Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The Bemidji softball team saw its season come to an end Wednesday as the Lumberjacks dropped a 4-3 decision to Elk River in the loser's bracket final of the Section 8-3A tournament in Brainerd. The Lumberjacks finished the spring with a 14-8 record and fell one game shy of playing for the section championship. BHS forged a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday but Elk River scored two in the bottom of the stanza to take a 3-2 advantage. The Jacks tied the game with a solo tally in the top of the seventh but Elk River responded with a pair of infield hits and a doubl
Heading into the top of the third inning Monday in the Section 8-3A elimination game against Big Lake the Bemidji baseball team trailed 6-1. The Hornets had countered Bemidji's first-inning run with two in their half of the opening stanza and four more in the bottom of the second. Some teams might have considered the deficit too steep to overcome. According to Tyler Follis, who was on the mound in Monday's contest, however, the Lumberjacks did not adopt that philosophy. "Coach (Mike) Fogelson told us that all we needed to do was plug away one run at a time," Follis said.
Randahl Johnson and Cody Wind will represent the Cass Lake-Bena boys golf team at the Class A state tournament June 14-16 at Pebble Creek. Corey Beaulieu of Red Lake also will be playing at the state competition as he carded a 91. Johnson earned his state trip Tuesday by shooting an 89 at the par-72 Bemidji Town & Country Club in the Section 8A tournament. Johnson finished third in the medalist chase and Wind tied for fourth with a 90. Stephen-Argyle won the 8A team title with a 365.
The Bemidji softball team kept its hopes of a state tournament trip alive Monday as the Lumberjacks split two games in the Section 8-3A final four in Brainerd. BHS upset second-seeded Elk River 2-1 in Monday's first game but lost 8-3 to Brainerd in the winner's bracket final. That loss moved the Lumberjacks into Wednesday's 4 p.m. elimination game and a rematch with Elk River.
Dom Hayle walked with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to force home pinch runner Nick Conner with the eventual winning run and help the Bemidji baseball team upset and eliminate second-seeded Big Lake 8-7 Monday in the second round of the 8-3A playoffs at Big Lake. The victory, which came on the heels of a 4-1 win over St. Cloud Tech earlier in the day, advanced the seventh-ranked Lumberjacks into the Section 8-3A final four and Friday's semifinal opener against Alexandria at the baseball complex in St.
The postseasons have begun for the area sports teams as the softball and track squads are in the midst of their tournaments while the golfers and baseball teams will begin their elimination rounds this week. None of the area softball teams made it very far into the postseason.
The Bemidji baseball team received the seventh seed in the Section 8-3A playoffs and will open its post-season noon Monday at Big Lake against No. 10 St. Cloud Tech. If the Lumberjacks win their opener they will face No. 2 Big Lake at 3 p.m. BHS will take a 12-8 record into Monday's playoff action while Tech is 7-12. Big Lake owns a 13-7 record. Brainerd (14-6) was given the top seed and will face the winner of No. 8 Monticello (11-9) and No. 9 Moorhead (11-8) 3 p.m. Monday. Alexandria (12-8) was seeded third and will face either No. 6 St. Cloud Apollo (12-7) or No. 11 Sartell ((7-12).
The waiting game began about 4 p.m. Friday for the Bemidji baseball team as the Lumberjacks awaited news about where they would begin the Section 8-3A playoffs. BHS had just ended its regular season at 12-8 by overpowering St. Cloud Apollo 7-1 in St. Cloud. Immediately following the game the Lumberjacks owned the sixth seed, according to coach Mike Fogelson's calculations.
Bagley-Fosston finished in second place in the girls and the boys 8A Subsection 29A track and field meets held Thursday in Walker. The Flyers trailed Park Rapids in each division. In the boys meet Kelliher-Northome-Blackduck finished third, Clearbrook-Gonvick seventh and Trek North eighth. Clearbrook-Gonvick was fourth in the girls meet while KNB was fifth and Trek North eighth. Trek North qualified two athletes for the Section 8A meet which will be June 4 in Park Rapids.
Kodi Craft, Trey Dale and Elliot Leinen each carded rounds in the 70s and those performances helped the Bemidji boys golf team finish third at Thursday's Melrose Invitational. The meet was held at Greystone Golf Course near Sauk Centre and the course is also the site of the section tournament which begins Wednesday. "This was our last chance to play the course before sections and, hopefully, we saved our best golf for last," said BHS coach Seth Knudson. "We're right where we need to be to compete at the section meet.