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Panthers split, stay alive in section tournament

     After suffering a 3-2 loss to East Grand Forks, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team rebounded to stay alive in the Section 8AA tournament with a 9-5 win over Northern Freeze Thursday at Thief River Falls.

     The Panthers, the No. 3 seed in the north, carried a 16-7 overall record into Tuesday’s elimination game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, the No. 4 seed in the south with a 15-7 record. The winner of that game played the winner between East Grand Forks (the No. 2 seed in the north) and Fergus Falls (the No. 1 seed in the south).

     Thief River Falls, the No. 1 seed in the north, and Hawley, the No. 2 seed in the south, entered Tuesday’s play as the only undefeated teams in this double-elimination tournament. The section tournament concludes Thursday at Thief River Falls.

Home run lifts EGF to win

     The Panthers held a 2-1 lead before a two-run homer by Karly Nelson sparked EGF to the win.

     A walk and Charity Ridlon’s RBI single gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first before an RBI single by Natalie Carlstrom tied the game at 1-1 in the second.

     Bailee Jerger singled and courtesy runner Mackenzie Warne scored on a passed ball as the Panthers led 2-1 in the fourth.

     Nelson’s two-out blast in the fifth proved to be the game-winner as EGF advanced in the winners’ bracket.

     Ridlon went 2 for 3 as the Panthers were held to only six hits. Jerger took the loss despite allowing only three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five.

Park Rapids      100  100  0…2  6  0

EGF                 010 020  x…3  5  1

Player               AB     R    H      RBI

Naeve                 2      1    1      0

Br. Jerger           4      0    0      0

Ridlon                 3      0    2      1

S. Johnson           3      0    0      0

Ba. Jerger          3      0    1      0

H. Johnson          3      0    0      0

Eischens              3      0    1      0

Dean                  2      0    0      0

O’Hern                1      0    0      0

Kinkel                 3      0    1      0

Warne                0      1    0      0

Waggoner          0      0    0      0

Totals                27     2    6      1

Ba. Jerger (6IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, 5K) and Naeve. W-Bouschey. L-Ba. Jerger. 2B: Naeve 1.

Panthers rebound, stay alive

     The Panthers took advantage of miscues by Northern Freeze to stay alive.

     An error, Hope Johnson’s bunt single, a double steal and a wild pitch gave Park Rapids a 2-0 lead in the second.

     After a two-run homer by Carly Safranski tied the game at 2-2 in the third, Ridlon’s RBI double following an error gave the Panthers a 3-2 edge in the bottom of the third.

     Northern Freeze used two errors to score an unearned run in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3 before an error, a passed ball and an RBI single by Morgan Dean gave the Panthers a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of that inning.

     A walk, two errors and Ridlon’s triple extended the Panthers’ lead to 6-3 in the fifth while three walks and two errors led to two Northern Freeze runs in the sixth as the gap was cut to 6-5.

     The Panthers sealed the win by scoring three times in the sixth on a walk, an error, Naeve’s two-run double, a passed ball and a wild pitch.

     Jerger allowed only one hit and one earned run with six walks and 10 strikeouts for the win.

     Northern Freeze, the No. 5 seed in the north, ended the season with an 11-10 record.

N. Freeze         002  102  0…5  1  5

Park Rapids      021  123  x…9  5  4

Player               AB     R    H      RBI

Naeve                 4      0    1      2

Br. Jerger           2      2    0      0

Ba. Jerger          4      0    0      0

Ridlon                 4      2    2      1

S. Johnson           2      1    1      0

Bynum                1      0    0      0

Eischens              3      1    0      0

H. Johnson          2      0    0      0

Dean                  2      0    1      1

O’Hern                0      1    0      0

Kinkel                 3      1    0      0

Waggoner          0      1    0      0

Totals                27     9    5      4

Ba. Jerger (7IP, 5R, 1ER, 1H, 6BB, 10K) and Naeve. W-Ba. Jerger. L-Safranski. 2B: Naeve 1, Ridlon 1. 3B: Ridlon 1. SB: S. Johnson 1, Kinkel 1, Ridlon 1, Br. Jerger 1.

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