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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Kensington's Emily Violet Kathleen Courrier had a good day on the water while fishing on a lake near Alexandria during a Saturday in early June. Courrier was using a worm on a hook and bobber when this nice largemouth bass hit her bait.
The Parkers Prairie baseball team waited 364 days to finish a job that started on June 20, 2016. Every championship game has a winner and a loser, but not every team suffers defeat like the Panthers did at Target Field a year ago. They were an out away from a storybook ending to a breakout season. Instead, Springfield rallied to tie it in the seventh and win 4-2 in the 11th.
The Alexandria baseball team had a four-run lead and were three outs away from advancing to the Class AAA state championship game on Monday. The Cardinals had hard-throwing righty Jake Drew on the mound to close things out. Hibbing needed a stunning rally, and that’s exactly what it got.
The Parkers Prairie baseball team thought all year about coming so close to winning a state championship in 2016. That drove them all spring. Now the Panthers will get their chance to go back and avenge that loss. Parkers Prairie won an 8-3 game over a hot-hitting Red Rock Central team on Friday in Jordan by doing what they often do. The Panthers got good pitching, timely hitting and didn’t commit an error on their way to securing their spot at Target Field in the Class A title game at 10 a.m. Monday.
The Alexandria baseball team forgot its helmets on the bus at the start of the Class AAA opener against St. Thomas Academy on Thursday. Call it an early learning experience after 42 years away from the state tournament. Their bats, though? Those were in fine form from the get-go as Alexandria dominated the Cadets to get the first win at the state tournament in program history.
The Parkers Prairie baseball team looked like a group that has been on the big stage of the Class A state tournament on Thursday. Wins aren’t supposed to come so easy at this time of year, but the top-seeded Panthers made it look easy in an 8-0 win over Pillager to advance to Friday’s state semifinals. “We’ve been here before,” senior center fielder Devin Glebe said. “We know we just have to be patient at the plate and make him throw pitches. That’s what we did, and it worked.”
The third annual Douglas County Bow Fishing Challenge drew about the same number of boats as last year as teams took to waters all over the county in ideal conditions on the night of June 10. Thunderstorms came into the area on Sunday morning, but tournament organizer Durk Stark said boats were off the water by the time they hit. "Conditions were perfect," Stark said. "It was calm. Mostly the fish were in deeper water, and it was a lot of big fish."
Kenny Bitzan is a big part of the history of baseball in Millerville, and on Sunday he'll be posthumously honored by the Millerville Millers during a game against the Urbank Bombers. Bitzan lost his battle with brain cancer at age 59 in June of 2007. In 2014, he was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame after almost five decades of dedication to baseball in this area. Bitzan also played for the Urbank Goldtimers in the 35-and-older league, so honoring him this weekend in a game against Urbank was a natural fit.
EAGLES HORSESHOES STANDINGS AFTER WEEK FIVE Jim Syverson/Judy Carlson - 36 Jeff Thompson/Dick Baumann - 34 Rick Maxwell/Kia Larson - 32 Byrne Rising/Gary Kirckof - 30 Jerry Nelson/Darren Barten - 25 Dan Larson/Gary Stotesbery - 24 Shane Johnson/Justin Dummer - 22 Dillon Maxwell/Jim Rushford - 22 Kristy Brackett/Justin Schroeder - 15 Mary Botten/Jolene Olson - 13 Randy Mayer/Ryan Seibel - 11 Mike Thompson/Jeannie Thompson - 9 Brian Larson/Brad Mattocks - 4 Alica Tvrdik/Tammi Klug - 3
The Lakes Area Snowmen football team fell to 2-2 on the season after dropping a 34-6 game to the Twin Cities Rhinos this past Saturday at Alexandria Area High School. The Snowmen got a near 40-yard touchdown pass from Jonas Marshall to DJ Elliot, but that's all the offense they could muster. Head coach JJ Kern said it was a 13-6 game at halftime before the Rhinos struck for 21 in the second half on a day when Lakes Area came in a little shorthanded.