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Hope Johnson connected for three doubles, including the game-winner in the ninth inning, in Park Rapids' 9-8 win over Sebeka Monday.

Panthers rally for thrilling win over Sebeka, will host first-round playoff game

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Panthers rally for thrilling win over Sebeka, will host first-round playoff game
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

  It’s only fitting the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team will open the Section 8AA playoffs at home Tuesday.

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     The Panthers, who were the home team for 12 of the first 16 games this season, will host Perham in the first round of the section tournament Tuesday afternoon at 5. Park Rapids received the No. 3 seed in the south while Perham was awarded the No. 6 seed.

     In Tuesday’s other section playoff openers, No. 1 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton hosts No. 8 Breckenridge, No. 2 Fergus Falls hosts No. 7 Pelican Rapids, and No. 4 Hawley hosts No. 5 Detroit Lakes.

     In the north half, No. 1 Thief River Falls hosts No. 8 Mahnomen/Waubun, No. 2 Northern Freeze hosts No. 7 Roseau, No. 3 Warroad hosts No. 6 Bagley, and No. 4 East Grand Forks hosts No. 5 Crookston.

     The second round Thursday begins double-elimination play at Frazee (for the south bracket) and Thief River Falls (for the north bracket).

     Park Rapids began tuning up for the playoffs by splitting games by following a 9-8 win over Sebeka in nine innings Monday with a 13-3 loss at Thief River Falls in six innings Tuesday. The Panthers are 11-6 on the season.

Panthers rally, win in extra innings

     Hope Johnson’s walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a dramatic comeback for the Panthers against Sebeka.

     The Panthers trailed 8-5 entering the bottom of the seventh inning when singles by Lauren Naeve and Nikki Eischens, a two-run double by Johnson and an RBI single by Nakkita Buckanaga tied the game and forced extra innings.

     Caitlan Isaacson singled and scored on Johnson’s game-winner in the ninth to complete the comeback.

     Naeve lined an RBI single in the first and Isaacson put down a bunt single and scored on Buckanaga’s grounder in the second to give Park Rapids a 2-1 lead.

     After Sebeka claimed a 7-2 lead, Eischens’ RBI single in the fifth and doubles by Morgan Dean, Johnson and Buckanaga led to two runs in the sixth as the Panthers cut the gap to 7-5.

     Johnson went 4 for 5 with four RBI, Eischens and Isaacson both went 3 for 5, Buckanaga went 2 for 5 with three RBI and Naeve went 2 for 4 as the Panthers belted out 17 hits. Bailee Jerger scattered 18 hits for the win in a complete-game effort.

Sebeka             103      210 100…8  18  3

Park Rapids      110     012 301…9  17  7

Player               AB     R    H      RBI

Thelen                5      0    1      0

Buckanaga          5      0    2      3

Jerger                4      1    0      0

S. Johnson           5      1    1      0

Naeve                 4      1    2      1

Eischens              5      1    3      1

Isaacson             5      3    3      0

O’Hern                1      1    0      0

H. Johnson          5      1    4      4

Kinkel                 0      0    0      0

Dean                  3      0    1      0

Team totals       42     9    17     9

Jerger (9IP, 18H, 8R, 5ER, 3BB, 4KK) and Naeve. W-Jerger, 9-5. L-Brockpahler. 2B: Buckanaga, H. Johnson 3, Dean 1.

Prowlers defeat Panthers

     Thief River Falls capitalized on 11 errors to defeat the Panthers by the 10-run rule.

     The Panthers scored twice in the first inning when Naeve singled with two outs and scored on Shania Johnson’s home run.

     Shania Johnson singled and scored on an error in the fifth to account for the Panthers’ other run.

     Jerger and Sarena Kinkel joined Shania Johnson with two hits apiece. Jerger allowed 11 runs on seven hits and four walks for the loss.

Park Rapids      200     010…3  7  11

TRF                  241      222…13 9  4

Player               AB     R    H      RBI

Thelen                4      0    0      0

Eischens              4      0    0      0

Naeve                 3      1    1      0

S. Johnson           3      2    2      2

Jerger                3      0    2      0

Isaacson             3      0    0      0

Buckanaga          3      0    0      0

H. Johnson          3      0    0      0

Kinkel                 3      0    2      0

Team totals       29     3    7      2

Jerger (5IP, 11H, 11R, 5ER, 4BB, 2K), Dean (.2IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 1BB) and Naeve. W-Junes. L-Jerger, 9-6. 2B: Jerger 1. HR: S. Johnson 1.

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