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 Osakis baseball team continued to flex its muscle in the Prairie Conference on Tuesday night as the Silverstreaks swept two games against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. The Thunder (2-4, 2-3 Prairie) had no answers offensively for the Silverstreaks (8-1, 5-0 Prairie) in 5-1 and 2-1 wins for Osakis. Hunter Infanger limited LPGE to just a third-inning run in the 2-1 win in the nightcap after he went 5 2/3 innings and scattered four hits and four walks, while striking out three.
The Lakes Area Snowmen won their season opener on Saturday in the Midwest Premier Football League in a 28-20 game against the Minnesota Storm at AAHS. "It was pretty much how I anticipated," head coach JJ Kern said. "I knew the offense would have to lean on the running game. We have the pieces to score a lot more. We had four fumbles and two interceptions. We really shot ourselves in the foot a lot. Our defense really held us down, and we can clean it up a lot more."
The West Central Area golf teams went to Tipsinah Mounds on Tuesday as the WCA boys shot a 381 for sixth place out of 10 teams and the girls finished first out of three teams with a 409.
The Alexandria tennis team dominated a couple matches in a home triangular on Tuesday as the Cardinals won 7-0 over Fergus Falls and Minnewaska. "We are playing much better tennis than we were playing just a week ago," Alexandria head coach Dave Ronning said. "We have three tough opponents in Bemidji, (St. Cloud) Tech, and Willmar to play yet this week. We look forward to the challenge and hope to end the week on a high note."
It took just half an inning to see how important two games against Bemidji were for the Alexandria baseball team on Tuesday night.
The Alexandria boys golf team finished third in a Central Lakes Conference meet hosted by Sartell at the Blackberry Ridge Golf Course on Monday as the Cardinals shot a 314 to finish behind Sartell (308) and Brainerd (311). Alexandria is trying to get on track a little more after coming into the season with high expectations. The Cardinals also finished second in the pre-section meet last week as Brainerd came away with the win. Alexandria's struggles on Monday came early in the round.
The Alexandria girls golf team is getting better as the season progresses as this new group of Cardinals continue to post impressive scores. This time, it came in their home Central Lakes Conference meet at the Alexandria Golf Club on Monday as the Cardinals shot a season-low 329 to win the tournament. Brainerd was a distant second at 351 and Sartell rounded out the top three with a 358. Alexandria dominated behind five players in the top 10. Four players had personal-bests in Madison Winter (94), Aisling O'Connor (84), Lauren Rebrovich (85) and Hannah Boraas (81).
BASEBALL Alexandria vs. Bemidji (DH), 4 p.m. Minnewaska vs. BOLD, (DH), 4 p.m. Osakis at LPGE, 5 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Menahga, 4:30 p.m. SOFTBALL Alexandria vs. Sartell, 5 p.m. Minnewaska at Morris, 5 p.m.
The best track and field athletes in the state will often keep a close eye on how others in their events are doing from different programs. It's a chance to see where one is at in terms of the competition. It might require searching the internet for times or distances of opponents. Maybe a coach has a connection and can track the numbers for them. Alexandria's Mya Lesnar and McKenzie Duwenhoegger do not need to go through that kind of trouble to find the marks of one of their nearest competitors in the shot put and discus. For that duo, they need only look at each other.
Alexandria boys track and field coach Mike Empting often talks about the importance of having upperclassmen in order to field a competitive team in the spring. It takes becoming bigger, stronger and faster physically to keep up with many of the best athletes in the Central Lakes Conference and Section 8AA fields. The Cardinals are seeing how an athlete can grow from one year to the next by the emergence of junior Drew Olson this year.