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Bemidji third baseman Janelle Williams threw to first to record the final out of the third inning against Little Falls. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Bemidji HS softball: defense, pitching lead the way in season opener

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Brad Takkunen did not know what to expect when the coach sent his Bemidji softball team against Little Falls Friday evening at the high school diamond. The Lumberjacks' roster is dominated by youth and inexperience and Friday's goal was to give the players their initial baptism by fire.

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"The game wasn't about winning or losing as much as it was about playing well," Takkunen said. "And we played well."

Bemidji bolted to a 3-0 lead after the first inning and eventually posted a 5-3 victory. Considering the Jacks were playing their first game of the spring, it was a productive effort in all phases.

"The defense was solid, the pitching was very good and the offense produced timely hits," Takkunen said. "I was very pleased with how we caught and pitched and the kids we depend upon to hit did just that."

Bemidji took the early lead with three runs in the first on a walk to Summer Monsrud, singles by Jineane Williams, Jess Yost and Janelle Williams, Emily Larson's sacrifice fly and a pair of Little Falls errors.

"Getting the early lead helped settle the kids," Takkunen said. "If it's 0-0 heading into the fourth inning a team could begin to tighten but we jumped on Little Falls early and could focus on our jobs the rest of the way."

BHS increased its cushion to 4-0 in the fourth on a walk to Anna Pence, an error on a fielder's choice ground ball and Janie Johnson's sacrifice fly to deep center.

Starting Bemidji pitcher Erika Weimann cruised through the first five innings, allowing only a first-inning double and a hit batter in the third. Her defense also was on its game as the Jacks committed only one error.

The Flyers finally found the scoreboard with two runs in the upper sixth on back-to-back doubles and an error. The Jacks, however, answered in their half of the frame as a walk to Chelsea Johnson, a passed ball, a wild pitch and a groundout combined for a run.

The inning also featured singles by Janie Johnson and Jineane Williams but a line drive double-play ended the threat.

Little Falls opened the seventh with a walk, single and a run-scoring wild pitch but Yost came on in relief to retire the next three hitters, two on swinging strikes, to earn the save.

Jineane Williams and Yost each had a pair of singles. Janie Johnson contributed a sacrifice fly and a single while Larson had a sacrifice fly and Janelle Williams a single.

"It was a good opener for us with many positives," Takkunen said. "I was very pleased with our mindset. The girls were ready to play from the opening pitch."

The next test for the Lumberjacks will be Monday at Fergus Falls. Tuesday finds Bemidji hosting Detroit Lakes.

Bemidji 5, Little Falls 3

Little Falls ab r h bi e

Peterson, 3b 3 1 1 0 1

Munnell, ss 4 1 1 1 2

Beseman, c 3 0 1 0 0

Messinger, 1b 3 0 0 0 0

Bjorge, rf 2 0 0 0 0

Kempenich, cf 3 0 0 0 1

Gohl, dh 2 0 0 0 0

Anderson, p, pr 0 1 0 0 0

Budke, 2b, lf 3 0 1 0 0

Duscher, lr, 2b 1 0 0 0 0

Totals 24 3 4 1 4

Bemidji ab r h bi e

Monsrud, cf 1 1 0 0 0

Glynn, cf 2 0 1 1 0

Dahlin, 2b 2 0 0 0 0

J.Johnson, 2b, rd 1 0 1 1 0

Ji.Williams, lf 3 1 2 0 0

Larson, ss 3 0 0 1 0

Yost, 1b, p 3 1 2 1 0

Ja. Williams, 3b 3 0 0 0 1

Weimann, p, 1b 3 0 0 0 0

Pence, dh 1 1 0 0 0

McLean, pr, dh 1 0 0 0 0

C.Johnson, rf, 2b 2 1 0 0 0

Clark, c 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 25 5 6 4 1

Little Falls 000 002 1 - 3 4 4

Bemidji 300 101 x - 5 6 1

Pitching Record

Little Falls Ip r er h so bb

Anderson(L) 6 5 3 6 1 4

Bemidji ip r er h so bb

Weimann (W 1-0) 6+ 3 2 2 5 2

Yost (S 1) 1 0 0 0 2 0

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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