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PREP SOFTBALL: Bemidji tops Duluth East in home opener

Bemidji catcher Abby Hinrichs flies out trying to bring home Sylvia Grimm (on third) in the third inning of Tuesday afternoon’s game against Duluth East. BHS won 6-3 in their home opener. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- A busy week started on a positive note for the Bemidji High School softball team as the Lumberjacks had a successful home debut after defeating Duluth East 6-3 Tuesday.

BHS took advantage of six errors by the Greyhounds to score six runs and Jacks pitcher Mariah Dahl kept the visitors at bay, allowing only four hits and walking only one.

"Based on where we were last Saturday when we lost 13-1 at Buffalo, we've taken a good step to get to where we were Tuesday," said Bemidji coach Brad Takkunen. "I'm happy with how we competed. To put up six runs was a good day for our offense and Mariah gave us a chance to win by throwing strikes."

The Lumberjacks did not play a perfect game as they committed three errors and were guilty of a few mental mistakes. Takkunen, however, felt much better about Tuesday's performance than he did during the previous few games.

"The mistakes we made Tuesday are correctable," the coach said. "There are things we need to work on and now that we are finally outside, we will work on those things."

Dahl had a perfect game going through three innings and in the bottom of the third Bemidji's offense scored three runs.

None of the runs were earned, however, as Duluth East committed three errors in the stanza. The lone hit in the frame was Sylvia Grimm's single.

The Greyhounds turned two singles and an error into two runs in the upper fourth and the 3-2 score continued until Bemidji struck for three more runs in the home sixth.

Jordyn Follis singled to begin the inning and she gained second when Abby Hinrichs beat out a bunt along the first base line.

An out later Karman Clark's fly ball to center fell in front of the fielder but Follis, who wasn't sure if the ball would drop or be caught, was thrown out at third for a fielder's choice. Heather Olson followed with an RBI single to left and Bemidji loaded the bases when Dahl's comebacker was misplayed.

Sarah Apel made the Greyhounds pay for the miscue as she delivered a 2-run single to center to up Bemidji's lead to 6-2.

Duluth East closed its gap with a single run in the top of the seventh but Dahl put the icing on her complete game by retiring the final batter on a fly to left.

"It was a win and at this point in time we need to find wins," Takkunen, whose team evened its record at 2-2, said.

The Lumberjacks will seek more wins this weekend as they play at Sauk Rapids Friday night and head to a tournament hosted by Rockford on Saturday. BHS will play three consecutive games in the tournament beginning at 10 a.m.

Duluth East 000 200 1 - 3 2 6

Bemidji 003 003 x - 6 5 3

Ziegler (L) and Dailey. K-5, BB-0

Dahl (W) and Hinrichs. K-2, BB-1

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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