Honors abound for Riverland baseball and softball players
By Scott A. Kolb
Riverland baseball and softball players were honored for their efforts on the field this past week in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division.
Although their non-conference doubleheader on the road was postponed on Wednesday, the Riverland Blue Devils baseball team still had plenty of good news to celebrate in terms of divisional honors.
Riverland had the player-of-the-week in the MCAC South, plus two of the guys split the honor as pitchers-of-the-week.
Kyle Starkey was the MCAC South top player for the second week in a row. Starkey hit .591 last week, and had a total of nine hits.
Blue Devils pitchers Ryan Palmer and Mitch Jaeger were the top players on the mound for the past week.
Palmer was the winning pitcher in a shutout with six strikeouts against Minnesota West. Jaeger pitched a three-hit shutout against Minnesota West as the Blue Devils swept divisional honors again this week.
"The whole team is playing well right now, so it’s too bad we didn’t get to play on Wednesday," Riverland coach Scott Koenigs said. "Western Wis. Tech had to make up a pair of their conference games and that meant a postponement of our scheduled doubleheader with them. I’m not sure if we’ll make up those games. We’ve got a couple of big division doubleheaders this weekend."
Riverland (26-7) has won nine straight games and returns to the diamond at home on Friday versus the Carleton College junior varsity. The Blue Devils then wrap up their divisional scheduled with home-and-away doubleheaders against Rochester on Saturday and Sunday.
• Carmen Smith of the Riverland softball team was named as the MCAC South player-of-the-week. Smith had four hits in last week’s doubleheader sweep of St. Cloud Technical College.
In that road sweep for the Lady Devils, the hitting totals for Smith included a double in the first game along with a run scored and an RBI in each win.
Also during play last week, Smith had four hits in a doubleheader against Minnesota West. Coupled with the totals from the next day, Smith had eight hits in the span of two days. The powerful bat of Smith in the middle of the lineup has kept the Lady Devils firmly in control of the third state tournament berth from the MCAC South.
Riverland (14-9) is coming off a doubleheader sweep at home on Tuesday. In that twinbill, Smith also had another hit, scored a run, and recorded two RBIs. The Lady Devils travel to Willmar on Friday for a pair of games against Ridgewater.