Riverland teams ready to get back on the field
By Scott A. Kolb
Weather-related postponements have delayed the start of the outdoor season in Minnesota for the Riverland baseball and softball teams.
The baseball team had to cancel a series of games scheduled last weekend in St. Cloud. The Riverland softball team had a pair of non-conference doubleheaders called off last week, and Wednesday’s divisional opener was also postponed.
Riverland is now scheduled to open the softball season in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division, this afternoon at Rochester. The doubleheader with Rochester Community and Technical College is slated for a 3 p.m. start.
The Lady Blue Devils of Riverland started the season by playing nine games inside at the Irish Dome in Rosemount. The Lady Devils went 6-3 during their time on the turf, but now haven’t played for almost two weeks.
Following the road games this afternoon, the Riverland women will hold their home opener on Friday against Fergus Falls. There will also be a pair of division home games on Saturday against Ridgewater.
• Since they left the balmy climate of Florida two weeks ago, the Riverland Blue Devils haven’t played a baseball game. Despite the soggy conditions in recent days, Blue Devils coach Scott Koenigs has had his players outside getting in some practice at the old college field at the Riverland complex.
Riverland is scheduled to host a six-team tournament this weekend. The games were supposed to be on Saturday and Sunday, but they’re trying to get the tournament started on Friday afternoon.
"The fields at the Riverland complex are all in pretty good shape, so we’re ready to play ball," coach Koenigs said. "The guys are itching to play after a couple of weeks off since we returned from Florida.
"Just to keep them in shape and in an effort to get the fields ready, I had them out raking the past couple of days. We’re planning on using three fields for tournament. There are some good teams coming to town, so we’re looking forward to the competition."
Minnesota West, Central Lakes, Anoka-Ramsey, Northland, and Mesabi Community College are the five teams joining Riverland for the tournament. The Blue Devils will play four games in the tourney. They won’t play the Bluejays of Minnesota West, which is a division opponent.
Riverland baseball went 10-3 during its week of games in Florida. The first game of the upcoming tournament is against Anoka-Ramsey.