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 Alexandria boys golf team has had four Central Lakes Conference meets cancelled this spring and were able to make one of those up on Wednesday in Willmar as the Cardinals expanded their lead in the league with another win. Alexandria shot a 301, beating Brainerd and Sartell by 13 strokes. Fergus Falls rounded out the top four with a 320.
The Minnewaska girls golf team expanded its lead in the West Central Conference as the Lakers won at the Meadowlark Country Club by shooting a 168 and at Greystone with a 170 on May 9. Ashlyn Guggisberg is one of 14 finalists who were named on May 10 to the 2017 Ms. Minnesota Golf Watchlist that will recognize that top female senior golfer in the state this year. The winner of that will be announced on June 11.
The Osakis girls golf team won the 6AA Pre-section meet at Blackberry Ridge on Monday as the Silverstreaks shot a team score of 383. Junior Alayna Eldred finished with medalist honors after carding an 82, and freshman teammate Lexi Dirkes had a personal-best 91 to finish fourth individually. That led the way as Kiara Hensley shot a 103 and Kadyn Triebenbach shot a 107 to round out the scoring. Marissa Reilly shot a 129 and Jayden Hensley a 130 round out the Osakis lineup.
Minnewaska senior Morgan Hess has been an anchor for the Lakers softball team all season and her no-hitter on Tuesday helped this group to a ninth straight win. Hess struck out seven Montevideo batters in a 5-0 win over the Thunder Hawks (6-7, 4-5 West Central Conference). She didn't walk any either, as the only blemish to her line came when a batter reached on an error in the fourth and seventh inning.
The Brandon-Evansville baseball team dominated Lake Park-Audubon on Tuesday in an 18-0 victory in five innings. The Chargers (10-4) scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back. They pounded out 16 hits and scored in every frame to make quick work of the Raiders (2-9). "We were able to set the tone early in this game by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and managed to add to it as the game progressed," B-E head coach Brian Perleberg said. "Everybody did their part today and both Trey (Bosek) and Nick (Thorstad) pitched well."
The Alexandria boys tennis team ran into an improved Willmar program on Tuesday night that handed Alexandria a 7-0 loss in Central Lakes Conference play. Willmar won five of the seven matches in straight sets. Grant Storm and Eli Simonson gave Alexandria a chance by taking the second set at first doubles, but fell in a 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 final. AJ Bollman and Jacob Partington also took the second set at second doubles but ultimately fell.
The Alexandria baseball team ran into the top program in the Central Lakes Conference this spring as St. Cloud Tech defended its home field in a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday. The Tigers (11-0, 8-0 CLC) won 4-0 in the nightcap after taking game one 11-5. The Cardinals (9-4, 6-4 CLC) trailed just 1-0 through five innings in game two before Tech put up three runs in the top of the sixth.
The Alexandria girls track and field team has showed off a deep lineup all season. On Tuesday, that depth paid off with a Section 8AAA True Team championship. The Cardinals went to Brainerd knowing that St. Michael-Albertville would be a big challenge, but Alexandria prevailed with 1,140.5 points, less than 30 in front of the Knights at 1,104.5. "Leading into the meet, we talked about competing with each other and for each other," Alexandria head coach Meghan Orgeman-Crumb said. "That is exactly what they did."
The Alexandria boys came home from Brainerd with a fourth-place finish at the Section 8AAA True Team meet on Tuesday. The Cardinals scored 834.5 points in a format where every finish counts throughout the lineup. St. Michael-Albertville punched its ticket to true team state with a winning total of 1,028 points. Bemidji was second at 938.5 and Brainerd rounded out the top three with 858.5 points.
Alexandria conservation officer Mitch Lawler will drop his boat into the water for the Minnesota fishing opener Saturday morning and head out for one of the busiest weekends of his year. Lawler didn't know exactly which lakes he would hit Saturday, but he'll visit as many of the area's most popular fisheries as possible. Even so, he figures that will be anywhere between four and seven lakes - and that's if his phone doesn't take him elsewhere.