SPORTSLINE: North Dakota switches to wood bats

North Dakota will lead the return to wood bats for high school baseball this year. The state athletic association approved the switch in a move toward greater safety for the players, fully cognizant of the fact that the switch will reduce scoring...

North Dakota will lead the return to wood bats for high school baseball this year.

The state athletic association approved the switch in a move toward greater safety for the players, fully cognizant of the fact that the switch will reduce scoring in games this spring.

Ironically, the move is also an economy move. When the metal bats first appeared, they were promoted as a cost saving measure with teams assured they would need no more than 5-6 bats, then costing $12-15 each, rather than going through several dozen wooden bats costing well over that figure.

While the wood bats have remained relatively cost stable, new sophisticated metal bats now run as high as $300 apiece with teams able to purchase 30 wood bats for the cost of four metal models.

Opponents fear that lower batting averages with the wood bats could cost players college scholarships.


North Dakota is the first state to mandate the switch.

NYC also tries

New York City's city council has also passed a resolution outlawing metal bats in the city.

The mayor, however, says he will veto the move holding that the city council lacks any jurisdiction in running the school system.

New 8A look

Section 8A will have a new look next winter with the return of Cass Lake-Bena from 6A.

Red Lake and Lake of the Woods also to return to 8A after playing in 8AA recently. Blackduck and Laporte will be other switches to their former haunts with Blackduck dropping from 7AA and Laporte moving from 6A.

Strong cage teams back from this year include BGMR, Warren and Fertile.


Stevens Point third

Nicole Grossman scored an overtime shorthanded goal as Stevens Point won the NCAA Division-III women's hockey third place game for the second straight year 4-3 over Amherst.

The Pointers posted their fifth 20-game season in seven years, ending 20-7-2.

The Pointers, who beat Gustavus 2-0 in last year's third place game, jumped to an early 2-0 lead with Bemidji's Rachael Graves scoring the first goal at the 3:31 mark.

The Pointers led 2-1 and 3-2 at the first two breaks. They out shot Amherst 36-27.

BSU signs star cager

The BSU women's baseball program has received a verbal commitment from one of the area's top cagers, Colleen McKay of Barnum, the Duluth News Tribune's Player of the Year.

She averaged 28 points a game and 12 rebounds finishing her high school career with 2,213 points.


Hovda steps down

Roseau will be seeking a new wrestling coach next season with the resignation of Tanner Hovda after five seasons.

He twice guided his alma mater to the final of the 8AA team tournament.

Adult soccer

An adult recreation soccer league is planned for this summer with games to be played on Sunday evenings.

Cost of the eight week program is $65

Those interested in playing should contact Jeff Mitchell at 335-0146.

BASA meetings

The first of two Bemidji Area Softball Association meetings will be held Thursday at 6:30 at city hall.

Teams may register and pay their league fees at that time. Discussion of any rules changes will be held at that time as well as an election for the board of directors.

The second meeting is a week later April 19 for additional registration and fee payment.

The Association will again operate with two women's leagues on Tuesday nights and three men's circuits on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Contact Commissioner David White for further information.

Bardwell Park

Bardwell Softball Park will hold its first league meeting Wednesday at T-Juan's (north room) at 7 p.m.

The purpose is to organize the various leagues for this summer's play and discus any changes or problems from last year.

Wednesday and Thursday nights will continue to be Co-Ed League teams playing one game.

Entry fees will be set for a 10-12 game season plus playoffs and include both 11 and 12 inch softballs for each game.

For more information call John Stebe at 751-7477.

BYL signups

Signups for Bemidji Youth Baseball ands softball will take place April14-15 and 21-22 from 9-3 on Saturdays and 12-3 on Sundays at Play It Again Sports.

Leagues involved will be the Junior (9-10), Senior (11-12), 13-year-old and Babe Ruth baseball (14-15), 5-6 T-Ball and 7-12 day leagues and girls softball.

New players must bring a copy of their birth certificate. PIAS will dedicate 10 percent of all sales those four days to Bemidji Youth Baseball.

Camp, Kjolhaug cited

Brody Camp of Bagley and Heidi Kjolhaug of Clearbrook-Gonvick were included on the Grand Forks Herald's Top 50 winter sports performers.

Both were picked for basketball with Camp leading the Flyers to the state tournament and Kjolhaug taking the Bears to the section title game.

She graduated with 1,361 points while Camp became one of three Flyers to join the 1,000 Club this winter.

Tesdahl top player

Crosby junior guard Bryce Tesdahl was named the Brainerd Dispatch Player of the Year in basketball.

He broke the Rangers school record with 254 assists in leading CI to a 28-2 record, bowing to Pequot Lakes in the section final. A three-year starter, he scored 545 points, averaging 18.8 with 199 rebounds and 73 steals. He now has 1,371 career pits.

He joined his mother Sue in the 1,000 Point Club, topping that figure in a late season game.

He also joins four uncles and an aunt over that mark. All are the children of legendary Chisholm cage coach Bob McDonald with son Joel, now coaching Hibbing, the state's all-time leading scorer.

National champ

Eight-year-old Billy Pitzner whose grandparents own a resort near Bena, captured the 65 pound Bantam title at the USA National Wrestling Tournament at Cedar Falls, Iowa.

He ended his year 60-5 with more than 40 pins. He went undefeated at the Gopher State Youth Wrestling Tournament at Bemidji Feb. 11 and spends summers at his grandparents resort.

He allowed only one point at the USA meet.

National mat meet

Thief River Falls sent five wrestlers to the National High School Wrestling Coaches Association's championships at Virginia Beach, Va.

Heavyweight Andrew Peralta lost two close decisions in the championship division.

His sophomore brother Travis finished second at 171 winning three straight bouts before losing in the final. Jordan Engen won three straight at 125 before losing twice to miss placing by one bout.

Kevin Fynboh went 1-2. Freshman Lyle LeDuc rounded out the Prowlers' quintet.

Bemidji's Joe Andersen went 1-2 in the 152 pound class.

U.S. takes bronze

The Pam Olenik rink of the United States won the bronze medal at the World Senior Championships at Edmonton, Alba. Beating Scotland 12-8 in the final. Geoff Goodland of Eau Claire, Wis. lost to Sweden 7-6 in the men's bronze medal game.

Softball rankings

Early softball rankings have DGF rated eighth and Esko ninth in Class 2A while Silver Bay is second and NCE/UH sixth in Class A.

NDSU splits twin bill

Bemidji's Bekki Rasmussen worked in both games as NDSU women's softball team divided a twin bill with Iowa State, losing the opener 3-1 but winning the nightcap 8-2.

The junior righthander cam o in the third inning of the opener to quell a three-run rally and pitched two scoreless frames.

She also worked into the second inning of the nightcap, giving way during a two-run second while leading 7-2.

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