Panthers rally, earn split with Pequot Lakes
A dramatic rally in the bottom of the seventh inning and a seven-run third inning sparked the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team to a pair of wins.
Pequot Lakes opened a Mid-State Conference doubleheader with a 10-1 win in the first game Thursday before the Panthers earned a split by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to rally for a 4-3 victory.
The Panthers followed with a 13-3 six-inning win over Bagley Friday to improve to 7-2 on the season.
Panthers salvage split with Patriots
Clutch hitting in the second game gave the Panthers a split with Pequot Lakes.
The Panthers were held to only four hits in the first game with Katelyn Hilmanowski scoring the lone run on Jessie O’Hern’s RBI grounder in the fourth.
Errors helped the Panthers claim a 2-0 lead after two innings in the second game before Pequot Lakes took a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
That lead held up until the bottom of the seventh when the Panthers rallied for the win on singles by Lauren Naeve and Nakkita Buckanaga and Bailee Jerger’s game-winning double.
“It shows the character we are building this season to lose the first game and rebound in the second,” said Park Rapids head coach Marion Goeden. “Winning in the bottom of the seventh is exciting and will be one of those games we remember for a long time to come.”
Panthers defeat Bagley
The Panthers produced plenty of offense Friday in defeating Bagley by the 10-run rule.
RBI singles by Nikki Eischens and Shania Johnson, Jerger’s bases-clearing double and Morgan Dean’s RBI double were the key hits during the Panthers’ seven-run third inning.
Eischens and Naeve had RBI singles during a three-run fifth before singles by Buckanaga and Jerger and a two-run double by Ashley Thelen ended the game early in the sixth.
Jerger went 2 for 3 and picked up the win while Eischens went 2 for 3 to pace Park Rapids’ nine-hit attack.