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Fast-pitch softball: Bemidji 16-U captures second at national meet

ST. PAUL - Bemidji's 16-U fast-pitch softball team finished second at the North American Fast-pitch Association national tournament, going 5-2 in the event.

After opening with a 13-1 victory over Nebraska Bemidji fell 4-3 to Sioux Falls in a pool-play contest. Sioux Falls scored three runs in the top of the seventh to rally for the victory.

Bemidji scored its runs in the fifth. Mariah Dahl singled to begin the rally and Michaela Lemkuhl reached on an error. Hannah Neeland's single plated Dahl and two runs scored when Jasmin Yerbich reached on an error. Heather Olson plated the final run with a single.

In the first game of bracket play Bemidji thumped Minnesota Arctic Blast 8-4. Bemidji rallied from a 4-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth. Dahl opened the inning with a walk and singles by Yerbich and Hanna Olson set the table for Courtney Black's 2-run single.

Another run scored on an error and Bri Neumann's double plated two more.

Bemidji added three insurance runs in the sixth as Yerbich was hit by a pitch, Hanna Olson singled, Black walked and Jess Yost ripped a bases-clearing double.

Yost tossed a 1-hitter to lead Bemidji past Manitoba 8-0 in its next action.

Bemidji took a 3-0 lead in the fourth as Black singled, Newmann doubled her home, Abby Hinrichs walked and Neeland doubled.

Neeland also delivered a 3-run double in Bemidji's 5-run fifth.

Bemidji then bounced theSouthwest Rebels 5-2. Lemkuhl, Jessa Lusby and Yerbich contributed RBI singles in the second inning and Heather Olson and Yerbich had run-scoring hits in the fourth.

Bemidji advanced to the title game by stopping Nebraska 4-3 in Sunday's semifinals. Yost tossed a 5-hitter and also drove in all of Bemidji runs.

In the first inning she singled home Black and in the fourth she ripped a line-drive home run.

With two down in the bottom of the seventh Yost plated Sydney Hinrichs with an infield single and another run scored on a throwing error.

The run for the national title ended in the championship game as Nebraska Silver stopped Bemidji 8-0. Dahl had a triple and Heather Olson and Black contributed singles.

Bemidji ended its season with a 37-8 record.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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