As the Twin Cities held festivities surrounding the opening of Target Field, the new Minnesota Twins stadium, the Bethel Royals celebrated the 10th anniversary of baseball’s return to campus. The Royals played nine home games in a row and outscored their opponents 74-50 during that span. Jay Slick (So., River Falls, Wis.) earned National College Baseball Writers Association Hitter of the Week honors for April 19-25, and Head Coach Greg Indlecoffer earned his 150th career win on April 13, with a victory over Saint Mary’s. Bethel is 18-16 (6-10) heading into the last four games of the season.
On the other side of Old Snelling at the Ona Orth Athletic Complex, Bethel’s softball team made their mark in the MIAC by earning their second consecutive trip to the conference playoffs. Kelly Berg (Jr., South Haven, Minn.) and Becky Akerson (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) have been leading the team at the plate and on the mound. Berg set a new school record for doubles in a season with 17, and has been named the MIAC Hitter of the Week twice. Meanwhile, Akerson became the first Royal in more than 10 years to pitch more than three complete-game shutouts. The Royals finished the regular season with a 22-18 record overall, and 14-8 in conference play.
The men’s and women’s tennis teams also call the Orth Complex home, and thanks to the great weather this spring, both teams were able to take advantage of their home court facilities more than in past seasons. A young women’s team showed definite signs of improving by recording more wins than in 2009. The #1 and #2 singles spots were filled by freshmen Lisa Scheevel (Fr., St. Cloud, Minn.) and Steph Brown (Fr., Lake City, Minn.), who faced a steep learning curve, but will be looked upon to anchor the team in the coming years. Meanwhile, a senior-led men’s team earned their fourth consecutive trip to the MIAC playoffs with a 5-4 record in conference play. Tom Ronning (Sr., Alexandria, Minn.) and Joel Cassens (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) led the way as #1 and #2 singles, but the team also has some up-and-coming underclassmen ready to take the reins. Kent Nichols (So., Zimmerman, Minn.) has been outstanding at #3 singles, while #4 singles player Tucker Morris (Fr., Arden Hills, Minn.) posted a 13-2 record this season after winning the Midwest Invitational Tennis Tournament in the fall.
In golf news, both the men’s and women’s teams were able to hit the links and play in a handful of tournaments this spring. Paige Lemieux (So., Fargo, N.D.) was consistently Bethel’s best golfer and shot a low of 81 in the second round of the St. Thomas Invitational to finish in a tie for 20th place. On the men’s side, Toby Robinson (So., Mankato, Minn.) was recently named the MIAC Golfer of the Week as he shot a 75 and 72 in challenging course conditions to become the medalist in the four-team St. Olaf Invitational. The Royals won the tournament by three strokes after overcoming an 11-stroke deficit after the first round.
Finally, the men’s and women’s track and field teams have both been busy re-writing the school’s record books. In addition to winning her second national championship in the indoor mile run, Marie Borner (Sr., Cottage Grove, Minn.) has broken her own record in the outdoor 1500-meter run and will look to defend her title at the national championship meet at the end of May. She will be joined at the meet by several other men’s track and field athletes, including Taylor Ferda (Sr., Whitefish, Mont.) who set a new school record in the 110-meter hurdles this season. Ferda is part of the 4 x 400 meter relay team that is trying to make its third consecutive appearance at the national meet. Dan Greeno (Sr., St. Michael, Minn.) will make his first trip to the national meet as he broke the school record in the 10,000-meter run, and has also performed well in the 5,000-meter run. Other hopefuls include Jay Quick (Jr., Johnston, Iowa), who set a new school record in the indoor high jump, as well as Bucky Dixon (Fr., Hayward, Wis.), who is currently second among MIAC discus throwers.