Albert Lea dartball team sweeps league again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

EMMONS &045; The Ascension Lutheran dartball team from Albert Lea appears to be forming a dynasty. It won the Brotherhood Dartball League for the third straight year and topped it off by winning a third straight annual banquet playoff title at Emmons Monday night.

The league starts playing Thanksgiving and plays through February. This season 14 area churches fielded teams. Three games are played each Monday night at the churches and home games are rotated.

The competition is taken seriously.

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“I practiced for a year to bring my batting average up from around .300 to approximately .700,” said Paul Yost, the 2002-03 league president. “To be good at this game you need to practice.”

Emmons Lutheran finished seventh in the league and had to prepare and serve the meal.

A business meeting was held after the meal and it was noted that the league gave $100 to the Iowa Food Shelf and $400 to The Salvation Army during this past season. Doug Wallin was unanimously elected as president for the 2003-04 season.

Corey Bakken of Lunder-Round Prairie led the league in hitting with a .743 batting average. Ascension had three players in the top 10 batting averages, including last year’s batting champion Lowell Dopplehammer who finished the season in second place with a .719 average. Barry Coughlin hit .678 and Steve Guenthner .662 for Ascension.

Ascension Lutheran and Conger received a first-round bye in the Banquet Tournament for finishing first and second, respectively, during the regular season.

In first-round games Alden defeated Salem Lutheran 8-5 and Zion Lutheran topped Pickerel Lake 12-11.

In the semifinals, Conger defeated Alden 11-3 and Ascension Lutheran was victorious over Zion 17-12.

Conger staged a last-inning rally in the championship game but fell one run short and lost 18-17 in the nine-inning contest.

Members of the championship Ascension team included Guenthner, Wayne Hanson, Charlie Peterson, Jeff Moyer, Ron Venem, Rick Walther, Del Boyken, Coughlin, Doppelhammer, Mike Bennett, Paul Linnes and Ron Noe.

A dartball tournament will be held at the Emmons school beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 16 with 15 teams entered including three teams from Wisconsin. The tournament is double-elimination and teams are guaranteed three games.