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Sports from the week of March 26, 2003

Pitching question is key for baseball team

The Panther baseball team worked outside on Monday as they prepared for their opening game against Murray County Central next Tuesday-–weather permitting.

"We are very short on pitching this year," said Panther Coach Bill Tauer. "We have quite a few kids who have done a little pitching but not very much. Our defense should be all right and I hope we can score some runs."

With the number of games scheduled and the way the weather can bunch them up with postponements pitching becomes a big factor in a team's success. When the end of the season rolls around and it is tournament time the teams that are successful need to have a very strong pitching staff.

Letter winners Tim Byrne (absent from last week's picture of returning letter winners), Austin Skoblik, Matt Persons, Eric Fraser, Pat Spielman, Donald Strand, Ross Ladehoff, Greg Carlson, Matt Schreier and Anders Davidson bring some experience to the squad.

A probable line-up for the first game will likely include: pitchers-Greg Carlson, Derek Radke and Austin Skoblik; catchers-Tim Byrne and Eric Fraser; first base-Matt Schreier and Jerad Wendorff; second base-Donald Strand; shortstop and third base-Austin Skoblik, Derek Radke, Ross Ladehoff and Pat Spielman; outfielders-Anders Davidson, Matt Persons, Ross Ladehoff, J. Hamilton, Ryan Stobb and Paul Johnson.

First pitch for softball set next week in Tracy

The Panther girls softball team is busy preparing for their first game next Friday, April 4 when they will meet Minneota at Tracy.

"We have good competition for positions," said Panther Coach Dave Sogge. "We can go as far as our pitching will take us. I am conservatively expecting a winning season."

Sogge is assisted by coaches Paul Skoglund and Jeff Carpenter.

For pitchers the Panthers have their ace returning, Megan Anderson and she will be backed up by Alyssa Kirk, Lynn Brockway and Ashlei Carpenter. Steph Kaup will attend to the catching chores and will be backed up by Andrea Van Moer. At first base Kasey Loeslie will start and Mariah Schelhaas, Steph Hebig and Ashley Julien will back her up. Ashley Julien and Ashlei Carpenter will hold down second base and all-conference Lindsay Erickson will return at shortstop. Alyssa Kirk can back her up. Lynn Brockway and Ashley Julien can hold down third base while Katie Bauer, JaRea Kathman, Stacy LaVoy, Emily Miller, Alissa Lightfoot and Alicia Brey have the edge in the outfield spots.

Wrestlers advance to state youth tourney

Seventeen out of 26 Panther youth wrestlers who participated in a regional tournament Saturday will advance to the state tournament. The state tournament will be held in Rochester on April 5&6.

Those advancing to the state tournament are first-place finishers Ian Mariner, Jordy Rolling, James Prairie and Andy Lackie.

Finishing second were Bradley Schmidt, Zach Campbell and Luke Prairie.

Third-place finishers were Josh Coyle, Dwayne Fedde, Chad Cooreman and Dan Deiter. Completing the 13 wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament were fourth-place finishers Erik Cooreman and Colton Evans.

Lynch her and Derek Evans wrestled to fifth place finishes while Kody Kirsh and Jared Towne finished sixth.

"Going into the regional tournament I was hoping to qualify about 12 wrestlers and we were able to get 13 of the 26," said Coach Kent Cooreman. "All the kids did a tremendous job as we are in the toughest of the five regions in the state."

On Saturday, March 29 the Panthers will be hosting the Region 2 team tournament at the Prairie Pavilion starting at 11 a.m. Teams consist of 15 weight classes and are for kindergarten through the sixth grade.