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SOFTBALL: Jacks drop doubleheader vs. West Fargo

Bemidji senior Hannah Olson steals second base while West Fargo shortstop Morgan Geiszler has a difficult time fielding the throw during the first game of their doubleheader Tuesday afternoon. West Fargo swept both games of the doubleheader 3-1 and 11-3. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader in Bemidji, West Fargo had outscored its opponents 94-3 on way to a 7-0 record. On Tuesday the Packers maintained their winning ways but the Lumberjacks did not go quietly.

In the first game of the doubleheader BHS fell 3-1 and in the rematch the Lumberjacks led 3-3 after three innings only to see West Fargo take charge with two in the fourth and seven in the fifth on way to an 11-3 victory.

“The first game was very well played by both teams,” saidi Bemidji coach Brad Takkunen. “We had six hits and West Fargo had three. And only one of their hits was hard.”

That shot was a 2-run double off the bat of Paige Andel in the fourth inning. Andel also scored on the play when Bemidji had trouble with the relay to the plate.

Those three runs proved to be the difference as Packers pitcher Brittany Rheault scattered Bemidji’s six hits and allowed only one run. That also came in the fourth when Hanna Olson doubled and reached home courtesy of Sylvia Grimm’s double.

“We had six hits against a very good pitcher and West Fargo had one solid hit off Monica Wittner,” Takkunen said. “It really was a very good game.”

Sydney Hinrichs started on the BHS mound in the rematch and she cruised through three innings. After walking the first batter Hinrichs retired 11 straight Packers. That string included six consecutive strikeouts that spanned the second and third innings.

Her offense provided an early lead when Hanna Olson reached on a fielder’s choice in the opening stanza and scored after Grimm’s infield single and an error on Mariah Dahl’s ground ball.

BHS upped its advantage to 3-0 in the third when Sarah Apel doubled, Grimm doubled her home, Dahl walked and Jordyn Follis singled in Grimm.

West Fargo started its comeback in the fourth when three singles and a walk combined for two runs. Things completely unraveled for the Lumberjacks in the fifth, however, as West Fargo sent 12 to the plate and scored seven runs. The big inning featured six hits and was helped by a pair of Bemidji errors.

The visitors capped the scoring with a pair in the seventh.

“West Fargo is always a tough team to play against,” Takkunen said. “Every year West Fargo is vying for the North Dakota state championship.

“In the big scheme of playing 14 innings against a very good team, I had to be happy with 12 of them,” the coach continued. “We’ve been practicing on knowing what to do in situations and we were better at that situational play tonight. We’re making progress.”

Bemidji (4-6) hopes to continue that progress Thursday when it heads to Grand Rapids and Friday when it hosts Brainerd.

Game 1

West Fargo 3, Bemidji 1

West Fargo 000 300 0 - 3 3 1

Bemidji 000 100 0 - 1 6 3

Rheault (W) and Liebl. K-8, BB-0

Wittner (L) and A.Hinrichs. K-2, BB-1

Second Game

West Fargo 11, Bemidji 3

West Fargo 000 270 2 - 11 12 2

Bemidji 102 000 0 - 3 6 3

Kuntz (W), Rheault (6) and Liebl. K-8, BB-1

S.Hinrichs (L), Wittner (5), He.Olson (6) and A.Hinrichs, Apel (6). K-7, BB-4

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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