SOFTBALL: Beavers clinch 1st postseason berth in 6 years in split against USF

The Bemidji State softball team is headed to the NSIC Tournament for the first time since 2017.

050323.S.BP.BSUSOFT Celebration 2.jpg
The Beavers gather around fifth-year Elaina Christiansen after she scored for a walk-off win during the first game of a doubleheader against Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at the BSU softball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – A Saturday split set the table for a celebratory Sunday.

The Bemidji State softball team is dancing. With their 3-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader against Sioux Falls, the Beavers will play for an NSIC Championship for the first time since 2017.

On Saturday against Southwest Minnesota State, Kyla Damerow lifted BSU (23-25, 12-14 NSIC) to a win in extra innings with a standout pitching performance . The complete-game shutout guaranteed a split in the regular season’s penultimate doubleheader, putting Bemidji State in the driver’s seat for one of the 10 playoff spots with three games remaining.

Damerow was back at it again on Sunday. Ashley Herold’s RBI single in the bottom of the third inning was all the run support she needed. Damerow allowed just three hits and four walks in another near-perfect performance.

Alexa Christenson provided a cushion in the bottom of the fourth inning. She smacked a two-run single into centerfield to put the Beavers ahead 3-0. Damerow retired the final six batters she faced in order.


Bemidji State’s 12-1 loss against USF in six innings in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader at the BSU softball field was rendered moot. SMSU (12-18, 17-32 NSIC) was swept by Minnesota Crookston, keeping the Beavers in the 10th position in the NSIC standings.

Since April 17, Damerow has been on another level. She’s 8-3 with three complete-game shutouts. Damerow pitched to every opposing batter in her last three starts. In those three games, she allowed only two earned runs, 14 hits, and 11 walks in 23 innings with 11 strikeouts.

The NSIC Tournament begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in Rochester at the RYFSA Complex. Bemidji State will take on seventh-seeded Minot State in the first round. The NSIC Tournament is double elimination. BSU and MSU did not play in the regular season.

Bemidji State 3, Sioux Falls 0

USF 000 000 0 – 0-3-0

BSU 001 200 X – 3-8-1

WP: Damerow (CG, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

LP: Cress (3.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)


Sioux Falls 12, Bemidji State 1 (F/6)

USF 300 126 – 12-16-0

BSU 010 000 – 1-4-2

WP: Van Der Zwaag (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

LP: Dolan (4 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

Our newsroom sometimes reports stories under the byline "Pioneer Staff Report." This byline is used when reporters rewrite basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as an email or press release that requires little or no reporting.

Other times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

For questions about a staff report, call (218) 333-9796 or email
What To Read Next
Get Local