SOFTBALL: Bemidji stops Brainerd, Fergus Falls
BRAINERD — Jess Yost ripped a home run, triple and single and drove in four runs to lead the Bemidji High School softball team to a 7-4 victory over Brainerd Friday on the loser’s diamond.
The Lumberjacks followed that victory with a 7-4 win over Fergus Falls, also in Brainerd.
Friday’s results give BHS a 4-2 record and, more importantly, more experience for a squad that has spent the vast majority of the spring indoors.
“This part of the season is all about learning,” said Bemidji coach Brad Takkunen. “At times our base running is sloppy and our defense needs more work but I know we will make progress.”
In the victory over Brainerd the Lumberjacks spotted the Warriors a lead in the third as an error, walks, wild pitches and passed balls combined for three runs.
Bemidji answered in the top of the fourth. Courtney Black reached on an error to open the frame and scored on Hanna Olson’s single and a wild throw. Yost followed with a blast to center that bounced off the fielder’s glove and over the fence for a 2-run round-tripper.
BHS took the lead in the sixth when Olson reached on an error and Yost plated her with a triple.
Brainerd forced extra innings when an error, wild pitch, passed ball and sacrifice fly combined to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
But the Lumberjacks countered with three in the eighth. Jessa Lusby and Jasmin Yerbich began the rally with singles and Olson plated both of them with a double. Yost capped the inning with an RBI single.
Yerbich contributed a pair of singles and Olson plated two runners with her double.
Bemidji 7, Fergus Falls 4
The Lumberjacks scored seven runs in the second inning and hung on for the victory.
Bri Neumann worked into the seventh inning to earn the pitching win and Monica Wittner collected the save by retiring the Otters in the seventh.
“There were times in the Brainerd game that we were flat and we shouldn’t have been against a section opponent,” Takkunen said. “But against Fergus Falls we played much better. We played the way we want to.”
Yost opened the big second inning by reaching on an error and Jordyn Follis’ single and a walk to Sylvia Grimm loaded the bases. Singles by Neumann and Paige Conkle each plated a run and a walk to Yerbich forced home another.
Black plated two more with a single and Yost capped the inning with her 2-run double.
Fergus Falls tallied twice in the third inning and drew within 7-4 with a pair in the sixth. The Otters threatened in the seventh when their lead-off hitter reached but Wittner came on to record the game’s final three outs.
Black and Yost each drove in a pair.
“Next week we play seven games in four days and that will help us develop some consistency,” Takkunen said.
That streak begins Wednesday when Bemidji participates in a tournament hosted by Coleraine.
Bemidji 000 301 03 – 7 9 2
Brainerd 003 001 00 – 4 3 3
Yost (W) and Black. K-10, BB-2
Franz (L) and Wennerstrad. K-9, BB-0
Fergus Falls 002 002 0 – 4 3 2
Bemidji 070 000 x – 7 7 1
Neumann (W), Wittner (7), (S) and Conkle. K-2, BB-8