MEGAN BANIECKE

Forest Lake • softball

It’s been a frustrating year for Baniecke and that’s putting it mildly.

She missed more softball than she played last year, the result of a concussion suffered during the high school season, and a broken ankle just weeks into her summer season. She’s finally healthy and ready, but has had little chance to show it because of winter’s recent stranglehold on spring.

“And our prom was cancelled an hour before it started because of the [April 14] snowstorm,” she said. “That was a big disappointment.”

The weather improved a bit last week and the hard-throwing senior righthander took advantage, pitching two shutouts Friday at the Irish Sports Dome in Rosemount. She struck out 13 batters in a 1-0 victory over Hastings and followed that by defeating Anoka 3-0, fanning three.

“The first game, I got a lot of strikeouts because I used a lot of movement pitches,” Baniecke said. “The second, because Anoka’s a great hitting team, was about getting easy grounders instead of trying to get them all myself.”

Forest Lake, like many teams, is still waiting for its field to dry out before it can play games outdoors. But Baniecke said just getting to play few actual games was a salve for a team itching to compete.

“The past couple of weeks got into a lot of people’s heads,” she said. “Playing was great. A lot of us were struggling mentally and we were just able to go out and let go. It came at the right time.”

RICKY BLOOM

White Bear Lake • lacrosse

The Bears are 2-0 with the sophomore attacker already racking up big numbers. He scored four goals and added five assists in an 18-0 victory over Tartan, and a goal and eight assists in a 17-2 victory over Armstrong. “Eighteen points in two games is incredible,” coach Brandon Husak said.

EMILY HERDINE

Maple Grove • lacrosse

The Crimson’s 2-0 start was largely dependent on the two-way contributions of the junior midfielder. She scored nine goals, added five assists, had 10 draw controls, scooped up seven ground balls and forced four turnovers in victories over Irondale and Osseo/Park Center.

BROOKE LEWIS

Eden Prairie • lacrosse

The three-time defending state champion Eagles started the season in dominant fashion, winning three games by a combined score of 58-6. Lewis, a junior attacker, led the onslaught with 19 goals (on 23 shots), six assists and 23 draw controls, and corralled eight ground balls.

MAGGIE RAEDEKE

Stillwater • lacrosse

The senior defender, an all-state selection in 2017, guided the Ponies’ strong defensive effort in their season-opening 11-5 victory over Lakeville South. She had five ground balls, forced two turnovers and keyed a 36-minute stretch in which they held Lakeville South scoreless.

JADE TOMASHEK

Maple Grove • softball

Practicing and playing indoors all spring hasn’t affected Tomashek’s skills at the plate. In three victories last week, the junior second baseman went 9-for-12 with two home runs, a double, five RBI and five runs scored. She was also flawless in the field as the Crimson improved to 4-0.

JIM PAULSEN

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