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SOFTBALL: Aleah Shogren nearly no-hits Rocori as Bemidji splits doubleheader

The Bemidji High School softball pitcher left the BHS softball field on Saturday with a 7-0 win. But it wasn’t until she spoke to her father afterward that she understood the magnitude of what she had just done – and what she nearly accomplished in the process.

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Bemidji sophomore Aleah Shogren pitches the third strike in the fourth inning against Rocori on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the BHS softball field.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI – Aleah Shogren didn’t know she had just missed out on a no-hitter.

After dominating Rocori in a one-hit shutout, the Bemidji High School softball pitcher left the BHS softball field on Saturday with a 7-0 win. But it wasn’t until she spoke to her father afterward that she understood the magnitude of what she had just done – and what she nearly accomplished in the process.

“After the game, I went to my dad,” Shogren said. “He told me that I almost threw a no-hitter, except for the last inning.”

In the seventh and final frame, Shogren surrendered a one-out single on a dribbler through the hole on the left side of the diamond. Up until that point, she had not surrendered a single hit and allowed just three baserunners.

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The Lumberjacks smile after coming off the field against Rocori on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the BHS softball field.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Her performance was key for a Lumberjacks squad still reeling from a 7-4 loss in the first game of its doubleheader with Rocori.

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“She's gaining better control,” BHS head coach Brad Takkunen said of Shogren. “She's really come a long way in the last couple of weeks. And it's just a lot of fun to watch her be able to establish two (or) three pitches, make the hitters kind of stay guessing a little bit. It was just a really nice game for her today.”

The Jacks (6-8) fell in the first game on Saturday after losing a 4-1 lead by conceding two runs in the sixth inning and four in the seventh. That sudden swing of momentum might have demoralized them earlier this season, but this Bemidji iteration has improved mental fortitude from the group that started the year.

“The reality is that earlier in the year, I think we would have found a way to not compete,” Takkunen said. “That was heartbreak. The girls thought they had it. The plays were there, just couldn't make the plays. Tough plays, just couldn't make them. And all of a sudden, boom, it's gone. They were tasting that win, and then it just disappeared. But then to come back, yeah, that was a big one.”

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Bemidji senior Jody Pemberton slides into home for another run in the 5th inning against Rocori on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the BHS softball field.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

The 7-0 win over Rocori (6-6) in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader ensured the Lumberjacks would finish the weekend 3-1 after sweeping Duluth Denfeld in a doubleheader on Friday. It wasn’t the perfect 4-0 BHS was hoping for, but it’s an impressive slate nonetheless.

“That's what I told the kids,” Takkunen said. “Three out of four on a weekend (with) the way we had been playing earlier, scratching and clawing and coming up with nothing, this was a really big two days for us. And yeah, it really would have been nice to get that fourth one. But you know what, in the long run, we don't need to be greedy. We just want to keep playing good ball.”

Shogren shutting down the Spartans ensured that the Jacks would end their Saturday on a high note.

“I was just trying to throw the pitches that I knew the hitters would have trouble with based on their other at-bats,” Shogren said. “So then, I could focus on not letting them – if they hit, just not a hard hit like a home run or anything like that.”

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Bemidji junior Adie Potratz bats for the Lumberjacks in the second inning against Rocori on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the BHS softball field.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

She also received some early run support from her offense – which tallied four runs in the early innings and kept adding on – to help alleviate any pressure she might feel in the circle.

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“It was really, really nice,” Shogren said. “When our offense is hitting like that, then it kind of carries into the defense and pitching. It all just goes with each other.”

Izzy Neadeau laced a second-inning solo home run to score Bemidji’s first run and highlight its offensive effort in game two. The Jacks return to the diamond for a game at Alexandria at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

Rocori 7, Bemidji 4

RCR 100 002 4 – 7

BHS 130 000 0 – 4

WP: Prom (5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

LP: Graves (CG, 7 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

Bemidji 7, Rocori 0

BHS 013 120 0 – 7-6-1

RCR 000 000 0 – 0-1-2

WP: Shogren (CG, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K)

LP: Prom (4 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

Related Topics: BEMIDJI LUMBERJACKSSOFTBALL
Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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