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 track and field team traveled to Brainerd on Tuesday and came back with a first-place team finish after scoring 139.5 points in the triangular. Brainerd had 108, while Pequot Lakes rounded out the meet at 103.5. The Cardinals won six of the 17 events they participated in and had 40 personal-best performances.
The Alexandria baseball team had a seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night as the Cardinals went to Rocori and fell 6-1. The Spartans got two doubles and two RBIs from Jordan Barth, while Dylan Tebrake had three hits and drove in two more. The win moved Rocori to 3-4 overall and in the Central Lakes Conference, while Alexandria fell to 7-2 and 5-2 in the CLC. St. Cloud Tech leads the conference at 5-0 and 8-0 overall after giving up less than a run per game average through the first eight contests.
The Alexandria boys tennis team made quick work of St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday in a 7-0 win over the Eagles. The Cardinals (4-5, 2-3 Central Lakes Conference) didn't drop a set. JJ Foster, Derek Berning, Matt Vogel and Wade Smith all won in the singles lineup. The doubles teams gave up just two games in their entire lineup. Grant Storm teamed up with Eli Simonson to win 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles. AJ Bollman and Jacob Partington won 6-0, 6-2 at the second spot, while Zach Wosepka and Evan Lattimer teamed up for the first time and won 6-0, 6-0 at third doubles.
The Alexandria girls golf team took another step toward a Central Lakes Conference title on Tuesday as the Cardinals went to Brainerd and won by 34 strokes. Alexandria shot a 320, good for the lowest round this team has shot in the last three years. The Warriors were a distant second on their home course with a 354, while Sartell shot a 356.
It took two extra innings and a lot of runs, but the West Central Area softball team moved to 9-1 overall with a 17-15 win over Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley on Tuesday night. The Knights (6-1 Pheasant Conference) found themselves down 14-5 in the third inning after CGB scored 11 runs on seven errors that frame. West Central Area just chipped away, eventually tying the game at 14 in the top of the seventh and getting three strikeouts from Hailey Bennett in the bottom of the inning to force extras.
The Minnewaska softball team ran its winning streak to seven games on Tuesday night as the Lakers swept Melrose (8-2, 5-2 West Central Conference) in a doubleheader by 8-4 and 8-0 scores. The Lakers (11-2, 7-2 WCC) got a combined seven hits from the first three batters in their lineup in the nightcap. Morgan Hess was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Bayley Pooler added three hits, two runs and two RBIs, while Abby VerSteeg drove in two after a two-hit game.
The sixth straight win for the Brandon-Evansville softball team came in five innings on Tuesday as the Chargers breezed past Ashby in an 11-1 game. Brandon-Evansville (10-2, 7-1 Pheasant Conference) scored three runs in the first frame and blew things open with six in the second. Carrigan Okerlund had another big game with a single, a double, three runs scored and two RBIs, while Shyanna Behrens was 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two runs driven in.
The Alexandria softball team fell to one of the top teams in the Central Lakes Conference on Tuesday night as a now 9-0 Rocori team came to town and left with an 11-2 win. The Spartans got six dominant innings from senior pitcher Megan Gavin. She struck out 12 in six innings of work, allowing just four hits. She walked four but limited the damage to just one earned run.
Jerry Matison grew up along the Minnesota River where he developed an appreciation for the outdoors. Conservation has been a part of his life from a young age, and that passion only enhanced as he gained more time in his retirement years. At age 82, he's active in local sportsmen's groups and working to obtain legacy funds for local conservation projects. For those efforts, he was awarded this year's Art Engelbrecht Conservationist of the Year Award, given annually by the local Viking Sportsmen's Club.
The Alexandria trap shooting team gathered at the Alexandria Shooting Park on April 24 for its first official week of competition and didn't shoulder a gun for the first 40 minutes. That time was dedicated to more of a classroom setting that eventually trickled out onto the range for more instruction. Where the eyes needed to be focused on the house, the shooter's stance and how to maintain the correct mental status were all points of conversation.