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DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP: Jacks take two from Monticello in opener

MONTICELLO – The extended Minnesota winter forced the Bemidji High School softball team to wait longer than normal for its first game of the 2013 season.

And while Brad Takkunen said his Lumberjacks still had some work to do, the Bemidji head coach was pleased with how his team responded in the season opening doubleheader.

The Lumberjacks won their first game against Monticello 4-2 in eight innings before carrying some momentum to a 7-1 game two victory.

“We were a little tight at first,” Takkunen said of the Lumberjacks offense. “It took us about three or four innings to start getting a flow.

“But the kids kept battling and found a way to win.”

The Lumberjacks (2-0) used a solid pitching performance from Jess Yost – eight innings, 11 strikeouts and zero walks – to come back and win the opener in extra innings.

After the Magic scored a pair of runs in the second inning, the Lumberjacks managed to claw back.

Bemidji answered with a run in the first inning after Yost hit a single, stole second then scored on a Sylvia Grimm single to make it 2-1.

The Lumberjacks tied the game in the top of the seventh. Jasmin Yerbich reached on an error, stole second and scored on a base hit from Hanna Olson to tie the game and send it to extras.

In the eighth, the Lumberjacks scored twice. Paige Conkle reached with a fielder’s choice, then Jessa Lusby hit a grounder up the middle that the Monticello center fielder missed and advanced to second. A Yerbich base hit scored both BHS runs and the Jacks held on to win 4-2.

The Lumberjacks outhit the Magic 9-2 in the first game; Yost and Jordyn Follis led the way with two singles apiece for BHS.

In game two, the Lumberjacks kept humming at the plate, getting seven runs on eight hits and four Monticello errors.

Olson went 2-for-4 at the plate with an inside-the-park home run while Yost went 2-for-3 with a single and a three-run over-the-fence home run in the fifth inning.

Monica Wittner pitched game two and got the win for the Lumberjacks, walking five and striking out two.

“It’s the first time we’ve really been outside and hit as a team,” Takkunen said following his team’s 17-hit outburst in the two games. “Timing was an issue for a lot of the kids but for the most part they got it down a few innings into the first game.”

The Lumberjacks will play three more games today as part of a round-robin in Zumbrota, which is near Rochester.

The Jacks are scheduled to take on St. Anthony Village at 10 a.m. followed by games against host Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Burnsville later in the afternoon.

Game 1

Bemidji 4, Monticello 2, 8 innings

Bemidji 001 000 12 – 4 9 3

Monticello 020 000 00 – 2 2 3

Yost (W, 1-0) and Black. K-11, BB-0.

Game 2

Bemidji 7, Monticello 1

Monticello 000 000 01 – 1 5 4

Bemidji 202 030 0x – 7 8 0

Wittner (W, 1-0) and Yost, Conkle. K-2, BB-5.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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