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A dynamic offense along with overpowering pitching performances powered the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team to the title at Saturday's Park Rapids Invitational at Olson Fields. The Panthers outscored their three opponents 38-2 to win the tournament title for the fifth year in a row and the 12th time overall. In the three games, the Panthers had 37 hits and drew 14 walks while taking advantage of nine errors offensively while the pitching staff allowed 10 hits and 11 walks while recording 30 strikeouts.
Tim Wurdock is counting on both United North Central golf teams to be competitive in Northern Pines Conference play this spring. Last season, the Warriors entered the Northern Pines Conference on probationary status and weren't able to compete for all-conference honors. This season, Wurdock expects both the UNC boys and girls teams to compete for top team and individual honors in conference play.
Matt Bruce and Casimir Simonson picked up a win at No. 3 doubles to account for the only point for the Park Rapids boys tennis team in a 6-1 loss to Section 8A rival East Grand Forks Friday afternoon at the Depot Courts. Bruce and Simonson prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. Tanner Stromback fell in a three-set match at No. 4 singles while Jacob Gruis and Gunnar Larson lost a first-set tiebreaker in a straight-set loss at No. 2 doubles. Park Rapids lost the other matches in straight sets in falling to 0-2 in dual meets this spring. East Grand Forks 6, Park Rapids 1
New York Mills' 5-2 win at Menahga Friday created a three-way tie for first place in the Park Region Conference baseball standings. New York Mills, Menahga and Parkers Prairie are all 4-1 and tied atop the conference standings. The Braves fell to 6-2 overall after seeing their four-game winning streak snapped. Menahga defeated Sebeka 7-3 Thursday in a conference make-up game as Charlie Steidler-Thompson went 3 for 3 to pace the Braves' seven-hit attack.
The Park Rapids baseball team saw a 5-0 lead disappear before ending a threat in the bottom of the seventh inning to prevail with a 6-5 Section 8AA win at Crookston Thursday. An error, a walk to Jason Haas, an RBI grounder by Austin Jerger and an RBI single by Zach Hocking gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the first inning. A lead-off single by Ty Karger, a double by Gabe Bagstad, a two-run single by Tristin Persons and a two-out RBI single by Hocking made it 5-0 in the second.
Chloe Johnson carded a 100 to lead the Park Rapids girls golf team to the title at Thursday's Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Invitational at Tianna Golf Course. Sabela Valverde-Andrade's 107, Jasmine Cease's 113 and Kinley Nordin's 117 rounded out the Panthers' 437 team score. Bemidji's JV took second in this nine-team meet with a 447. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Laporte's Justine Day earned medalist honors with a 94. Monday's Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club was postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday, May 3 starting at 9 a.m.
Bjorn Jorgenson carded an 82 to tie for fourth place and Tate Usher carded an 86 to finish eighth as the Park Rapids boys golf team earned runner-up honors at Monday's Wolf Pack Invitational at Walker's Tianna Country Club. Cody Dravis' 92 and a pair of 93s by Justin Dravis and Luke Kosel completed Park Rapids' 352 team score. Pine River-Backus led the 10-team field with a 345. United North Central was fourth with a 364 and Nevis finished seventh with a 455.
Park Rapids relied on a home-course advantage Tuesday to sweep titles at the second Northern Pines Conference golf meet. Tate Usher's runner-up 41 on the par-36 back side at Headwaters Golf Club led the Panthers to a 173 four-golfer team score to edge United North Central's 175 in the boys meet while Drew Hilmanowski's runner-up 41 on the par-36 front side led the Panthers to a three-golfer round of 132 to easily top Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Laporte's 143 in the girls meet.
Four errors led to six unearned runs as the Nevis baseball team fell to 0-2 against Section 5A opponents with a 6-2 loss to Hill City Monday at Hill City. Hill City scored two unearned runs in the first inning, one unearned run in the third and three unearned runs in the fifth to improve to 3-0 in section play and 5-0 overall. Nevis scored once in the first and once in the third in falling to 4-2 overall.
The Menahga baseball team remained undefeated in Park Region Conference play with wins over Pillager and Wadena-Deer Creek last week. Al Pietila and Mitch Peterson combined on a four-hitter in leading the Braves to a 2-1 win over Pillager on April 11 while Thomas Litzau and Lars Keranen pitched Menahga to an 8-5 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek on April 13 in a pair of home games.