Goodhue vs. Lake City
Why it’s important: Goodhue has won just one game of its first seven. Lake City opened 2-1, but has gone 2-5 since. Both teams could use a victory to get their season back on track. Heading into the game, Goodhue sits ninth in the Hiawatha Valley League standings, while Lake City is eighth.
Key to the game: Goodhue pitcher Logan Vogel has been a bright spot for the Wildcats with a 2.33 ERA and 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He should be on the mound for Goodhue in this important matchup. Lake City will need Justin Wohlers to continue his hot start on the mound and in the lineup. Wohlers leads the team in doubles.
Details: 5 p.m. Monday at Goodhue
Red Wing vs. Faribault
Why it’s important: Red Wing opened 3-1 in Big Nine Conference play. It has now lost three consecutive conference games to dip below .500. Faribault sits toward the bottom of the Big Nine pecking order at 1-5. The Wingers will host a doubleheader Thursday in what could be an opportunity to get two conference wins and improve seeding come section playoffs.
Keys to the game: Amira Ramstad has been vital to Red Wing’s success. When she’s dialed in, batters struggle to handle her velocity. When she’s struggling to command her pitches, opposing batters have filled the bases on walks. At the plate, Abby Boxrud will need to use her bat-to-ball skills to get on base from the leadoff spot. Once there, she can use her speed to swipe some bags and get into scoring position.
Details: 4 p.m. Thursday in Red Wing
Goodhue vs. Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Why it’s important: Goodhue has been on a tear as it opens the week undefeated in the Hiawatha Valley League and 5-1 overall. That record comes with a caveat: Wildcats haven’t exactly faced top-tier talent. Opponents have combined for a 16-23 record. Zumbrota-Mazeppa began the season under a two-week quarantine so its first games weren’t until April 27. The Cougars opened with three wins and the matchup with Goodhue will be its eighth game in 11 days. A perennial leader atop the HVL, the Wildcats should receive their stiffest competition yet this season with the Cougars.
Keys to the game: Goodhue’s Torrie Rehder and Arianna Thomforde have smashed home runs. Z-M however has two outstanding pitchers in Avery Steffen and Sarah Mensink. How Goodue’s batters adapt to two of the area’s better pitchers will go a long way in determining the winner of this game.
Details: 5 p.m. Friday at Goodhue