Bemidji HS softball team takes another stride toward success against Spuds
The goal of every team is to be playing its best at the end of the season and younger squads sometimes have to accomplish that task through a series of small steps.
The Bemidji softball team finds itself in that position as the roster includes only three seniors, seven juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
Tuesday at home against Moorhead the Lumberjacks took another stride toward success as they improved to 5-2 with a workmanlike 7-0 victory.
"We're definitely getting better," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "I think last weekend's trip to the Twin Cities helped us."
Bemidji went 1-2 on the weekend and in two of the three games played very well.
Tuesday's victory over Moorhead followed in those footsteps.
"If we can get the kids to compete at the level I know they can play, we'll be a tough team to beat," Takkunen said.
Jess Yost handled the starting pitching duties for the Jacks and kept the Spuds guessing with her dominant fastball and elusive change-up. Bri Glynn pitched the final two innings and retired the Spuds in order.
Yost struck out six in five innings, including four Spuds in the first frame. A passed ball and error following a strikeout enabled Moorhead to advance a runner to third with two down in the opening stanza but Yost fired a fastball past the next hitter to end that threat.
A walk and a single put two Moorhead runners on base in the fifth but that opportunity fizzled when Yost snared a line drive and turned it into a double play.
"Jess has three good pitches and has command of all of them," Takkunen said. "Tuesday's game showed that if we play good defense and force an opponent to earn every base, we'll be in good shape with Jess pitching."
Bemidji's offense touched a pair of Moorhead hurlers for 14 hits, including three in the first inning which produced the only run BHS would need.
With two down Jineane Williams and Yost singled and Janelle Williams ripped a single to center to plate Jineane Williams.
Erika Weimann's 2-out single to right plated a pair in the second and Mikayla Dahlin's single to center drove in Janelle Williams in the third.
Summer Monsrud singled in the fourth and, after stealing second and gaining third on an overthrow, she scored courtesy of Weimann's groundout.
Bemidji closed the scoring with a pair in the fifth on singles by Anna Pence, Emily Larson, Chelsea Johnson, Glynn and Monsrud.
"We had a couple of baserunning blunders that could have hurt us but, overall, we did all of the little things right," Takkunen said. "You can see that this team has talent."
Bemidji will enjoy the home field advantage again on Thursday when it hosts Grand Rapids. The game will start at 4:30 p.m.