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Lumberjacks softball tops Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS -- The Bemidji softball team didn't light up the scoreboard Thursday, but got the right hits at the right times to earn a 4-1 win over Grand Rapids.

"We started slow, but we were able to put some pressure on in the fourth inning," BHS head coach Brad Takkunen said. "After that, good things started happening."

The Lumberjacks (13-6) notched only four hits off Grand Rapids pitcher Anya Olson but those were enough, as the Lumberjacks took advantage of a few Thunderhawk miscues in the late innings.

Although Grand Rapids got on the board first with a single run in the bottom of the third, the Jacks struck in the top of the fourth.

Jineane Williams doubled to kick things off on the inning, then scored on a grounder from sister Janelle Williams that got past the first baseman.

Janelle advanced to second on that same play, took third on a wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Hannah Olson, giving the Jacks a 2-1 lead.

The Lumberjacks also put some insurance runs on the board late.

In the sixth inning, Janelle Williams tripled then scored on another wild pitch to make it 3-1.

And Paige Conkle scored the final Bemidji run in the seventh inning. She and Jasmine Yerbich both walked, then Conkle got to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

The Thunderhawks couldn't score in the bottom of the seventh against Bemidji starter Jess Yost, who earned the win.

Yost pitched all seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. She struck out five batters and walked only one.

"We had a really solid defensive effort behind her," Takkunen said. "Most of the outs were ground balls and fly balls, and the defense did a lot of work to help Jess out."

Grand Rapids hurler Olson struck out 10 and walked four, taking the loss despite giving up only four hits.

"We've got to give the pitcher a lot of credit," Takkunen said. "She threw a lot of riseballs that we had trouble laying off."

Offensively, the Jacks only had four hits, but made the most of them. Janelle Williams tripled, while Jineane Williams singled and doubled and Yost also hit a double.

The Lumberjacks return to the field Saturday when they'll travel to Cloquet to close out the regular season.

Bemidji 4, Grand Rapids 1

Bemidji 000 201 1 - 4 4 1

Grand Rapids 001 000 0 - 1 6 2

Yost (W) and Black. K-5, BB-1.

Olson (L) and Schmoll. K-10, BB-4.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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