The adapted softball state tournament takes place Friday and Saturday at Coon Rapids High School.
Saturday’s championship games begin at 1:45 p.m. in the physically impaired (PI) division and at 4 p.m. in the cognitively impaired (CI) division.
Here is a look at some teams in the title hunt.
Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville is the defending champion. First baseman Logan Dougherty, second baseman Michael Dedeker and shortstop Stephen Friday lead the infield. Outfielder Michael Burns runs down every ball. Burns and Friday are among the team’s batting leaders, along with catcher Daniel Cline and third baseman Kombe Khawi.
North Suburban, the runner-up in 2013, is led by pitcher Tanner Titsworth. Shortstop Anthony Bengston has great range and a strong arm. Nick Powers is a powerful cleanup hitter.
Anoka-Hennepin lost to North Suburban in the semifinals before winning the third-place game. The Mustangs’ senior leaders are Dillion Domeier (left field), Addese Ferguson-Mason (shortstop) and Jacob Cota (pitcher). Returners Cole Denny (second base) and Jarrod Johnson (first base) solidified the infield. Rookie third baseman Alex Johnson made contributions. Outfielder Tyler Baron plays solid defense.
Osseo leadoff hitter Tasha Feigh batted better than .900. Austin Rohach enjoyed a late-season stretch, going 15-for-18 at the plate with 16 RBI. Marc Bazile’s 11 home runs lead the team. Orioles pitcher Alex Kreidler struck out 48 batters while walking only five. Jason Robins played first base with aplomb. Aaron Clark showed great range in the outfield, while fellow outfielder Tulio Nicklas helped turn 14 double plays.
Five consecutive state titles make the Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka Robins favorites. Tyler Sarff and Joe Dubisar have rotated between shortstop and short fielder and anchored the defense. Center fielder Chaun Johnson covers a lot of ground. Jordan Klein remains a consistent starting pitcher.
Sophomore Casey Balint led the team with an .839 average and added 18 runs and 13 RBI. Sarff is batting .800 with 23 RBI. Dubisar led the team with 31 RBI. Johnson scored 23 out of the 29 times he reached base.
The Robins defeated Dakota United for the 2013 title. The Hawks will be without Grayson Nicolay, who will miss the state tournament to attend a family wedding. Nick Kuefler and Liz Kimmes have taken leadership roles. They spearheaded a defense that allowed only nine runs. Other contributions came from young fielders John Lyons, Kyra Patterson and Riley Wisnewski. At the plate, rookie Charlie Schulz is batting .850.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574