Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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The Minnewaska softball team split a doubleheader with Benson-Hancock after dropping game two 14-13 and taking the opener 8-4. The Lakers scored one run in the seventh of game two, but the rally came up a run short after a fly out to shortstop to end the game. Abby VerSteeg had a huge game in the losing effort for Minnewaska, going 4-for-5 with three doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Erin Edmunds and Mason Schlief each added three hits and three RBIs, while Alisha Vigil went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Osakis girls golf team finds itself atop the Central Minnesota Conference standings after two meets after winning at Maple Lake on Tuesday with a team total of 180. That beat Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa by 19 strokes, a team that the Silverstreaks are now leading by three strokes in the early CMC standings.
The Brandon-Evansville softball team continued its winning ways with its fourth straight victory, this one coming in a 13-3 game against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Tuesday night. The Chargers have scored more than 10 runs in all four of those wins. Brandon-Evansville scored in every inning but the fifth on Tuesday, building a 6-2 lead after four before scoring seven in the sixth to end it.
The Brandon-Evansville baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak behind a nice pitching performance from Robbie Juul and Jake Nohre in an 8-1 win on Tuesday night. Juul got the win after going 3 2/3 innings. He walked five but allowed just one hit and struck out four. Nohre gave up just two hits and two walks, while allowing no earned runs in 3 1/3 relief innings.
The Alexandria girls track and field team continued to pile on the victories this season by taking first among the six teams in Monticello on Tuesday. The Cardinals finished with 185 points, 22 in front of Monticello (163). St. Cloud Tech rounded out the top three with 119.5 points. "Even on tired legs, the girls continue to compete with purpose and passion," head coach Meghan Orgeman-Crumb said. "The girls took charge of the meet early and never looked back." Alexandria finished with 18 personal bests in the meet and five season bests.
The Alexandria boys track and field team finished third among six teams at an invite in Monticello on Tuesday behind 27 top-eight finishes and 23 personal bests. The Cardinals scored 117 points. Monticello won the meet with 147 and Buffalo was second at 137.
The Alexandria boys golf team won a Central Lakes Conference meet hosted by Sauk Rapids-Rice at Oak Hill Golf Club in Rice in chilly conditions on Tuesday. The meet win draws the Cardinals to within a single point behind CLC leader Brainerd in the chase for the league championship. Alexandria finished with 307 strokes, while Brainerd (319) and Sartell rounded out the top three teams of the day. Will Odland was the overall meet medalist with a par round of 72, followed by a second-place finish by Kagan Foster with a 74.
The Alexandria baseball team got a much-needed pitching performance from sophomore Brock Anderson to help the Cardinals split a road doubleheader against St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday night. The Eagles won the opener 12-6 before Anderson helped Alexandria to a 3-2 win in the nightcap. The lefty went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just two earned runs on four hits. He walked just one and struck out eight.
BASEBALL St. Cloud Apollo 12, Alexandria 6; Alexandria 3, St. Cloud Apollo 2 The Alexandria baseball team got a much-needed pitching performance from sophomore Brock Anderson to help the Cardinals...
Jennifer Schultz doesn't like to be pessimistic but knows the reality the state's landscape could face with the spread of emerald ash borer. Minnesota has the highest volume of ash of any state in the country with almost a billion trees. The infestation of EAB could devastate the landscape if it were to take hold like it has in other parts of the country. Entire forests have been knocked out in places like Michigan, where the EAB beetle was first discovered in 2002. That's the worst-case scenario for Minnesota. The best case?