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When Jeremy Anderson reflected on his first season as head coach of the Park Rapids baseball team, one thing stuck out as the reason the Panthers didn't produce a winning season. The Panthers' pitching staff issued 87 walks and hit 18 batters in 120 1/3 innings.
Janessa Wolff's final year as a member of the Penn State University women's basketball team started and ended on high notes. Wolff, a 6-foot-3 junior center from Park Rapids, helped the Nittany Lions start the season with a 15-4 record and to the No.
Marion Goeden predicted that solid pitching and defense and some timely hitting would lead to a successful season for the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team. That formula sparked the Panthers to a 3-1 win over Bagley in the season opener Tuesday afternoon. Brie Warne threw a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts and the Panthers took advantage of their three hits to open the season on a successful note. The Panthers used a timely double by Leeza Tostenson to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
A balanced attack led the Park Rapids girls track and field team to the title at Tuesday's Little Amik II Invitational at Bemidji State University. The Panthers scored in 13 events and accumulated 79 points to easily defeat Bagley/Fosston's runner-up total of 67 points. Nevis finished 15th with 15 points and United North Central was 19th with 5 points. The 4 x 800-meter relay team of Lydia Lutz, Shelby Pierce, Mandy Schirmers and Hannah Wolff set the tone for the day by clocking a winning time of 10:24.90.
The Menahga fastpitch softball team opened the season by splitting a Park Region Conference doubleheader at Pillager Tuesday. Megan Miller's two-run double in the eighth inning lifted the Braves to a 5-2 win in the opener. Pillager rebounded to salvage a split with an 8-5 victory in the second game. In the opener, a walk to Katie Miller and a single by Megan Miller led to a run in the first and a walk to Jada Melton and singles by Katie Miller and Megan Miller led to another run in the second. Pillager scored twice in the sixth to force extra innings before the Braves prevailed in the
Producing winning seasons has become a tradition for the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team. Head coach Marion Goeden is expecting this year's team to continue that trend. Last year, the Panthers compiled a 9-3 record in Mid-State Conference play and a 14-9 overall record.
Matt Brandt knew the record of the Park Rapids boys basketball team after 22 games was deceiving. The way the Panthers played in March proved it. Park Rapids opened the season with 22 losses. In those games, the Panthers were held to under 40 points 14 times and in half of those games the Panthers failed to score 30 points.
Corey Hill has been waiting for this season since he took over as head coach of the Park Rapids girls track and field team. The Panthers return a veteran team from last year's squad that repeated as Subsection 8-29A champs, moved up to third place at the Section 8A meet and qualified six individuals in four events for the state Class A meet. Having plenty of talented athletes in every event has Hill expecting an even more successful season this spring. "I'm expecting a really big year," said Hill. "On paper, it looks like we could dominate. Staying healthy is the key issue.
Both the Park Rapids boys and girls track and field teams turned in impressive showings during Tuesday's Little Amik I Invitational at Bemidji State University. In the 17-team girls meet, the Panthers placed in 11 events and used three winning efforts to finish second with 78 points.
Opening the season with a win gave John Schumacher confidence the Park Rapids girls basketball team could reach his goal of winning 10 games this season. Unfortunately, a 16-game losing streak followed as the Panthers were outscored by an average of 29 points a game. Instead of giving up, the Panthers turned their season around by splitting their final six regular-season games.