Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The Bemidji softball team wasted an opportunity to solidify a high seed in the section meet Thursday as the Lumberjacks committed six errors and handed Grand Rapids an 8-2 victory in Bemidji. Earlier this spring the Jacks dismantled the Thunderhawks 11-2 in Grand Rapids and 14-5 in Cloquet. "We set the tone with our errors and misplays right from the start," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. Grand Rapids took advantage of Bemidji's defensive mistakes to score five runs in the opening inning.
The Bemidji tennis team fell 7-0 to Thief River Falls and 5-2 to Moorhead Tuesday but coach Mark Fodness was impressed with the way the Lumberjacks performed. "We didn't quit against Thief River Falls despite the 7-0 score and I was happier with the 5-2 loss to Moorhead than I was with the 4-3 losses to Detroit Lakes and East Grand Forks last week. "Moorhead and Thief River Falls are two very good tennis teams and I wasn't disappointed with any of our performances," the coach added. Bemidji's two victories against the Spuds came at first and third doubles.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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 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.