Big second inning propels Jacks softball team to victory
The Bemidji softball team scored seven runs in the second inning Saturday and cruised to an 11-5 home victory over Grand Forks Central.
The Lumberjacks collected seven hits, including Jineane Williams' 2-run triple in the second and Summer Monsrud's 3-run inside-the-park home run in the third.
Taylor McLean went the distance on the mound to earn the victory. The senior limited the Knights to eight hits while fanning five and walking three.
Saturday's contest was Bemidji's first at home since April 12. In between BHS has made eight consecutive road trips.
The Jacks will also be home Thursday when Moorhead heads east for a doubleheader.
"It was nice to wake up Saturday and not have to step into a bus," said Lumberjacks coach Brad Takkunen whose team improved to 6-3. "Saturday was a busy day for the girls because of prom in the evening and considering all of that we played well."
A dropped fly ball in the infield cost Bemidji a run in the top of the first inning but the Jacks answered by scoring seven runs in the lower second, taking advantage of three GFC boots.
BHS played small-ball early in the stanza. After Hanna Olson opened the inning by drawing a walk, Kellie Morehouse and Anna Pence both bunted.
Morhouse beat the throw to first to earn a single on her bunt while Pence was safe when the first baseman dropped the throw.
Mikayla Dahlin then grounded to third baseman Olivia France but France's throw home was late and Olson scored.
Tammi Joe Olson followed with a 2-run single to right and Dahlin raced around the bases on the play when right fielder Briana Becks allowed the ball to roll under her glove.
Another error, this one by left fielder Kat Reller who dropped Monsrud's short fly, plated Dahlin and an out later Jineane Williams ripped a triple to center to drive in two more runs.
Williams scored a few pitches later when Janelle Williams sent a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Both teams scored three runs in the third, Bemidji's the result of a wild-pitch strikeout, miscommunication on a ground ball and Monsrud's inside-the-park shot to deep center.
The Lumberjacks ended their scoring in the fifth as Morehouse singled, stole second and scored when Pence's single to left was misplayed.
Jineane Williams had a double and a triple while Morehouse contributed a pair of singles.
"We're playing better than we were early in the season," Takkunen said. "The Duluth East game (a 5-3 loss on April 28) was a fiasco but since then we have been playing well. "The kids are starting to become comfortable with their positions.
"Friday we played well at Brainerd despite losing 5-0 and Saturday we played another nice game," the coach added. "We're getting better each game."
Friday at Brainerd Bemidji's junior varsity squad lost 10-9.
Jasmine Yerbich had three hits and Paige Conkle added a double and a single. Courtney Black ripped two singles and Brianna Neumann contributed a home run.
Saturday against Grand Forks Central the JV won 17-5. Monica Wittner, Conkle and Neumann all pitched and combined on a one-hitter.
Yerbich had three hits while Wittner and Jessa Lusby each smacked two hits and had three RBI. Megan Downey and Cydni Sycks also had two hits.
G.Forks Central 103 100 0 - 5 8 4
Bemidji 073 010 x - 11 7 2
Johnson (L) and Black. K-7, BB-1
Taylor (W) and T.Olson. K-5, BB-3
Bemidji 120 101 4 - 9 12 4
Brainerd 220 024 x - 10 6 3
Neumann (L 2-2) and Black. K-5, BB-10
G.Forks Central 302 00 - 5 1 2
Bemidji 502 55 - 17 15 5
Olafson (L) and Craften, K-1, BB-4
Wittner (W 2-1), Conkle, Neumann and Black. K-1, BB-4