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SOFTBALL: Sparse offense costs Bemidji State in double setback to SCSU

BSU lost 1-0 and 6-1 to the Huskies on the turf at Chet Anderson Stadium, hitting just 10-for-53 across the doubleheader -- a batting average of just .188.

043022.S.BP.BSUSOFT Ashley Herold.jpg
Bemidji State junior Ashley Herold (18) hits a fourth-inning single in game two of a doubleheader against St. Cloud State on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State softball team packed all of its offense into one pitch on Wednesday. Unfortunately for the Beavers, St. Cloud State packed a much bigger punch.

BSU lost 1-0 and 6-1 to the Huskies on the turf at Chet Anderson Stadium, hitting just 10-for-53 across the doubleheader -- a batting average of just .188.

“We’ve told them that offensively, we’ve just got to find a way to put one across,” Bemidji State head coach Jordan Petersen said. “After you put one across, you can put two. Just go base-by-base. Hopefully in the next few games that falls into place a little bit.”

The Beavers (10-34, 7-17 NSIC) rank 15th in the conference in hitting, and those struggles came to a head in the first game -- the 13th time they’ve been shut out this season.

043022.S.BP.BSUSOFT Jennifer Smith.jpg
Bemidji State junior Jennifer Smith (14) runs to first base after hitting a single in the second inning against St. Cloud State on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

SCSU (32-15, 20-6 NSIC) scraped the lone run across the board in the third inning. Raven Vanden Langenberg led off with a single, stole second, then scored from second on a sacrifice fly to center field.

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That was enough offense for Trinity Junker, who spun seven shutout innings to blank BSU. Bemidji State finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, all of which came after Jennifer Smith led off the bottom of the seventh with a double but got stranded there.

“It’s kind of frustrating,” Petersen said of the offensive hardships, particularly the seventh-inning rally that didn’t quite come to fruition. “But at the same time, we knew it was going to come down to pitching.”

Kaidron McClafferty pitched the whole game for the Beavers, going seven innings and allowing one run off five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

043022.S.BP.BSUSOFT Emmarie Yeager.jpg
The Beavers form a tunnel to congratulate junior Emmarie Yeager (11) after she hit a home run in the fourth inning against St. Cloud State on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Emmarie Yeager finally provided an offensive spark in the finale, belting an opposite-field solo home run in the fourth inning for a 1-1 tie. She pushed an elevated 1-0 pitch well over the wall in right-center field -- a no-doubter that jumped off the bat.

But St. Cloud State made it hurt a half inning later, scoring on a suicide squeeze bunt and a hard liner that deflected off Yeager’s glove at shortstop and into the outfield for a 3-1 lead. The Huskies added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to pull away 6-1.

“You always wish to shut them down,” Petersen said. “And as soon as you shut them down, it becomes easier to score another run. Today, it just got away from us.”

Stella Dolan suffered the loss from the circle in game two, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits.

043022.S.BP.BSUSOFT Jordan Petersen.jpg
Bemidji State head coach Jordan Petersen makes a mound visit in the fifth inning against St. Cloud State on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji State closes out the regular season with a six-game road trip, starting with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Minnesota Crookston on Thursday, April 28.

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The Beavers will need all the wins they can get, as they currently rank 12th -- sitting three games back of the 10th and final NSIC Tournament playoff spot.

“We just keep telling them that we’ve got to get it done,” Petersen said. “We’ve got to figure it out offensively. If we can get some good wins in the next few days, we have a shot at making the postseason.”

St. Cloud State 1, Bemidji State 0

SCSU 001 000 0 -- 1-5-1

BSU 000 000 0 -- 0-5-0

WP: Junker (CG, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)

LP: McClafferty (CG, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

St. Cloud State 6, Bemidji State 1

SCSU 001 021 2 -- 6-13-0

BSU 000 100 0 -- 1-5-1

WP: Eickhoff (5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

LP: Dolan (4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

S: Kirchberg

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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