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from the Hip

SHOTS from the Hip

Congratulations to Nick Johnson and the Prescott soft ball team on earning at least a share of the Middle Border Conference Championship. The defending sectional cham

pions’ postseason march be gins this week when the Cardinals will receive their seed for the WIAA tourna

ment. Along with the Cardi nals, top teams in the sectional included Gale Ettrick Trem

pealeau (16 5), Bloomer (17

2), Spooner (17 3), Northwestern (14 1), and Baldwin Woodville (14 5).

A three run home run by Peter Brookshaw last Saturday helped propel the North Dakota State Bison to a thrilling 13 12 come from be hind extra inning victory over Northern Colorado. Trailing 9 3 late, Brookshaw’s blast to right tied the score at 9 9 and the Bison went on to win in extra innings. It was the sev enth home run of the year for the 2018 Prescott alumnus. The Bison went on to sweep all three games with the Bears and remained atop the Summit League standings with a record of 15 4 and 28 16 over all. Brookshaw leads the Bison in hits, runs batted in, and total bases. North Dakota State closes out the regular season with a three game se ries at home this weekend against Western Illinois. The following week the Bison will travel to Tulsa, Okla. to play in the Summit League tourna ment, hoping to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

This next vignette reads like an old Outdoor Life Mag azine “This happened to Me” story. During the wee hours of the morning last Saturday, teenagers Mason Lewis, Brady Block, and Mason Bartsch decided to go turkey hunting before last Saturday’s doubleheader in St. Croix Falls. After a handful of min utes in the dimly lit woods, the Cardinal baseball players heard and noticed a movement in the distance. What was it? A scurry of squirrels? An inves tigating coyote? A raccoon lumbering through the leaves? No, it was Urus Americanus, a black bear. As the adult bruin moved closer, the trio noticed the adult bear was not alone; a cub, in tow, had scurried up a nearby tree. With hearts racing the triumvirate began to an nounce their presence to the adult sow. The two seniors and one junior said to each other “Make yourself look bigger!” “Make some noise!” “Don’t run!” It worked. The black bruin and its offspring dashed off into the woods.

Bemidji State outfielder Hunter Daymond finished the season with a batting average of .292 for the Beavers. A 2019 Prescott alumnus, Day mond played in 26 games for the Northern Sun Intercolle giate Conference school. MacKenzie Carey wrapped up her season with the St. Mary’s Cardinals softball team, finish ing with a batting average of .325. Carey finished fourth on the team in hits and fifth in total bases. She is a 2019 grad

uate of Prescott High School.

The University Wisconsin

Steven Point won the Wiscon sin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball tourna ment last weekend earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. It is the 17th time the Pointers have qualified for the national tour nament. The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire quali fied for the NCAA Division III regional tournament for the 13th time in school history. The Blugolds won the national title in 2008.

UW River Falls track and field runner Sammy Braunlich and her teammates finished fourth in the 4×400 meter relay in the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field meet. It was a season best for the team as they competed in the confer ence championship meet at UW La Crosse on May 7. In her second year with the Fal cons, Braunlich is a 2020 graduate of Prescott High School.

Headshaker of the week: While perusing the WIAA website I came across a sec tion entitled “Sportsmanship Plus,” a section where officials report incidents of good sportsmanship around the state. Well done. Stories abound of players, coaches, and fans behaving in ways cer

tainly worth praising. How ever, what I find a bit eye rolling is within a few of these sportsmanship blurbs are de scriptors one could argue do not constitute high praise or accolades. “The players picked up equipment,” “The players returned foul balls to the umpires,” and “The play ers hustled off and on the field.” If those behaviors con stitute stellar sportsmanship behavior the bar is pretty low. It reminded me of a recently retired high school baseball coach who shared this story about an All Conference se lection meeting a few years back. During the team selec tion process, a coach spoke glowingly of how the player he had nominated “picks up equipment after practice and games,” “never misses a prac tice,” and “was always on time.” The coach said “The player does everything the coach and the team ask him to do,” that he “is deserving of All Conference.” Another coach then asked “What was his batting average?” The coach’s response, “He hit .117 but I think he should still be All Conference.” Now that’s a headshaker.

By Cripe Olson

May 17, 2022