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The Section 8-3A tournament brackets are out and Bemidji is seeded second. The Lumberjacks will be at home 6 p.m. Wednesday for their tournament opener. During Monday's practice Tami Jo Olson and Jessa Lusby worked on an infield drill. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

Playoffs begin for Bemidji High School softball, tennis teams

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The second season has arrived for two Bemidji programs and the section tournaments are just around the corner for the others.

The tennis team is the first to enter the postseason as the Lumberjacks head to Brainerd today for the opening round of the Section 8-2A meet.

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BHS earned the third seed and will tangle with No. 6 St. Cloud Apollo at 9 a.m. If the Jacks prevail they will advance to a quarterfinal match against No. 3 Brainerd.

Today's other North Sub-Section pairings at Brainerd pit No. 4 Moorhead against No. 5 Alexandria. That winner will square off against top-seeded St. Cloud Tech.

The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals where they will face the survivors of the South Sub-Section meet. If Bemidji claims both matches today it will head to Sartell May 29 for a 9 a.m. battle, most likely against Becker which is the South's top seed.

The section title match will also be played May 29 at St. Cloud Apollo.

Softball

Bolstered by a six-game winning streak to end the regular season BHS will take a 14-6 record and the second seed into the Section 8-3A tournament.

The Lumberjacks trailed only Brainerd (18-1) in the section QRF rankings as the Jacks earned 105 QRF points and the Warriors 120.2. Placing third was Big Lake with 95.6.

Those three teams, plus Alexandria, were awarded first-round playoff byes and the home field advantage in the second round.

BHS will begin its tournament 6 p.m. Wednesday at home and will tangle with either No. 7 Rocori or No. 10 Moorhead. Those two teams will square off 4 p.m. Wednesday in Bemidji and the Lumberjacks will take on the winner.

If Bemidji prevails it will return to action in the double-elimination semifinal round on Memorial Day at the home of the highest remaining seed.

Brainerd will own the home-field edge as long as it survives. If the Warriors are upset and Bemidji keeps winning, however, the Jacks would be the home team.

Section officials have imposed a charge for all fans who attend the softball tournament games, including those in Bemidji. Adult admission will be $8 while students in grades kindergarten through 12 will be charged $5.

No BHS passes will be accepted.

Baseball

Bemidji took a 17-1 record into Monday's game at Detroit Lakes and the Lumberjacks will end the regular season 5 p.m. Thursday at Moorhead.

The Spuds are the only team to defeat BHS this spring as they stopped Bemidji 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader on April 13.

Since then the Jacks have reeled off 15 consecutive wins, three of them coming over the weekend during the Des Sagedahl Wooden Bat Tournament.

Bemidji opened its weekend with a 10-7 win over Grand Forks Red River and late Friday it blanked Duluth East 10-0. In Saturday's outing BHS belted Roseau 12-2.

Thursday's game is an addition to the original schedule. Bemidji and Moorhead both lost a game due to weather and each team had Thursday free. With the playoffs set to open Memorial Day BHS and Moorhead both were looking for a way to stay sharp and they agreed to play Thursday.

"We're looking forward to playing the team that beat us early this year," said Jacks coach Mike Fogelson.

The Lumberjacks are making a splash statewide and as of Monday they owned the second best QRF rating in the state at 131.8. Only Red Wing and its 138.1 QRF, is above Bemidji.

A close third at 129.8 is Hill-Murray while Burnsville sits at 124.7 and Maple Grove at 121.7.

In the coaches poll, which is announced every Wednesday, BHS was fifth as of last week. Since that poll was announced however, the Lumberjacks have defeated West Fargo (the top team in North Dakota) 7-3 and swept the Des Sagedahl field.

"We had a good weekend," Fogelson said. "We played well in all areas. We pitched well, we scored a bunch of runs and defensively it may have been our best series of the season.

"But we can still improve and that's what we are looking to do."

Golf and track

Bemidji's girls golf team will conclude its regular season today at Detroit Lakes and the postseason will begin June 4 in Long Prairie.

The boys squad has two regular season meets remaining on its schedule, Thursday at Melrose and May 30 at Sauk Centre. Its postseason also begins June 4 at Greystone Golf Course.

The track and field teams end their campaigns today at home with the Bemidji Invitational. On June 2 they will head to Detroit Lakes for the first round of the section meet.

Section 8-3A Softball

Wednesday's Games

Rocori (No. 7) vs. Moorhead (No. 10), 4 p.m. in Bemidji

Monticello (No. 6) vs. Sartell (No. 1), 4 p.m. in Big Lake

Sauk Rapids (No. 8) vs. St. Cloud Tech (No. 9), 4 p.m. in Brainerd

Elk River (No. 5) vs. St. Cloud Apollo (No. 12), 4 p.m. in Alexandria

Second Round

Game 1: Brainerd (No. 1) vs. Sauk Rapids-Tech winner, 6 p.m. in Brainerd

Game 2: Alexandria (No. 4) vs. Elk River-Apollo winner, 6 p.m. in Alexandria

Game 3: Bemidji (No. 2) vs. Rocori-Moorhead winner, 6 p.m. in Bemidji

Game 4: Big Lake (No. 3) vs. Monticello-Sartell winner, 6 p.m. in Big Lake

Semifinals-Double Elimination

May 28 (at highest remaining seed)

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, noon

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, noon

Game 7: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 2 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 2 p.m.

May 30

Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 4 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Game 10: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 6 p.m.

May 31

Game 11: Repeat of Game 10, 5 p.m. (if necessary)

Section 8-2A Tennis

Today's First Round

Match 1: Bemidji (North No. 3) vs. St. Cloud Apollo (N No. 6), 9 a.m. at Brainerd

Match 2: Brainerd (N No. 2) bye

Match 3: Buffalo (South No. 4) vs. Monticello (S No. 5), 9 a.m. at Sartell

Match 4: Becker (S No. 1) bye

Match 5: St. Michael (S No. 20 bye)

Match 6: St. Cloud Tech (S No. 1) bye

Today's Second Round

Match 9: Match 1 winner vs. Brainerd, 1 p.m. at Brainerd

Match 10: Match 3 winner vs. Becker, 1 p.m. at Sartell

Match 11: Match 5 winner vs. St. Michael, 1 p.m. at Apollo

Match 12: Match 7 winner vs. Tech, 1 p.m. at Brainerd

May 29

Semifinals

Match 13: Match 9 winner vs. Match 10 winner, 9 a.m. at Sartell

Match 14: Match 11 winner vs. Match 12 winner, 9 a.m. at Apollo

Final

Match 15 championship: Match 13 winner vs. Match 14 winner, noon, Apollo

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pmiller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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