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SOFTBALL: Bemidji starts slow but takes 2 at Grand Rapids tournament

GRAND RAPIDS — The Bemidji High School softball team started slow Wednesday afternoon.

The Lumberjacks dropped the first game of the IRC Classic, struggling offensively and falling to Greenway 4-3.

But Bemidji rebounded. The Jacks grabbing the second game of the three-game tournament with a 7-1 win over Nashwauk-Keewatin then closed out the afternoon with a 20-2 victory over Hibbing.

“It would have been nice to start faster tonight,” BHS head coach Brad Takkunen said. “But Greenway was a good team and we got hot as the day went on.

“We also saw three decent pitching efforts from three different girls.”

In the first game, Brianna Neumann got the start and went the distance but took the loss after giving up four runs on nine hits against the Raiders.

The Jacks were shut out for six innings until their bats came alive in the sixth, as they scored three runs on three hits.

Courtney Black’s single scored Jasmine Yerbich, who had singled ahead of her. The Jess Yost walked and Sylvia Grimm hit a two-run single to cut the lead to 4-3.

However, the Jacks couldn’t score again; they were held to five hits.

In the second game, things got much better for Bemidji.

The Lumberjacks recorded nine runs on seven hits against Nashwauk, scoring three times in the third and four times in the fifth to win big.

Yerbich, Black and Hannah Olson each had two hits for BHS; Olson led the team with four RBIs.

Monica Wittner got the win for the Lumberjacks, giving up just one run on two hits.

In the final game of the evening, the Lumberjacks scored early and often in the 20-2 rout of Hibbing.

Bemidji scored four times in the first, twice in the second, six times in the third and tacked on four runs in the fourth and fifth innings; the game ended after five.

Mariah Dahl had three hits, including a home run; while Yerbich, Olson and Karmen Clark also had three hits for Bemidji.

The Lumberjacks had 21 hits.

“We just had a lot of hard line drives,” Takkunen said. “And it seemed like once we got going we really got going.

“It was good to see the bats get hot, and it was good to see some different girls hitting.”

Dahl started and got the win for Bemidji against Hibbing; she held the Blue Jackets to two runs on two hits, struck out three and walked two.

The Lumberjacks return to action today with a doubleheader at Duluth East.

Greenway 4, Bemidji 3

Greenway 000 211 0 – 4 9 1

Bemidji 000 003 0 – 3 5 2

McInerney (W) and Orhn.

Neumann (L) and Yost.

Bemidji 7, Nashwauk-Keewatin 1

Nashwauk 001 000 0 – 1 2 5

Bemidji 003 040 x – 7 9 2

Nelson (L) and Holmbeck.

Wittner (W) and Conkle.

Bemidji 20, Hibbing 2

Bemidji 426 44 – 20 21 1

Hibbing 020 00 – 2 2 6

Dahl (W) and Black. K-3, BB-2.

Morehouse (L) and DeBoom.

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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