BEMIDJI -- The top-seeded Bemidji Lumberjacks blanked the No. 2 Brainerd Warriors 3-0 in the winners' bracket game of the North Subsection 8, Class 3A softball tournament Monday.
Bemidji, 22-0 and ranked sixth in 3A, would have to lose twice Tuesday to be denied the subsection championship.
Winning pitcher Becky Rasmussen struck out eight, walked two, hit one and gave up two hits. Abby Rehberger singled in the fourth and Paige Olson single in the fifth for Brainerd.
"We're just right there," Warriors coach Mike Zauhar said. "We're banging on the door. We need to catch a break."
Section 8, Class 3A
Third Round at Bemidji
Bemidji 3, Brainerd 0
Detroit Lakes 2, Moorhead 1
Fergus Falls 3, Alexandria 1
Fergus Falls 2, Detroit Lakes 1
No. 2 Brainerd vs. No. 4 Fergus Falls, 11 a.m.
No. 1 Bemidji vs. Brainerd/Fergus Falls winner, 1 p.m.
Second game, if necessary, 3 p.m.
Losing pitcher Megan Arns didn't get any breaks. She struck out six, walked two and gave up five hits.
Zauhar reports that Brainerd (12-2 in Central Lakes Conference play) has been awarded a share of the conference championship with Willmar (12-1). The Cardinals were scheduled to make up a postponed game against St. Cloud Tech but were unable to play the game before the start of the subsection tournament.
The title is Brainerd's first since 1999, and only the second in program history.
"A conference championship, to me, is pretty remarkable," Zauhar said. "They don't come around very often. It means something to me, especially in the last four years when we've gone to state (2002) and set the program record for wins (19 in 2003)."
Brainerd 000 000 0 -- 0 2 0
Bemidji 010 020 x -- 3 5 1
Brd-Megan Arns and Erin Holznagel. Bem-Becky Rasmussen and Westerman. WP -- Rasmussen. LP -- Arns (14-5). Overall -- Brd 18-5. Next game -- Brainerd in losers bracket 11 a.m. Tuesday at Bemidji, opponent TBA.
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