Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Cass Lake-Bena will begin its quest for a state baseball tournament berth 5 p.m. today when it hosts either Red Lake or Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in second-round action of the East Sub-Section 8A tournament. WHA, ranked eighth, and Red Lake, which is ranked ninth, will square off at Cass Lake earlier today and that survivor will tangle with the top-seeded Panthers who enter the post-season with a 21-0 record. In today's other East Sub-Section 8A preliminary game, seventh-seeded Bagley will battle No. 10 Laporte in Fosston. That winner will face No.
The baseball season at Bemidji High School came to a close Monday with 13 wins in 21 games as the Lumberjacks lost 4-3 to Moorhead in second-round action of the Section 8AAA tournament in Moorhead. BHS, which was seeded sixth, won its opener Monday, blitzing No. 11 Apollo 8-1. That victory vaulted the Lumberjacks into the second round and a test against third-seeded Moorhead, a team which thumped Bemidji 10-2 last Thursday in Bemidji. BHS stayed with the Spuds the entire way Monday but a pair of long balls proved to be the difference.
After a 9-error disaster against Big Lake in Monday's 4-3 8AAA semifinal loss, the Bemidji High School softball team rebounded to shade Elk River 2-1 in the loser's bracket and remain alive in the section tournament. The win over Elk River vaulted the Lumberjacks into Wednesday's championship series. BHS will have a rematch with Big Lake at 4 p.m. as, after nipping Bemidji, Big Lake lost 1-0 to Brainerd. The Bemidji-Big Lake loser will be eliminated, but the winner will survive to play Brainerd at 6 p.m.
Tyler Follis ended the regular season with a .412 batting average and his offensive output helped the Bemidji baseball team post a .292 team average on way to a 12-8 record. Follis played in all 20 games and led the Jacks in at-bats (68), runs (18), hits (28), doubles (seven) and total bases (38). BHS has four other players hitting over .300 including Cody Rutledge who sports a .345 average, Tyler Tatro who is at .333, Jeremiah Graves who is hitting .310 and Collin Leif who stands at .306. Rutledge has 20 hits while Leif has 19 and Mitch Hendricks 18.
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.
A few weeks ago Alex Schoneberger and his Bemidji High School track and field teammates competed in the section True Team meet at NDSU in Fargo. It was a miserable day. The athletes were pounded by rain, cold, wind and mud. To top it off, Schoneberger was sick and estimated his strength at about 85 percent. "The True Team meet uncovered the athletes who wanted to excel and who had the mental toughness to succeed," said BHS boys coach Steve Sneide. "We had athletes who complained about the conditions and had an excuse for why they didn't do well.
The Bemidji baseball team received the sixth seed in the Section 8AAA field and will open its tournament schedule noon Monday in Moorhead against No. 11 St. Cloud Apollo. If the Lumberjacks win that game they will advance to the second round and a 3 p.m. contest against Moorhead which was ranked third. Brainerd earned the top seed while St. Michael-Albertville was second, Big Lake fourth and Sartell fifth. In addition to the Bemidji-Apollo game, other first-round action Monday sees No. 8 Sauk Rapids tangling with No. 9 St. Cloud Tech and No. 7 Monticello battling No.
Last Saturday Jess Yost threw a perfect game against Grand Forks Central. Wednesday the freshman wasn't able to match that performance in a 3-hit outing against Monticello but her catcher, Laura Clark, thought that Yost was equally on top of her game. "I had never caught a perfect game before and it was an honor to be part of it," Clark said. "Against Monticello Jessica pitched as well as she did at Grand Forks.
The Bemidji baseball team will close its regular season today when the Lumberjacks entertain Moorhead 4:30 p.m. at the BSU diamond. BHS will take a 12-7 record into the contest while the Spuds are 15-4. In their most recent action the Jacks thumped Detroit Lakes 8-1 on Monday while Moorhead blitzed the Lakers 12-1 on Tuesday. The teams met about a month ago in Moorhead and Bemidji posted a 12-9 victory.
Ben Holter and Adam Holter went 3-1 in doubles play at the subsection boys tennis individual tournament Thursday and qualified for the section meet which will be Tuesday at St. Cloud Tech. The Holters were seeded second in the sub-section and finished third. In the first round Ben and Adam Holter blitzed Sam Burns and Gabe Steinwand of Moorhead 6-0, 6-0. They came close to duplicating that result in the second round as they ripped Mike Lengenfeld and Austin Stone of Alexandria 6-2, 6-0. In the semifinals they faced Miles and Tyler Bates of St. Cloud Tech and dropped a 6-3, 6-1 decision.