BEMIDJI - Anya Olson of Grand Rapids outdueled Bemidji's Jess Yost as the Lumberjacks fell to the Thunderhawks 1-0 Thursday at the Bemidji High School softball fields.
"We didn't get enough base runners," Bemidji head coach Brad Takkunen said. "We tried some things to see how they work. Early in the season you want to see how players perform in those situations."
The Thunderhawks scored the game's only run in the third inning when Sydney Helmbrecht delivered a timely two-out hit.
Helmbrecht went 2-for-3 and stole three bases.
Bemidji got a two-out hit of its own in the bottom half of the third. Hannah Olson drove a triple off the right field fence but was left stranded at third base.
Olson finished the game with the triple and three walks.
Yost led off the third inning by lacing a single between a diving Helmbrecht and the third base bag. She stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball but, again, the Lumberjacks could not get the runner in from third.
"We did get base runners in scoring position several times and just couldn't complete the deal," Takkunen said. "But that is a credit to her (Anya Olson). This team was getting 12 or 13 hits per game before this and she shut us down."
BHS manufactured another scoring threat with two outs in the fifth as Jasmine Yerbich singled and Olson walked but, once again, the runners did not advance.
The Lumberjacks stranded two more in the sixth inning - Janelle Williams who walked and Brianna Neumann who singled - and still trailed 1-0 heading into the final inning.
Olson drew a two-out walk in the seventh but she was left there as Anya Olson completed the shutout.
"She did a nice job," Takkunen said of the opposing pitcher. "She was around the plate and made the hitters swing at her pitches."
Olson allowed just four hits in the game. She struck out 10 and walked six.
Yost struck out 10 and gave up six hits in seven innings of work.
"Jess pitched the ball phenomenally as well," Takkunen said. "They had one hit at the right time that we didn't get."
Bemidji (5-1) plays at Monticello 5 p.m. today.
Grand Rapids 001 000 0 - 1 6
Bemidji 000 000 0 - 0 4
Olson (W) and Schmoll
Yost (L) and Black