The regular seasons are over and the push for post-season success is on for the Bemidji High School spring sports programs.
The season has already come to an end for the BHS softball team as the Lumberjacks were upset 1-0 last week in the Section 8-3A playoffs.
Seeded second in the field and earning a first-round bye, BHS faced No. 7 Rocori in its opener after Rocori thumped Moorhead 10-0. Lumberjacks pitcher Jess Yost tossed a masterpiece, allowing only three hits, fanning 14 and walking no one. But Bemidji's offense struggled and the result was a 1-0 loss and a quick exit in the section tournament.
"We only gave up one run and it was enough for them," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen after the game. "Jess had a dominating game. She pitched phenomenal. But it was just their day."
Bemidji entered the postseason riding a six-game winning streak, a run which included a 1-0 victory over Cloquet in the regular-season finale. In the Section 8-3A tournament, however, the Jacks were on the other side of a 1-0 contest.
"We obviously had aspirations of getting further," Takkunen, whose team finished 14-7, said.
Bemidji only loses three players to graduation, Jineane and Janelle Williams, and T.J. Olson.
"We've got talent coming back but I want the underclassmen to get into the weight room and work hard, play a lot of ball this summer and get better."
The 8-3A tournament continued Monday in Brainerd. The host Warriors faced Elk River while Rocori met Big Lake. The title game is set for Wednesday and, if needed in the double-elimination event, a second title game will be played Thursday.
The Jacks tennis team heads to Sartell today to face Becker, the top seed from the 8-2A South Sub-Section field, in a 9 a.m. match. At 3 p.m. today Bemidji's doubles team of Adam Holter and Kyle Fodness will square off against Ricky Satterness and Joel Garberick of Sartell in the quarterfinals of the section's tournament.
BHS, which was the third seed in the North Sub-Section, advanced to today's team semifinals by stopping St. Cloud Apollo 5-2 and upsetting Brainerd 4-3 last week. Becker, the top seed from the South, blanked Buffalo 7-0 in its only sub-section match.
Today's other team match pits St. Cloud Tech, the top team from the North, against Sartell, the third seed from the South.
The semifinal winners will square off at noon today for the section title.
"I think we have a good chance of defeating Becker," said BHS coach Mark Fodness. "We are well balanced in singles and we have depth in doubles and the ability to get points from every position in the lineup has helped us, especially in the second half of the season."
If Holter and Fodness win their opener they will return to the court 9 a.m. Wednesday. The section doubles championship match will be 11 a.m. Wednesday.
"We haven't met the Sartell doubles team this year but at this point in the season I don't know if there is such a thing as a favorite," the coach said. "The talent at this stage is so even that on any given day either team could win. All we can do now is put the teams on the court and let them settle it."
Bemidji's track and field teams will also head south Wednesday for the first day of the section meet at Sauk Rapids.
The first-day survivors will qualify for the section finals which are scheduled for Saturday at Detroit Lakes.
The Lumberjacks golf teams also are preparing for the section meets. Both teams will begin their quests for the state tournament June 4. The girls will be at Long Prairie while the boys meet is at Greystone near Sauk Centre.