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SOFTBALL: Bemidji tops TRF, falls to Detroit Lakes in season openers

DETROIT LAKES — During Friday’s season-opening games at Detroit Lakes against the Lakers and Thief River Falls, Bemidji softball coach Brad Takkunen played just about everybody on the roster because he needs to see what his players can and cannot do.

The results were mixed as the Lumberjacks pounded 22 hits in the two games but defensively made numerous mental mistakes that proved costly. The result was a 12-11 loss to Detroit Lakes in eight innings and a 9-6 victory over the Prowlers.

“We definitely didn’t play ‘end of the season’ softball,” Takkunen said. “After these two games we don’t have too far to look to find things to work on.

“We didn’t have many bad fielding errors but we had too many ‘we don’t know what to do with the ball’ moments.”

In Friday’s first game against Detroit Lakes the teams traded 5-run innings and were deadlocked 9-9 after regulation. Bemidji took an 11-9 lead in the top of the eighth when Jordyn Follis doubled home a run and later scored on a wild pitch. The Lakers, however, answered with a single, walk and home run to claim the victory.

Bemidji’s big inning came in the fifth when singles by Mariah Dahl, Sylvia Grimm and Monica Wittner helped the Jacks score five runs. Detroit Lakes countered with five runs in the sixth, however.

Wittner worked the first 5.1 innings on Bemidji’s mound. Sydney Hinrichs got two outs in the sixth and Dahl came on in the seventh. She retired the Lakers without incident in the seventh but the home team touched her for three runs in the eighth.

Wittner had a double and a single to spearhead the attack. Dahl and Grimm each collected two singles.

In the 9-6 victory over Thief River Falls BHS pounded 13 hits. Sydney Hinrichs and Dahl each ripped a double and two singles while Hanna Olson, Grimm and Sarah Apel contributed a pair of singles.

Heather Olson tossed the first five innings to earn the pitching victory and Dahl worked two innings to post the save.

Bemidji trailed 6-5 heading into the bottom of the fifth but the Lumberjacks erupted for four runs on the strength of singles by Apel, Dahl and Hanna Olson.

“I think the reality this year is that we are not going to win the quick, neat games that we have in the past few years,” Takkunen said. “But I did like that the kids battled in both games and our pitchers threw strikes. Offensively I was happy with how we played but defensively we have things to work on.”

The Jacks will have the opportunity to do just that today when they head to Buffalo for a 2 p.m. game. On Monday BHS will travel to Grand Forks Red River for a 6:30 p.m. contest and Tuesday finds Bemidji at Moorhead for a doubleheader.

Detroit Lakes 12, Bemidji 11

Bemidji 011 051 12 - 11 9 2

Detroit Lakes 202 005 03 - 12 12 5

Wittner, S.Hinrichs (6), Dahl (7, L) and A.Hinrichs.K-2, BB-5

Sonstegard (W) and Butz. K-5, BB-8

Bemidji 9, Thief River Falls 6

TRF 005 010 0 - 6 9 3

Bemidji 210 240 x - 9 13 1

Jones (L), Okeson (6) and Miles. K-4, BB-3

Heather Olson (W), Dahl (6, S) and A.Hinrichs. K-6, BB-2