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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Don Shaw has been racing at the Viking Speedway for almost 20 years and racked up plenty of wins during that time. Exactly how many, he wasn’t sure. “No idea,” he said with a laugh. “Not enough.” However many it is, the speedway veteran can add to the total and put $3,000 in his bank account after Saturday night. Shaw won the 35-lap WISSOTA Late Models feature in the first day of a doubleheader at the local oval this weekend.
The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville track and field teams will send eight different athletes to the Section 6A meet in Fergus Falls on June 1 after qualifying through the Sub-Section 22 meet in Wadena on Thursday. The top five individuals and top two relays qualify for the section meet. Senior Madison Krupke qualified in four events to lead the A-B-E girls to a third-place finish in the 10-team field. Krupke won the 300-meter hurdles in a personal-best 49.53 seconds. She was second in the 200-meter dash (28.72), second in long jump (15-4) and third in the triple jump (33-10).
The Alexandria baseball team heads into the playoffs with five straight wins after a big section victory at Bemidji to wrap up the regular season on Thursday. The Cardinals (15-5) had three pitchers combine for a one-hitter against the Lumberjacks (16-4) as they snapped a four-game winning streak for Bemidji in a 5-2 final.
The Osakis baseball team gave itself an opportunity of pulling off the slight upset in the 6AA opener on Thursday but fell in a 3-2 final at Melrose to end the season. The Silverstreaks (12-7) were the fifth seed in the West, while the Dutchmen (13-7) came in as the fourth seed. These teams met on May 8 when Melrose won a 3-1 game, and it was even closer the second time around.
A battle of youth versus experience played out down to the final out in the Section 6A softball tournament on Thursday in Morris. Brandon-Evansville has eight seniors to lean on. West Central Area has just one in catcher Morgan Sanstead. The Knights were trailing 4-2 with one out and two on in the top of the seventh inning with a seventh grader at the plate in Lexi Bright. She delivered a base hit that scored a run in front of a throw to the plate.
The Minnewaska girls golf team's run at a 13th straight section title got off to a good start on Wednesday as the Lakers won the opening round of the 3AA meet at the Oakdale Golf Club by shooting a 345. The top five teams qualify for day two of the tournament. Morris and Marshall both shot a 350 to tie for second, while Litchfield qualified with a 361 and Luverne with a 367.
The West Central Area girls golf team competed in the subsection tournament on Wednesday as eighth grader Jessica St. Martin shot a 95 to advance to the 6A meet on May 31 in Benson. "(She) had a strong round overall, with drives and putting being her strongest assets," head coach Kari Kreft said. "She made it look easy today with smooth strokes and a confident short game." St. Martin was the lone WCA player to advance from the subsection tournament. Katie Merrick wrapped up her Knights career with a 112.
BASEBALL Brandon-Evansville @ New York Mills, 4:30 p.m. Osakis vs. Melrose at Freeport, 6AA playoffs, 7 p.m. WCA vs. Upsala-Swanville, 5 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Ashby, 4:30 p.m. BOYS GOLF Minnewaska Section 3AA Meet @ Buffalo Lake, TBD SOFTBALL Alexandria vs Little Falls, 8AAA playoffs, 6 p.m. Section 6A playoffs at Minnewaska and Morris Osakis vs. Pequot Lakes, 6AA playoffs at AAHS, 3:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Royalton, 6A playoffs at Minnewaska, 4 p.m.
ALEXANDRIA HORSESHOE LEAGUE WEEK TWO RESULTS Coffee Pot Cafe def. Thomas-Lauren Co. 8-0 Flippin' Fabulous def. Jack's Auto Body and Glass, 6-2 Design Tree def. American Food Group, 6-2 Cenex def. WSN, 6-2 Nerium def. Starner Farms, 6-2
The Osakis baseball team won an 11-10 game on a walk-off hit from senior Zach Weir that erased a 10-8 deficit in the seventh and sent this team into the playoffs with a 12-7 record. John Piekarski started the seventh-inning rally with a walk as freshman Luke Imdieke followed with a single. Hunter Infanger followed two batters later with a single that loaded the bases. Imdieke scored on a wild pitch that moved the runners up and brought on an intentional walk of Logan Hartshorn with one out. That loaded the bases back up for Weir, who delivered.