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Laura Clark fouled off a pitch form Brainerd pitcher Nikki Anderson during Monday's 8-3A winner's bracket contest. Bemidji lost 8-3 to the Warriors but remain one of three teams still in the hunt for the section title. Photo by Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch

Bemidji remains alive in 8-3A tourney

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The Bemidji softball team kept its hopes of a state tournament trip alive Monday as the Lumberjacks split two games in the Section 8-3A final four in Brainerd.

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BHS upset second-seeded Elk River 2-1 in Monday's first game but lost 8-3 to Brainerd in the winner's bracket final.

That loss moved the Lumberjacks into Wednesday's 4 p.m. elimination game and a rematch with Elk River. If Bemidji, which entered the section meet as the third seed, can upset the Elks one more time it will face Brainerd at 6 p.m.

A victory over the Warriors Wednesday would result in a rubber game with Brainerd on Thursday.

"We're playing good softball," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "I was proud of the girls. We were very competitive against Elk River and Jess Yost gave us solid pitching.

"But against Brainerd, we were beaten. Yost missed her spots in one inning and Brainerd turned those pitches into shots. There weren't any weak hits. They were all line shots."

That fateful inning was the fifth and a triple, three doubles and a single enabled the home team to turn a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 cushion.

Bemidji responded with pair of runs in the upper sixth but the Warriors answered with three on the strength of a walk, two singles and a triple.

Yost was on her game during the early going against Brainerd, as she allowed only one run through four innings. The Jacks trailed 1-0 until the top of the fifth when Anna Pence reached on an error, Laura Clark sacrificed her to second and Pence scored when Hanna Olson's grounder was mishandled.

The deadlock did not last long, however, as Brainerd's bats found their targets in the lower fifth. Before the defense could head to the dugout the Warriors were on top 5-1.

Taylor McLean plated pinch runner Jasmine Yerbich with a triple in the sixth and McLean scored on Kellie Morehouse's ground ball but the Warriors continued their attack.

Monday's first game was more dramatic as BHS took a 2-1 lead in the third inning and made thatcushion stand.

Summer Monsrud was hit by a pitch to open the game and, after stealing second and gaining third on a wild pitch, Monsrud scored on Janelle Williams' sacrifice fly to deep second.

Elk River answered in the lower second when a single and an outfield error produced a run but the Jacks regained the lead in the third.

Monsrud began the rally with a bunt single and, after stealing second, she raced to third on Hanna Olson's bunt and scored courtesy of Jineane Williams' fly to center.

Elk River stranded a runner at second in the sixth and had runners at second and third with one out in the seventh. Yost, however, worked out of the jam by retiring Jenna Germscheid on a liner to third and Kaitlyn Roche with a pop to second.

Bemidji will take a 14-7 record into Wednesday's contest while Elk River, which stayed alive in the double-elimination tournament by eliminating Big Lake 2-1, is 16-7.

Brainerd defeated Big Lake 3-1 prior to its win over Bemidji and is 19-0.

Bemidji 101 000 0 - 2 4

Elk River 010 000 0 - 1 5

Yost (W) and Clark. K-2, BB-0

Bruns and Athey. K-7, BB-1

Bemidji 000 012 0 - 3 6 0

Brainerd 001 043 x - 8 11 2

Yost (L) and Clark. K-4, BB-2

Anderson (W) and Sweet. K-4, BB-1

8-3A Final Four

At Brainerd

Monday's Results

Game 1: Brainerd 3, Big Lake 1

Game 2: Bemidji 2, Elk River 1

Game 3: Brainerd 8, Bemidji 3

Game 4: Elk River 2, Big Lake 1 (Big Lake eliminated)

Wednesday's Games

At Brainerd

Game 5: Bemidji vs. Elk River, 4 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Championship

Game 6: Brainerd vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.

Thursday's Game

At Brainerd

Game 7: Repeat of Game 6, if necessary, 5 p.m.

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

The Bemidji softball team kept its hopes of a state tournament trip alive Monday as the Lumberjacks split two games in the Section 8-3A final four in Brainerd.

BHS upset second-seeded Elk River 2-1 in Monday's first game but lost 8-3 to Brainerd in the winner's bracket final.

That loss moved the Lumberjacks into Wednesday's 4 p.m. elimination game and a rematch with Elk River. If Bemidji, which entered the section meet as the third seed, can upset the Elks one more time it will face Brainerd at 6 p.m.

A victory over the Warriors Wednesday would result in a rubber game with Brainerd on Thursday.

"We're playing good softball," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "I was proud of the girls. We were very competitive against Elk River and Jess Yost gave us solid pitching.

"But against Brainerd, we were beaten. Yost missed her spots in one inning and Brainerd turned those pitches into shots. There weren't any weak hits. They were all line shots."

That fateful inning was the fifth and a triple, three doubles and a single enabled the home team to turn a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 cushion.

Bemidji responded with pair of runs in the upper sixth but the Warriors answered with three on the strength of a walk, two singles and a triple.

Yost was on her game during the early going against Brainerd, as she allowed only one run through four innings. The Jacks trailed 1-0 until the top of the fifth when Anna Pence reached on an error, Laura Clark sacrificed her to second and Pence scored when Hanna Olson's grounder was mishandled.

The deadlock did not last long, however, as Brainerd's bats found their targets in the lower fifth. Before the defense could head to the dugout the Warriors were on top 5-1.

Taylor McLean plated pinch runner Jasmine Yerbich with a triple in the sixth and McLean scored on Kellie Morehouse's ground ball but the Warriors continued their attack.

Monday's first game was more dramatic as BHS took a 2-1 lead in the third inning and made thatcushion stand.

Summer Monsrud was hit by a pitch to open the game and, after stealing second and gaining third on a wild pitch, Monsrud scored on Janelle Williams' sacrifice fly to deep second.

Elk River answered in the lower second when a single and an outfield error produced a run but the Jacks regained the lead in the third.

Monsrud began the rally with a bunt single and, after stealing second, she raced to third on Hanna Olson's bunt and scored courtesy of Jineane Williams' fly to center.

Elk River stranded a runner at second in the sixth and had runners at second and third with one out in the seventh. Yost, however, worked out of the jam by retiring Jenna Germscheid on a liner to third and Kaitlyn Roche with a pop to second.

Bemidji will take a 14-7 record into Wednesday's contest while Elk River, which stayed alive in the double-elimination tournament by eliminating Big Lake 2-1, is 16-7.

Brainerd defeated Big Lake 3-1 prior to its win over Bemidji and is 19-0.

Bemidji 101 000 0 - 2 4

Elk River 010 000 0 - 1 5

Yost (W) and Clark. K-2, BB-0

Bruns and Athey. K-7, BB-1

Bemidji 000 012 0 - 3 6 0

Brainerd 001 043 x - 8 11 2

Yost (L) and Clark. K-4, BB-2

Anderson (W) and Sweet. K-4, BB-1

8-3A Final Four

At Brainerd

Monday's Results

Game 1: Brainerd 3, Big Lake 1

Game 2: Bemidji 2, Elk River 1

Game 3: Brainerd 8, Bemidji 3

Game 4: Elk River 2, Big Lake 1 (Big Lake eliminated)

Wednesday's Games

At Brainerd

Game 5: Bemidji vs. Elk River, 4 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Championship

Game 6: Brainerd vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.

Thursday's Game

At Brainerd

Game 7: Repeat of Game 6, if necessary, 5 p.m.

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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