SOFTBALL: Bemidji tops Wadena 9-6, takes 7th at state to cap program’s first year
Bemidji’s highlight of the day came right in the top of the first inning, when Karley LaZella jumped all over the first pitch she saw for a grand slam to center field.
MANKATO -- The Bemidji American Legion softball team ended the season on a high note on Sunday.
Bemidji defeated Wadena 9-3 in the seventh-place game at the inaugural state tournament in Mankato, giving the program its first-ever state tourney victory.
Bemidji’s highlight of the day came right in the top of the first inning. After Maureen Stroeing and Audrey Neadeau walked with the bases loaded for free RBIs, Karley LaZella jumped all over the first pitch she saw for a grand slam to center field.
The instant 6-0 cushion was more than enough the rest of the way. Bemidji even stretched the difference to 8-0 by the second inning, as Maya Schmidt and Aleah Shogren each added RBI singles in the frame.
Wadena got on the board with a run in the bottom of the second and two more in the sixth, but Bemidji’s advantage held firm. For good measure, Izzy Neadeau added an RBI single in the top of the seventh to bring on a 9-3 score.
Shogren did the rest from the circle. She only allowed two hits all morning, going the distance and picking up the win for Bemidji. She surrendered one earned run and struck out five batters.
Hayfield, which defeated Wadena by a 6-4 margin in the first round, went on to win the state championship 9-6 over Browerville.
Bemidji ends its inaugural season with a 4-5 record, including a 1-2 showing at state, and was one of eight teams to participate in the first-ever Legion softball state tournament.
Bemidji 9, Wadena 3
BEM 620 000 1 -- 9-12-2
WAD 010 002 0 -- 3-2-4
WP: Shogren (CG, 7 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)