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Bemidji HS softball team faces Big Lake in section final four

After eliminating Monticello 11-10 Wednesday the Bemidji softball team is one of four teams in the hunt for the Section 8AAA championship.

The Lumberjacks will continue their quest for a state tournament berth noon Monday when they tangle with Big Lake in Brainerd.

BHS will also play at 2 p.m. Monday, either in the winner's bracket or in the loser's division. If Bemidji wins at least one game Monday it will return to action Wednesday.

"Big Lake has beaten some very good teams and we're going to have our hands full," said Jacks coach Brad Takkunen. "We're going to pitch Jess Yost and she is very good but I suspect that Big Lake has faced good pitching all year. Our job will be to make the plays on defense to compliment Jess' pitching."

Bemidji was the third seed heading into the section playoffs and will take a 16-4 record into Monday's game. Big Lake was ranked second and, after blitzing No. 7 Sartell 10-2, owns a 16-5 record.

"I could tell we were nervous before the Monticello game," Takkunen said. "It was the first tournament game and the kids knew the season was on the line. But they did what they needed to do.

"I suspect the butterflies will be back on Monday," the coach continued. "I expect a close game and I'll be curious to see what happens. I want our focus to be on having fun. There are no such things as easy games at this level and we should enjoy the moment. The goal will be to play the game, have some fun and see what happens."

Section 8AAA Softball Pairings

Wednesday's Results

Game 1: Sauk Rapids 8, St. Cloud Tech 7 (Tech eliminated)

Game 2: Sartell 3, Moorhead 2 (Moorhead eliminated)

Game 3: Monticello 11, St. Cloud Apollo 10 (Apollo eliminated)

Game 4: Brainerd 10, Sauk Rapids 0 (Sauk Rapids eliminated)

Game 5: Elk River 12, Alexandria 5 (Alexandria eliminated)

Game 6: Big Lake 10, Sartell 2 (Sartell eliminated)

Game 7: Bemidji 11, Monticello 1 (Monticello eliminated)

Monday's Final Four

At Brainerd

Game 8: Brainerd vs. Elk River, noon

Game 9: Big Lake vs. Bemidji, noon

Game 10: Game 8 loser vs. Game 9 loser, 2 p.m. (Loser eliminated)

Game 11: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 2 p.m.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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