Highland softball
The Smashing Pumpkins held off a feisty and undermanned Flaming Hot Cheetos squad 14-13 to win the Highland Ball Minors (10U) softball championship on June 27. After starting the season 1-2, the Pumpkins rolled off 11 straight wins to finish 12-2. The victory was also the final one for the legendary Pumpkin squad that reached the title game nine times and won six championships in a 10-year span. Pictured, from left, are (front row) Mollie Dolan, Clara Leseman, Evie Matzek, Elsie Mathews and Lindsey Neumann; (middle row) Mary Krumm, Greta Crouser, Ingrid Grell, Lucy Nelson, Ruth Neurer and Renee Frommeyer; and (back row) coaches Libby Neurer, Louie Neurer and Kevin Dolan.

Saint Paul Academy seniors Luka Shaker-Check and Liam Lynch took second in the state Class A doubles tennis tournament on June 10-11. They defeated teams from Pipestone, Virginia and Thief River Falls, but lost to top-seeded Breck in the championship round. In Class A singles competition, Minnehaha Academy senior Lincoln Reichenau won his first match in three sets against Pierce Cunningham of Luverne, but lost in the next round to third-seeded Jack Linder of Mound-Westonka. Fellow Redhawk senior Aiden Keefe lost his first-round match in straight sets to Tate Reichmann of Minnewaska.

Saint Paul and Minneapolis ranked second and third, respectively, on the national Trust for Public Land’s annual ParkScore index. The Twin Cities have finished in the top three each year they have been ranked. Washington, D.C., was deemed to have the best city park system in the nation with a score of 84.4. The scores for Saint Paul (80) and Minneapolis (79.7) were lifted by strong marks for park access. Both cities also scored well for park investments and park amenities.

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