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SOFTBALL: Alexandria eliminates Lumberjacks from section 8-3A playoffs

BIG LAKE -- A two-out, two-strike rally in the bottom of the seventh helped the Bemidji softball team in the first of two playoff games played Wednesday at Big Lake, but the Lumberjacks ran out of gas in the second game.

The Lumberjacks came back to defeat Monticello 5-4, walking off in eight innings in the first of two Section 8-3A playoff games Wednesday. BHS couldn't carry that momentum over to the second game. Alexandria defeated Bemidji 11-1, ending BHS's season.

"We just ran out of gas," BHS head coach Brad Takkunen said. "We made some bad errors in at the wrong times in game two and it blew up on us."

In the first game, BHS took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning but watched Monticello (6-16) take a 4-1 lead -- one the Magic would hold until the sixth inning, when BHS began its comeback.

Heather Olson's sixth-inning double scored Karman Clark to cut Monticello's lead to 4-2, setting up the Lumberjacks' comeback.

In the seventh inning, the Lumberjacks were down to their final strike before Abby Hinrichs hit a fielder's' choice to reach second base.

Mariah Dahl's basehit scored Hinrich's courtesy runner Jenna Thompson to make it 4-3.

A Tori Koch single moved everyone up a base and Monica Wittner tied it with an RBI single of her own.

In the eighth inning Jordyn Follis hit the game-winning single to earn the walk-off win.

"The girls never quit in that game," Takkunen said. "They found a way to come back and get the win."

Wittner pitched and earned the victory in the pitchers' circle for BHS.

In game two, however, the Lumberjacks couldn't find any offense as Alexandria held BHS to just three hits in the 11-1 win.

The Lumberjacks had previously defeated Alexandria (16=9) in the playoffs, knocking off the Cardinals 7-6 in last week's playoff opener.

But on Wednesday it was all Alexandria, as the Cards scored five runs in the third inning, another in the fourth and five more in the fifth to get the win.

Sylvia Grimm had the lone RBI single for Bemidji in the third inning.

Heather Olson took the loss in the pitching circle for BHS.

The Lumberjacks end their season at 11-12.

Bemidji 5, Monticello 4 (8 innings)

Monticello 003 100 00 -- 4 5 3

Bemidji 100 001 21 -- 5 16 1

Hulett (L) and Wurtinger. K-5, BB-4.

Wittner (W) and A.Hinrichs. K-0, BB-3.

Alexandria 11, Bemidji 1

Alexandria 005 150 0 -- 11 8 1

Bemidji 001 000 0 -- 1 3 3

Ellingson (W) and Revering. K-5, BB-2.

He.Olson (L), S.Hinrichs (5) and A.Hinrichs. K-2, BB-6.

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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