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Bemidji High School softball team rallies to defeat Tartan 13-11

MOUNDS VIEW - For 10 innings spread over two games Saturday the Bemidji softball team was outscored 12-0 and appeared on its way to losing both outings.

The day began with a 3-0 loss at Mounds View and three innings into the game at Tartan the Lumberjacks trailed 9-0.

BHS, however, caught a spark in the fourth inning and before Tartan could douse the flames the Jacks would rally for 13 runs in the next five innings and post a 13-11 comeback victory.

Saturday's split gives Bemidji a 6-3 record heading into Tuesday's home game against Duluth East.

"This was a very good win over Tartan. It wasn't easy but it was a great win," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "The weather was lousy but the kids kept battling. We finally loosened up and played relaxed softball."

Bemidji managed only four hits against Mounds View and manufactured only one solid scoring threat. In the fourth Hanna Olson reached on an error was sacrificed to second and gained third when Jess Yost singled.

Olson held at third on a fielder's choice and the inning ended on a grounder to first.

"Mounds View's pitcher hit her spots and the umpire had an expanded zone but we didn't adjust to those outside pitches," Takkunen said.

Courtney Black had a pair of singles for the Jacks and Jineane Williams contributed Bemidji's other hit.

Saturday's second game at Tartan began on a miserable note as the home team scored seven runs in the first inning and two in the third to take command.

In the fourth inning, however, the scene changed.

"We started swinging the bats," the coach said.

The Lumberjacks pounded four hits in the inning and took advantage of two walks and a pair of errors. Among the hits were Hanna Olson's two-run double, Jineane William's RBI double and Jessa Lusby's run scoring single.

Hanna Olson collected another RBI in the fifth with a ground ball and BHS took an 11-9 lead in the sixth when Yost's single, Janelle Williams' double, Bri Neumann's sacrifice, Paige Conkle's single and a passed ball combined for three runs.

Tartan scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings but BHS responded with two runs in the upper eighth on singles by Janelle Williams and Neumann, a passed ball and Sylvia Grimm's RBI groundout.

"We needed this win," Takkunen said. "To be down 9-0 in this miserable weather and come back to win is very big. The girls demonstrated that they can be successful and that they want to be successful. Nothing was going right for them but they battled back and never quit."

Bemidji 000 000 0 - 0 4 4

Mounds View 100 020 0 - 3 6 1

Yost (L) and Black. K-6, BB-0

Danielson (W) and Larson. K-9, BB-2

Bemidji 000 713 02 - 13 14 2

Tartan 702 000 20 - 11 13 3

Follis, Neumann (1), Yost (5, W) and Conkle. K-6, BB-5

Mashack (L) and Shelby. K-3, BB-3

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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