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SOFTBALL: Bemidji battles back to top Sauk Rapids 7-5

SAUK RAPIDS -- Mariah Dahl pitched into the fifth and Monica Wittner recorded the final eight outs to lift the Bemidji girls softball team to a 7-5 victory Friday at Sauk Rapids.

Friday's contest was the first of a four-game weekend road trip that will conclude today in Corcoran when the Lumberjacks play three consecutive games beginning at 10 a.m.

In Friday's contest BHS took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and third innings and upped the advantage to 4-0 in the top of the fourth. Sauk Rapids answered with a solo tally in the lower fourth and four in the fifth to open a 5-4 advantage.

But its lead did not last long as Bemidji scored three runs in the sixth to regain control.

"It was a good battle," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen, "and the positive of the game is that we kept battling. We don't have a dominant pitcher and our opponents will put balls into play against us but Friday we made the plays when we needed to."

Sauk Rapids did not fare as well defensively and an error on Dahl's grounder to open the game set the table for Bemidji's first run. Sarah Apel provided the key hit in the frame when she singled home Dahl.

In the third inning another error, a stolen base and Sylvia Grimm's double produced a run and BHS upped its cushion to 4-0 in the fourth when Wittner singled, Karmen Clark reached on a boot, Heather Olson singled and Dahl plated Clark with a grounder.

Bemidji's defense gave the home team four runs in the fifth as Sauk Rapids combined two Lumberjacks errors, two singles and a double into a big inning.

But the Jacks answered with three in the seventh courtesy of singles by Heather Olson, Apel, Hanna Olson and Grimm plus Dahl's sacrifice fly.

Heather Olson sparked the offense with two singles and a double. Grimm contributed a double and a single while Apel and Hanna Olson each had two singles.

"We're making progress," Takkunen said. "We're starting to get a little confidence and put some things together. Any win is important and I think we're finding our identity. It's kind of a fun season so far because some good things are happening."

Bemidji 101 203 0 - 7 11 3

Sauk Rapids 000 140 0 - 5 7 5

Dahl, Wittner (5, W) and Hinrichs. K-9, BB-3

Rasmussen (L) and Akermann. K-3, BB-0

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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