Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Last Thursday the Bemidji baseball team lost 7-6 at Brainerd. Monday the Lumberjacks downed Thief River Falls 7-3 at the Bemidji State University diamond. Bemidji coach Mike Fogelson, however, found more satisfaction with the loss to Brainerd. "I was much happier on Thursday," Fogelson said. "On Monday our energy wasn't where it needed to be. I wasn't disappointed with how we played as much as the fact that we didn't have any energy." Behind five strong innings from starting pitcher Ryan Stevens Bemidji opened a 7-0 advantage.
Jess Yost allowed only three runs in seven innings of pitching and ripped three hits in four at-bats to lead the Bemidji softball team to a 4-3 victory at Fergus Falls Monday. The Lumberjacks will take a 2-0 record into today's 4:30 p.m. home game against Detroit Lakes. Yost was working on a shutout until Fergus Falls touched her for three runs in the seventh. The game ended on a come-backer to Yost with the tying run on third base. "Jess did a fabulous job," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen.
Brad Takkunen did not know what to expect when the coach sent his Bemidji softball team against Little Falls Friday evening at the high school diamond. The Lumberjacks' roster is dominated by youth and inexperience and Friday's goal was to give the players their initial baptism by fire. "The game wasn't about winning or losing as much as it was about playing well," Takkunen said. "And we played well." Bemidji bolted to a 3-0 lead after the first inning and eventually posted a 5-3 victory.
The Bemidji boys tennis team opened its season on a positive note Thursday as the Lumberjacks downed Perham 6-1 at the high school courts. "It's always good when the weather cooperates and you get a victory," said BHS coach Scott Engelstad." It was good to get outside and play a match and the win allowed us to start the season with a positive mind set." Bemidji swept the doubles and captured three of the four singles matches, all in straight sets. Ben Holter was a 6-1, 6-2 winner at first singles while Adam Holter posted a 6-1, 6-0 victory at second and Kyle Fodness a 6-0, 6-1 win at third.
Brad Takkunen isn't sure what will happen when his Bemidji High School softball team opens its campaign 4:30 p.m. today at home against Little Falls. "We still have some things to figure out but I'm excited to see how the kids do.
Brainerd spoiled the season opener for the Bemidji baseball team Thursday night, posting a 7-6 win in Brainerd, but BHS coach Mike Fogelson will remember the way the Lumberjacks battled back from an early deficit to give the Warriors all they could handle. "We gave up five runs in the first inning but rallied to tie it in the fifth," Fogelson said. "We wanted to win the game but we showed grit in how we came back. Even though we lost, we had many positives." After spotting Brainerd the 5-0 cushion Bemidji scored three in the third to begin its comeback.
A young Bemidji High School baseball team begins its season today at Brainerd and BHS coach Mike Fogelson is eager to see how his team will fare against one of the better programs in northern Minnesota. "I am expecting to see a seasoned Brainerd baseball team and this will be a good early-season test for us," Fogelson said. Bemidji's roster features only four seniors, Chad Head, Paul Voss, Luke Burns and Matt Hietala.
Shelby Sauer's 86 powered the Bemidji girls golf team to a tie for third at Wednesday's season-opening meet at Monticello. Individually, Sauer also placed third, only two shots behind co-leaders Alyssa Kathoff and Tiffany Gretsch, both from Albany. Sauer shot identical 43s on the front and back nines. "The kids stayed focused. They handled themselves very well for the first meet," said BHS coach Jeff Nelson. Albany took team honors with a 363.
The indoor season for the Bemidji track and field teams ended Tuesday night at the Little Amik and Lumberjacks boys coach Steve Sneide and girls coach Chris Lehman are pleased with how their athletes developed during their three competitions at the Gillett Rec Center. "We're anxious to head outdoors but we are grateful to have Craig Hougen organize the indoor meets and have the Rec Center in our back yard," Sneide said.
The early spring has provided a boost to the Bemidji girls golf team and the Lumberjacks will open their campaign 12:30 p.m.