BHS playoffs: Softball, tennis begin tourneys
The Bemidji High softball and tennis team begin their second season today, the softball team hosting the 8-3A sub-sectional while the tennis team plays its 8-2A North sub-section meet at Brainerd.
The boys golf team is at Detroit Lakes to open its final week of regular season play.
Bemidji drew the top seed for the softball meet as expected and will face No. 4 Moorhead at 4 p.m.
Second seeded Brainerd and third rated Alexandria will meet on the adjacent diamond.
The two winners and two losers will clash at 6 in the second round to eliminate one team.
The three remaining teams will return to Bemidji Thursday at 2 where the two 1-1 teams will square off at 2 to meet the remaining unbeaten team at 4 for the title. Should that team lose, another game would follow to establish seeding..
They both advance to the section meet May 25 and 28 for the title and trip to Mankato for the state meet.
Buffalo is defending champion and Alexandria the sub-section winner.
Bemidji beat Moorhead 11-1 in the regular season clash behind Paige Jensen (5-0) who will get the start again this afternoon with Chelsea Yost (9-2) hurling the second game.
Yost blanked Brainerd 4-0 late this spring while Bemidji and Alexandria did not meet.
Last year, Bemidji beat Brainerd and Alex to open the sub-section but fell to the Cardinals 4-1 and 6-1 to be denied advancement.
Megan Gullickson will handle the catching with Kaia Sele, Emily Larson, Meg Claypool and Brittany Thompson around the infield and Amber Teal, Haley Johnson and Summer Monsrud in the outfield.
Sauk Rapids was top seeded in the Central sub-section with Apollo, Little Falls and Sartell the next thre3.
Elk River drew the No. 1 seed in the South followed by Big Lake, Monticello and St. Cloud Tech.
Bemidji drew the No. 3 seed for its sub-section meet and opens today at 10:30 against sixth seeded Sartell.
No. 4 Fergus Falls goes against No. 5 Moorhead in the other opener.
Seconds round matches begin at 12:30 with top seeded Brainerd meeting the Fergus-Moorhead winner and second rated Alexandria going against Bemidji or Sartell.
Both of those winners advance to the section semifinals where they will be cross bracketed against the two south winners.
Elk River and SMA were the top two seeds in that tourney with Tech and Buffalo 3-4 in the seven-team meet.
Bemidji did not meet either Sartell or Alexandria this year.
The Jacks take a 13-2 mark into play losing only to Brainerd and Thief River, a team it had beaten earlier.
Coach Scott Engelstad will go with Sam Weaver (9-6), Ben Holter (15-1, Ryan Rude (16-2) and Ben Kloha (3-2) in singles.
On doubles, Aaron Johnson will team with Steve Bucher (6-7), Adam Holter with Kyle Fodness (6-1) and Justin Byers with Aaron Eickhorst (2-0).
The Jacks finished third in a 21-team field at the DL meet last year with Kevin Larson shooting 78, Joe Welle 82 and Rylee Curb 88 with the team posting a 321 finish.
Coach Eric Niskanen is looking to better that score today.
Bemidji hit 318 at Longbow Friday and 325 in miserable playing conditions at Wadena Saturday and seems capable of moving toward the 310 mark this week. The final meet will be at Greystone Thursday.
Kaleb Hanson, Trey Dale and Max Hazelton will complete the Bemidji starting cast today.