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Softball: Grand Rapids sweeps Bemidji in doubleheader regular-season finale

Bemidji shortstop Hannah Olson tags out Grand Rapids runner Sara Wislerberg attempting to steal second during the first game of a doubleheader Thursday afternoon. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji's playoff seeding may have taken a hit Thursday, as the Lumberjacks were swept by Grand Rapids in their season finale doubleheader.

Grand Rapids won the first game 9-0 before losing the second game 14-11.

The Lumberjacks, who finish the regular season 9-10, were No. 4 in the Section 8-3A QRF Standings coming into Thursday's doubleheader with 66.5 points.

Just ahead of the Jacks were Becker (16-2), who had a score of 76; while Detroit Lakes was in fifth with a 58.4 QRF and an 11-7 record.

Detroit Lakes closed out its season Thursday with a doubleheader against East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls but the scores were not available at presstime.

Bemidji head coach Brad Takkunen said the section will be seeded Sunday.;

During Thursday's games, the Lumberjacks let the Thunderhawks hit the ball all over the place.

In the first game, Bemidji managed only four hits in while Grand Rapids touched BHS pitcher Monica Wittner for 12 hits.

The Lumberjacks stranded three runners in scoring position but could not figure out a way to produce a run. In the second inning Mariah Dahl ripped a 2-out double but did not advance. An inning later Hanna Olson duplicated the feat but, once again, BHS was unable to get the senior to third.

Sarah Apel also doubled with one out in the sixth but a strikeout and a pop up ended that threat.

Bemidji's only other hit was Wittner's single to left in the fifth.

The visitors scored the only runs they would need in the second when four singles, a walk and two BHS errors combined for three runs.

The Thunderhawks upped their cushion to 5-0 with two runs in the fourth and Grand Rapids iced the victory with four runs in the top of the seventh. That rally was fueled by a pair of doubles, two singles and an error.

Grand Rapids pitcher Megan Pehrson struck out nine Lumberjacks, including the side in the opening stanza. Wittner went the distance on the Bemidji mound, fanning one and walking two.

In game two, the Jacks and Hawks went back and forth but eventually Grand Rapids prevailed 14-11.

"We can't seem to get anybody out," Takkunen said. "We had lots of good offensive stuff but we just couldn't get any outs."

The Lumberjacks had 13 hits off Grand Rapids hurlers Bailey Kinnunen and Pehrson, while the Thunderhawks had 14 hits on Sidney Hinrichs and Olson.

After the Lumberjacks scored two runs in the bottom of the first, the teams exchanged leads.

Rapids scored twice in the top of the second to tie it up at 2-2; but the Jacks answered to go ahead with one in the bottom of the inning.

A three-run third gave Rapids its first lead, but Bemidji plated five in their half of the inning to make it 8-5.

Rapids tied it again with a three-run fourth, followed by a three-run fifth from the Lumberjacks to take a 11-8 lead.

That would be the last lead Bemidji got, as the Hawks scored five times in the top of the sixth and once more in the top of the seventh to gain their final 14-11 final score.

Takkunen said it was the big sixth inning that hurt Bemidji.

"They hit a lot of balls hard," he said. "They got the ball in play, forced an error and had a couple walks and that was it."

Olson and Abby Hinrichs each had three hits to lead BHS offensively.

Sylvia Grimm also had two hits, including a three-run homer in the fifth, while Tori Koch also had two hits.

Game 1

Grand Rapids 030 200 5 - 9 12 0

Bemidji 000 000 0 - 0 4 5

Pehrson (W) and Haynes. K-9, BB-0

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

Game 2

Grand Rapids 023 305 1 -- 14 14 2

Bemidji 215 030 0 -- 11 13 3

Kinnunen, Pehrson (W, 5) and Haynes. K-8, BB-3.

S.Hinrichs, Olson (L, 4) and A.Hinrichs. K-5, BB-4.