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 fifth grade girls basketball team recently finished second at the Pacesetter Great Five-State Hoops Tournament. Qualifying for the tournament allows teams to play at the Target Center, where the Bismarck Energy won a 31-21 game against Alexandria in the championship. Alexandria advanced to that championship game by beating Winner, SD in a 19-13 final and Cedar Rapids Jefferson out of Iowa in a 36-31 game. Players for Alexandria were Addie Rossum, Hadley Thul, Allie Haabala, Ella Regnier, MaCee Lino and Skylor Hedstrom. Coaches are Leah Thul and Carla Haabala.
It took the Alexandria Blacks baseball team a few innings to get going in its playoff opener on Monday, but there were no such issues on Tuesday. Second-seeded Alexandria put up four runs in the first against third-seeded Marshall and went on to secure a 10-6 win that puts the Blacks one win away from making the state tournament. Alexandria sent 10 batters to the plate in the first. Marshall aided the cause with a couple of errors after Andrew Revering doubled, Kade Blankenship singled and Wyatt Snitker walked to lead off the inning.
The gray squirrel is one of Minnesota's most common wildlife species. They are everywhere from the hardwood forests up north to the southern river bottoms and everywhere in between. No one takes a second look when one runs through the backyard, but seeing a white squirrel draws a different reaction.
The Alexandria Reds junior legion baseball team is in the district playoffs this week after they split a doubleheader with the Alexandria Blacks last Friday. The Reds lost game two 29-0 in four innings, which was reported on in a previous story. Not yet reported on was a 12-10 win for the Reds in the opening game of that doubleheader. Brady McCoy and Elijah Holthaus both had three hits in that opening win for the Reds. They combined for four runs and an RBI. Peyton Doty added two hits, two RBIs and a run scored, and Riley Carlsen added two hits, a run scored and an RBI.
The Minnesota Trapshooting Association held its state shoot in Alexandria from July 2-8 where trap shooters from around the country gathered to compete for Minnesota titles.
The Viking Speedway put another week in the books this past Saturday as six different drivers visited victory lane at the local oval. Alexandria's Jeff Crouse got a win in the Street Stock feature as he held off Justin Vogel in second place and Bryan Crandall in third. Hawley's Blake Jegtvig took the Modified feature ahead of Dustin Bitzan of Brandon and Brady Gerdes from Villard. In Midwest Modifieds, Nick Bruder of Long Prairie took the checkered flag ahead of Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls and Alexandria's Shawn Olson in third.
Through four innings on Monday, it looked like seedings would be thrown out the window in the matchup between Alexandria and Moorhead at Knute Nelson Ballpark. This year's Junior Legion Division I Outstate Tournament is being played through Thursday in Alexandria, where the second-seeded Alexandria Blacks came in hoping to capture one of the top two finishes to advance to state. Early in the opener, seventh-seeded Moorhead played like the more confident team on the way to building a 4-0 advantage in what eventually turned into a 5-4 win for Alexandria.
The Lakes Area Snowmen football team welcomed in the Minot Oilers with playoff seeding on the line on a hot Saturday afternoon at Alexandria Area High School and left little doubt in completing the season sweep in this series. The Snowmen won 40-26 at Minot on June 2 and found things even easier at home with a 44-14 win that puts Lakes Area into a position where the team can wrap up home field advantage through the playoffs with a win at Bismarck on Saturday.
Alexandria's Blake Stockert spent the last four years at North Dakota State University pitching for the Bison, so his at-bats at the plate were few and far between. He hadn't hit a home run since his high school days with the Cardinals, but he connected with one on Sunday afternoon as the Alexandria Black Sox played Sauk Centre in Osakis, with Knute Nelson Ballpark not available. "It was pretty cool," Stockert said. "I knew he was going to throw a first-pitch breaking ball, so I kind of sat back on it and let the bat work."
LEGION BASEBALL Alexandria at Gopher Classic vs. Sioux Falls, SD, 9 a.m. RESORTERS LEAGUE BASEBALL Ashby at Millerville, 1 p.m. Alexandria vs. Sauk Centre at Osakis, 1 p.m.