Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Taylor McLean yielded only four runs and her offense erupted for 17 as the Bemidji softball team improved to 12-5 after demolishing Fargo North 17-4 Tuesday in Fargo. "We've played six games in four days and, although we had a couple of rough spots, all in all I think we're coming together," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. The stretch began Saturday when the Lumberjacks went 2-1 in a four-team round-robin at Cloquet.
Prior to Monday's match against Crookston Bemidji tennis coach Mark Fodness predicted a 4-3 outcome. What he didn't know, however, was which team would come out on top. "We defeated Crookston 5-2 earlier this spring but three of those matches went to tie-breakers," Fodness said. "I expected a 4-3 match this time." Fodness was on target with his prediction and his players made sure that Bemidji would earn the decisive team point. During Monday's match three of the individual matches went to third-set tie-breakers and Bemidji rallied to claim two of them.
Jess Yost threw a 1-hitter and her offense scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth to give the Bemidji softball team a 1-0 victory over West Fargo in the first game of Monday's doubleheader in Bemidji. The visitors took advantage of defensive mistakes by the Lumberjacks to steal Monday's rematch 7-5. West Fargo is the two-time defending North Dakota state champion and entered Monday's action with an 11-0 record. Monday's split gives the Jacks a 10-4 record heading into today's game at Fargo North. "We played 14 innings and in 12 of them we had very good defense and pitching," said B
Defending sub-section baseball champion Cass Lake-Bena showed that it will be a factor again this year as the Panthers were 4-0 last week and improved to 12-3. Among the wins was Wednesday's 10-9, 8-inning victory over Blackduck which was ranked No. 1 in the state Class A ranks at the time. CL-B also posted victories over Remer (5-4), Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (14-2) and Pine River-Backus (9-1). In the latter victory Caleb Fisher belted three hits and earned his second pitching victory. Jake Ellis and Ben Ruzek each had two hits and Chad Wittner scored three runs .
The crack of the bat will once again be heard this weekend at the Bemidji State University baseball diamond as BHS hosts the 13th annual Des Sagedahl Wooden Bat Tournament. Joining the Lumberjacks will be Roseau, Duluth East and Grand Forks Red River. The tournament begins 5 p.m. Friday when Roseau meets Duluth East and the Jacks will open their round-robin action 7 p.m. Friday against Red River. Saturday's action begins at 10 a.m. and Bemidji's schedule includes a noon game against Duluth East and a 4 p.m.
Ryan Stevens allowed only three hits and the Bemidji baseball team handed West Fargo only its third loss in 20 games Monday as the Lumberjacks downed the Packers 7-4 in Fargo. Stevens took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was in complete control. "This was Ryan's best outing of the year," said Jacks coach Mike Fogelson. "He was in complete control. The only runs West Fargo scored were because of our errors." The Lumberjacks had nine hits and four of them were for extra bases.
The Bemidji baseball team outlasted Sauk Rapids 4-3 in nine innings Saturday at the Bemidji State University diamond but had the game gone any longer there might have been a difference of opinion in the dugout. "If we hadn't scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth I probably would have been forced to take Tyler (Follis) off the mound," BHS coach Mike Fogelson said. "But I'm not sure Tyler would have let me do that. He was on a mission." Follis pitched a tremendous game Saturday as the senior threw 95 pitches and went the entire nine innings.
The Bemidji girls softball team won two of its three games at Saturday's Cloquet round robin. BHS dropped its opener 16-6 to the home team but recovered nicely, outlasting Big Lake 8-7 in nine innings and belting Grand Rapids 14-5. Saturday's results upped Bemidji's record to 10-4.
In 1986, the Bemidji community hosted the Governor's Fishing Opener, and event organizers reserved a seat in Gov. Rudy Perpich's boat for an area fifth grader. The youngster who would win that seat had to earn it by submitting a letter explaining why he or she would want to spend a day on the water with the governor. For Bill Andersen, an 11-year-old student at Lincoln Elementary School, fishing was a hobby. Each year he would travel to Red Lake with his grandparents, and they would catch their share of walleyes.
Meg Phelps shot 43-45-88 at the par-73 course in Long Prairie to lead the Bemidji girls golf team to sixth place at Friday's 12-team Long Prairie Invitational. The meet was held on the course which will be home to the section meet later this spring. The Lumberjacks used Friday's round as an opportunity to become more accustomed to the playing conditions they will encounter at sections. "The course is long and you have to concentrate on every single shot," Phelps said. "There is a booby trap on every shot. If you keep it straight and hit the fairways you'll be fine.