggressive hitter. She hits line drives all over the place. She doesn't have too many wimpy hits; she hits it hard all the time. When she becomes a little more disciplined, she'll start hitting them out. But I can't see moving her out of the top spot in the order.''


Hoglo, who has scored 26 runs, is hitting .527 this season and .436 in her three seasons as a starter. She sets the table for Mariah Richard and Shandy Nelson.

Richard is batting .438 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. She's a .384 career hitter. "Mariah is a power hitter. She hits a lot of balls deep,'' Foslien said.

Nelson got off to a slow start. But she's 9-of-20 in the last five Northern Freeze games, lifting her average to .314, and has driven in 20 runs.

Big jump by Eagles' relay team

North Border didn't qualify in the 4x800 girls relay for the North Dakota Class B state track meet until Monday. But when the Eagles did reach qualifying standards, they did it in a big way.

The North Border quartet of Morgan Beattie, Shanon Lene, Hailey Longtin and Brenna Carpenter ran a time of 10 minutes, 8.74 seconds to win the 4x800 relay at the Devils Lake Rotary. That's the fastest time in the state this season by more than 6.5 seconds.

That 10:08.74 would have been fast enough to place second at the 2008 state meet by a comfortable margin.

"I don't know what got into the girls, but it was fun to watch,'' North Border co-coach Lee Beattie said.


"We've been close to qualifying for state time-wise in that relay the last couple of years. That was our main goal, to qualify by time. We had a perfect day to run and some good competition to run against. It all came together for us.''

The foursome's previous best had been 10:20.79 this season. Lee Beattie said the relay had posted some excellent split times this season.

"We just hadn't put it all together,'' the Eagles coach said. "We finally all ran good individual splits in the same race. Was I thinking 10.8? No, I was thinking we could get more like a 10.15. As I was watching, we were running such a good time that I was wondering if my stopwatch was going a little haywire.

"Now we hope they can repeat that performance when they get to state.''

Hutchison receives national award

Longtime Northwood High School coach and athletic director John Hutchison has been named recipient of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association's Dwight Keith Award.

The award is regarded as the most prestigious given by the association, and honors persons who have made significant contributions to high school sports in non-coaching roles.

Hutchison has served on the NHSACA board of directors for 20 years, is a past president of the NHSACA and has served in other duties nationally in the association. He's been a volunteer worker at the North Dakota state track meet for 26 years and has been a longtime manager of district and region basketball tournaments as well as regional track meets.



Heidi Evans has been named volleyball coach at Thief River Falls High School. Evans, a Roseau High School graduate, competed in track, cross country and volleyball at UND. . . . Ada-Borup senior Katy Ness has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Minnesota State-Moorhead.

DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to .

What To Read Next
Get Local