SOFTBALL: Rallies fall short, BSU splits controversial doubleheader
BEMIDJI -- Despite twice coming back -- and nearly mounting a third comeback -- the Bemidji State softball team suffered a narrow 5-4, extra-innings loss to split a doubleheader with Wayne State at the BSU softball field Friday afternoon. The Bea...
BEMIDJI -- Despite twice coming back -- and nearly mounting a third comeback -- the Bemidji State softball team suffered a narrow 5-4, extra-innings loss to split a doubleheader with Wayne State at the BSU softball field Friday afternoon. The Beavers (23-29, 6-22 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) shut out the Wildcats (13-32, 4-24 NSIC) to snap a 14-game losing streak in the first game.
“I think the first game was great,” said BSU assistant coach Brittany Gomez. “We were hitting the ball like we should be able to. I think our second game -- I think a lot of it was left on the umpires that didn’t know the rules. But I think we put ourselves in a good position, that way we could score those runs. If the right calls were made, I think we would have won.”
The call that most drew the ire of the Beavers and BSU fans came in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Elaina Christiansen tripled to lead off the frame, putting the tying run on third. In the next at-bat, Christiansen dashed home on a ground ball to the shortstop and was tagged out at the plate.
In Gomez’s eyes, the WSC catcher was blocking the plate, and had been throughout the day.
“The catcher can’t be standing in the baseline, as the girl is running, without the ball,” Gomez said, referring to a recently-enacted obstruction rule. “And that was done over and over and over again obviously. We had maybe three or four plays at home where the catcher was in the way the whole time.
“... That’s hopefully what we get fixed for tomorrow for our games. That way they know and they learn, and we learn, and we all learn together.”
The Beavers stranded the tying run on third later in the inning to end the game.
Olivia Tucker tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh on her two-run single to send the game to extras. BSU rallied again to level the score at 4-4 in the eighth with runs coming from a throwing error and a Lexi Derrick RBI single. An RBI single by Kim Vidlak in the top of the ninth drove in the winning run.
The early game went much more smoothly for Bemidji State.
A wild pitch and a Kelsey McAllister RBI single gave the home team a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Makayla Pagel plated two more runs in the third on a double before Christiansen and McAllister drove in the final two runs on third-inning base hits.
“I think they were all aggressive,” Gomez said. “They were seeing the ball well. They were just putting the ball in play and passing the bat to the next person.”
Stephi Dullum pitched a complete game and limited WSC to six hits in the shutout win.
Friday’s games were the first the Beavers played on their home field this season with snow forcing all their prior home contests to Chet Anderson Stadium. The team will take to the field one more time Saturday as BSU closes the regular season with a noon doubleheader against No. 14 Augustana.
“We just want to go out there and play as hard as we can and take hacks,” Gomez said. “And why not on Senior Day? We want to send our seniors off on a good note.”
Bemidji State 7, Wayne State 0
WSC 000 000 0 -- 0-6-2
BSU 232 000 X -- 7-10-0
WP: St. Dullum (CG, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K).
LP: Moser (5.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 BB, 1 K).
Wayne State 5, Bemidji State 4 (nine innings)
WSC 000 020 021 -- 5-10-4
BSU 000 000 220 -- 4-12-3
WP: Moser (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K).
LP: St. Dullum (4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K).