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Bemidji softball aims to extend playoffs, baseball begins

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Bemidji softball aims to extend playoffs, baseball begins
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji High softball and baseball teams head south tomorrow for post season play.

The girls will be at Sauk Rapids for the start of the section round robin with subsection champs Elk River and Apollo joining Bemidji.

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The boys will be at Brainerd for the north subsection meet joined by Moorhead, Brainerd and Alexandria.

The girls meet will begin at 1 with Elk River facing Apollo.

Bemidji gets the Elks at 3 and faces Apollo at 5.

The two or three teams that survive will be back at the same site Thursday for two or three games, if needed.

Big Lake beat Alexandria for last year's title. Neither made the final three this year.

Bemidji is still seeking its first state tournament trip in its 21-year history, the last 14 under coach Brad Takkunen.

It reached the section final several years in the early century only to be turned back each time by Willmar.

Apollo won five section titles but none since 1990. Elk River has gone three times, the last in 2003 when it was not in Section 8.

Bemidji takes a 19-2 record into play, both losses to Chaska, the second in the Cloquet Invitational final.

Those were the only two losses for pitcher Chelsea Yost who is 11-2, beating Brainerd 5-1 and 4-0 in the sub-section meet.

She will get the start today and possibly hurl both games though Paige Jensen (6-0) could be used if needed.

Megan Gullickson will open behind the plate with Kaia Sele, Amber Teal, Meg Claypool and Emily Larson around the infield and Jensen, Haley Johnson and Erika Weimann in the outfield from left to right. Brittany Thompson will be the designated hitter.

Face Spuds again

The boys moved up to the second seed after their final sweep over Moorhead and will face the Spuds for the fourth time this year tomorrow at noon.

Brainerd and Alexandria, the first and fourth seeds, will open at1 a.m.

The losers clash at 3 and the winners at 5 to reduce the field to three.

They return Wednesday for two games that could end the meet. If a third game is needed, it is scheduled for Thursday.

The section meet opens Saturday at St. Cloud with the final June 3.

Moorhead beat Alex 3-1 in last year's sub-section title game.

Bemidji went 0-2 opening day.

The Jacks lost this spring to Brainerd 11-3 and to Alexandria10-0.

Simon Anderson worked only the first inning of the Alex game before leaving with shoulder tightness.

He gave up one run to suffer his only setback of the spring.

Anderson (4-1) and Jeremiah Graves (3-1) are today's scheduled starters.

Anderson shows a 1.50 earned run average in six starts with 60 strikeouts and only 12 walks.

Graves, who moved into a starter's role late in the year, has a 2.52 era with 18 strikeouts and10 walks.

Chad Head or Tyler Follis, who won the double header at Moorhead, should be ready for relief help, if needed.

Billy Statton will handle the receiving with Matt Hietala, Graves, Follis and Sol Schneider around the infield from first to third and Cody Rutledge, Derek Lofgren and Nick Lee in the outfield with Anderson on the hill and Anderson in center between Lee and Lofgren when Graves pitches. Rutledge will shift to second base in that game.

Auston Zetah should be the designated hitter.

Bemidji takes an 11-9 record to the tourney assured of no worse than a .500 season.

It has not been to the state meet since 1991.

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Pioneer staff reports
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