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 Minnewaska girls track and field program has a deep and talented team this season, and never was that more evident than in Stillwater on Saturday. The Lakers brought home the Class A state true team championship by scoring 573.5 points. Lewiston-Altura was second at 543 and Lanesboro-Fillmore Central was third (504) in the 12-team field.
The Brandon-Evansville baseball team won its fifth straight game on Friday night by sweeping a doubleheader with Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. The Chargers (12-5, 7-5 Pheasant Conference) won the nightcap 14-4 on 12 hits after breezing through the opener by a 13-0 final on 11 hits. Zack Haugen and Jayden Hoidahl combined to toss a five-inning no-hitter in game one. Haugen struck out six in three innings before Hoidahl worked the final two frames and struck out two, allowing just one walk.
The Alexandria boys tennis team will play in the Section 8AA semifinals on Thursday after living up to its top seed in the North subsection on Saturday. The Cardinals played Moorhead in the subsection tournament in Sartell and won 6-1 to advance to take on Willmar back in Sartell later this week. Alexandria (21-4) swept the singles lineup against the Spuds and took two of three in doubles.
The Osakis boys track and field team was the last program into the Class A state true team meet through the wildcard format, and head coach Lee VanNyhuis was proud of how his kids climbed the ladder in the overall standings once they got to Stillwater.
The Osakis softball team will open the Section 6AA playoffs with a game at Sauk Centre at 3:30 p.m. on Monday. The Silverstreaks (8-9) were seeded 10th in the 16-team field, while the Mainstreeters (12-6) earned the seventh seed. These two met on April 26 when Sauk Centre beat Osakis in a 13-5 game. The winner between the Silverstreaks and Mainstreeters will play the winner of second-seeded Pierz (15-5) and 15th-seeded Melrose Area (4-13) on May 21.
The Brandon-Evansville softball team clinched a sixth straight Pheasant Conference championship and won its 11th straight game in the process on Friday. The Chargers (15-2) dominated Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in an 11-0 final. They out-hit the Comets (3-10) 13-3 and scored in every inning but the first as they put the game away with a four-run fifth frame.
The Osakis baseball team continues to prove it can compete with the best teams in the Section 6AA field. The hope for the Silverstreaks is that close games will turn more in their favor during the postseason. Osakis is 12-3 now after a 2-1 loss on Friday to Pierz (15-1). Those three losses have come by a combined four runs to three of the top teams in the section after also dropping close games to Foley and Albany.
The Alexandria track and field teams were in Stillwater on Friday at the Class AAA state true team meet, and that atmosphere brought out the best in them.
The Osakis boys and girls golf teams wrapped up the Central Minnesota Conference season on Thursday as the girls finished second overall in the final league standings and the boys were fourth. The girls won their home meet against Pierz early this season, but the Pioneers were too much over the long haul. They won the league title by 32 strokes after posting a 185 in Kimball on Thursday. Osakis was 10 shots behind at 195.
The Osakis baseball team wrapped up a third straight Prairie Conference title on Thursday night by beating Royalton in a 7-2 game at home. The Silverstreaks (12-2, 9-0 Prairie) left no doubt from the get-go, scoring two in the first and three more in the third to take command.