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Last inning rally falls short for BHS softball

A furious last inning rally fell just short Thursday as Grand Rapids held on to score a 6-4 victory over Bemidji at the high school field. It was the first loss in three starts for Bemidji which travels to the Detroit Lakes Invitational Saturday....

A furious last inning rally fell just short Thursday as Grand Rapids held on to score a 6-4 victory over Bemidji at the high school field.

It was the first loss in three starts for Bemidji which travels to the Detroit Lakes Invitational Saturday.

Bemidji will face then host Lakers in the opening round with West Fargo and Fergus Falls completing the lower bracket.

Thursday, Bemidji trailed the Hawks 6-0 entering its final turn at bat. But it rallied to score four runs and had the tying runs at second and third when the final out was recorded.

The wild final was a stark contrast to the first five innings that saw Grand Rapids lead 1-0.

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The game was a mound duel between Bemidji's Justine Ossman and the Rapids' Emma Nelson.

Ossman allowed a first inning run, then shut down the Hawks on one hit the next four frames.

But Nelson was even stronger, allowing two singles. She had no strikeouts but only one walk and had only one ball hit out of the infield, a routine fly to short center.

The Rapids scored early when Stacy Elverud bounced a single up the middle with one gone in the first, was sacrificed to second and scored as Nelson lined a single to center.

The visitors threatened in the fourth when D. D. Arnold doubled to open the frame, stole third as Ossman fanned the next two batters but was stranded.

Bemidji had only one threat, loading the bases in the fourth on a two out single by Brittany Black, an error and a hit battler. But Kaia Sele hit into a force at third to end the frame.

Grand Rapids widened the gap in the sixth. Arnold's single, a walk and an infield hit by Tiffany Lokken loaded the bases with one out.

Ossman then got two force outs at the plate.  But the throw to first on the second force, trying for the inning-ending double play, got loose as one run scored. Karly Ackerman's single made it 3-0.

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The visitors brought in their ace Katie McBride to work the sixth. She fanned the side in that frame despite a two out triple by Meg Claypool.

The Rapids then doubled the score in the seventh Ashley Runge's single, an error and Arnold's single loaded the bases with none out.

Runge beat the throw home on Nelson's squeeze bunt and Lokken's sacrifice fly plated a second. With two gone, Trish Rondeau singled in the sixth run.

The six run lead seemed totally safe with McBride pitching. But it was not to be.

Infield hits by Sele and Elissa Port opened the frame.

With one gone Amy Boyer dropped a single to short center to load the bases.

Sele scored as Courtney Josefson forced Boyer at second.

Port crossed as Amber Crunden reached on a fielder's choice that got no outs. Josefson came across as Black reached on an error at second and Claypool's single cut the deficit to 6-4.

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A wild pitch then advanced both runners into scoring position before McBride got the final out on a called third strike.

Arnold led the nine-hit Rapids attack with a perfect 3 for 3. Six other batters had one. Arnold's double was the only extra base hit.

Ossman fanned three and walked only one.

Claypool had two hits for Bemidji. McBride had five strikeouts and no walks in her two innings of work.

Bemidji will be home Monday for a replay of the Eveleth-Gilbert postponement before taking to the road for nine straight games.

Grand Rapids 100-002-3---6--9--4

Bemidji 000-000-4---4--6--3

Nelson (1-0), McBride (6) and Hancock, Nelson (6)

Ossman (1-1) and Black

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