Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.
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BEMIDJI -- With Evette Morgan out of the lineup due to injury, the Bemidji High School softball team needed a shortstop on Tuesday. In stepped Makenna Quinn. “I’ve played short before,” Quinn said. “... It is a little bit more of a pressure spot just because more people hit to that side of the field. But I think it’s really fun playing short because you get a lot of action.”
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Unsung heroes on the Bemidji High School softball team stepped up in a big way Friday, helping the Lumberjacks top Grand Forks Red River 4-0 in Grand Forks, N.D. “We had quite a few of our starters missing, but some kids got a chance to play, and they competed, they made plays,” BHS head coach Brad Takkunen said. “It was a good game. It was fun.”
BRAINERD -- The Bemidji High School track and field teams took part in the section true team meet in Brainerd on Thursday, and the boys came out with a sixth place finish, while the girls finished seventh among the 10-team fields. Ryan Bieberdorf set a new standard in the long jump, as he broke the boys’ school record with a 22-08.25 jump. His mark also topped the field, as did his triple jump score of 43-08.50.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School softball team has assembled one of the most dangerous lineups in the state. And it starts with Samantha Edlund. The senior center fielder has been a mainstay at the leadoff spot for the Lumberjacks since her sophomore year, and the role is now second nature as she enters the final stretch of her final season.
BEMIDJI -- Last year, a torn ACL kept Gabbi Takkunen from playing the game she loves alongside her Bemidji High School softball teammates. But Thursday, the junior’s growth was on center stage in the circle.
BEMIDJI -- It wasn’t always pretty, but the Bemidji High School baseball team got it done: 6-4 and 4-3 wins to sweep Grand Rapids at the BSU baseball field on Monday. “Just going up there and being a tough out (is huge),” BHS head coach Mike Fogelson said. “If we want to be really good, I think that’s one of the big steps that we have to take: getting up there and nine guys just grinding (it out). The more of that we do, the better we’ll be.”
BEMIDJI -- After Caleb Carlson traded his Lumberjack jersey for a Beaver jersey this season, the Bemidji State baseball freshman proved he didn’t have to go far to find success on the diamond.
BEMIDJI -- Strong winds were a big factor for the Bemidji High School softball team on Thursday, but it was much more apparent when the Lumberjacks were in the field as opposed to at the plate. Duluth Denfeld put the ball in play and forced BHS to make plays while fighting the wind. In contrast, Bemidji batters struck out 14 times on the afternoon to make the difference in an 11-9 Lumberjack loss at the BHS softball field.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji High School softball head coach Brad Takkunen prefers junior Evette Morgan at shortstop. He may need to reevaluate things after Saturday. “She’s a very good ballplayer,” Takkunen said. “She’s multifaceted. Very solid at short, very good pitcher. To be honest with you, I’d like to find a way to keep her at short, but if she keeps pitching like (Saturday), I guess we’re going to have to use her, too.”
Numbers, expectations up for TrekNorth BEMIDJI -- The TrekNorth boys and girls track teams are as big as ever, and head coach Nicole Friend is optimistic about the season. “This year we have the largest track team that TrekNorth has ever had, with a roster of about 30 athletes,” said Friend. “With some good leadership from our returning athletes, I feel like we could be competitive and see some real success on the track and in the field.”