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Yost, solid offense help Bemidji win a pair of softball games

Jess Yost led the Bemidji High School softball team to a pair of victories Saturday over Detroit Lakes and Thief River Falls at the BHS softball fields.

The Lumberjacks defeated the Detroit Lakes 9-0 and Thief River Falls 19-11.

"Offensively, we had a really solid effort today," Bemidji head coach Brad Takkunen said. "We saw some good things pitching and made good defensive plays. We were a bit lackadaisical at times; we need to improve on our communication."

Yost was the starting pitcher in the first game against Detroit Lakes, and she was dominant. She pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing only four hits and walking two while striking out 12.

"Preparing mentally helped," Yost said. "It was important to be able to separate hitting and pitching."

Offensively, the Lumberjacks were led by Janelle Williams, who went 2 for 4 with four runs batted in.

Jasmine Yerbich added a pair of hits, an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.

In the second game, the Prowlers were the first to score as they scored two runs in the top of the first inning off of Brianna Neumann.

Bemidji answered quickly by scoring four runs in its half of the inning to grab the 4-2 lead. Janelle Williams delivered the big hit, a two-run double.

The Prowlers tied the game in the second inning by scoring a pair of runs, just as they did in the first.

The score remained tied at four until the bottom half of the third, when the Lumberjacks struck for five runs. After a pair of errors and a passed ball Yost delivered a run-scoring single with two outs.

"We have a pretty explosive offense," Takkunen said. "That is definitely something that we are going to have to rely on."

The Prowlers would get one run back in the fourth inning thanks to a RBI double from Sabrina Okeson.

Yerbich started the bottom half of the fifth with a single for Bemidji and came around to score on a three-run blast to dead center field from Yost.

Thief River opened the sixth inning by drawing a pair of walks to knock Neumann out of the game. They were able to score five runs, thanks in large part to runs batted in from Harley Alby and one each from Okenson and Megan Jones.

With the tying runner on first and just one out, Yost came in to retire the next to batters to preserve the 12-10 lead.

"It is nice to have her," Takkunen said of Yost. "Things can get sour in a hurry, but she is a dominant pitcher. If she can hit her spots, it is real tough to get a solid hit off of her."

The Lumberjacks answered with an even bigger inning of their own. Jineane Williams, Courtney Black, and Hannah Olson each drove in a run before Yost belted her second home run of the game, this one a two-run shot to left field. Jessa Lusby added a RBI single to increase the lead to 19-11.

"Once I hit the first one, the field just got smaller," Yost said. "In basketball, they say the hoop gets bigger and today the field seemed to get smaller. I was seeing the ball really well."

Yost went 4-for-4 with two home runs, six RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base.

The Prowlers added one run and lefted the bases loaded in the seventh.

Neumann picked up the win for Bemidji. She went five-plus innings, allowing seven runs on four hits. She walked four and struck out two.

Jones took the loss for the Prowlers. She worked five innings, allowing 12 runs on 11 hits.

Jineane Williams finished the game 3 for 5 with three runs batted in for the Lumberjacks.

Bemidji (3-0) will return to the diamond to face Moorhead on the road at 4 p.m. Tuesday.