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Top games: Northwest Suburban contenders Anoka, Spring Lake Park set for pitching duel

By Nick Gerhardt, Sport Ngin, 04/18/16, 11:15AM CDT


April 21: The Tornadoes boast a pitching tandem of Amber Elliott and Molly Swenson, while the Panthers counter with all-state hurler Halley Jones.

Anoka reached the Class 3A title game in just its second trip to state, and the Tornadoes return a pair of junior pitchers from last year's tourney team. Photo by Kelly McGinley

Anoka has reached the state tournament for the past two years, and a third straight trip isn’t out of the question even after the graduation of standout Taylor Chell, now at the University of Minnesota.

As big of a piece as Chell was for the Tornadoes' tourney runs, the team returns plenty of talent, including junior pitchers Amber Elliott and Molly Swenson.

Elliott won 16 games leading up to the state tournament with a 1.179 ERA and 162 strikeouts, while Swenson had five wins and a 2.17 ERA with 65 strikeouts.

Spring Lake Park brings back junior pitcher Halley Jones, a first team all-state selection last season. The Panthers lost 3-0 to Anoka last year, but will try to reverse the trend of lackluster offense in the only meeting of the season.

Talented arms in each team's circle and the chance of a pitching duel makes this our Top Game of the Week. 

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