Panthers win three key games
The Park Rapids fastpitch softball team found three different ways to win three key games.
A seven-run seventh inning rallied the Panthers to a 9-4 win at Bagley Monday and a six-run 10th inning sparked the Panthers to a 9-3 win at Perham in the first game of a Mid-State Conference doubleheader Tuesday. The Panthers completed the sweep by coasting to a 12-1 win in the second game.
In the three games, the Panthers committed only three errors while pounding out 30 hits.
"We are playing some good defense right now and our bats are hot," said Park Rapids head coach Marion Goeden, whose team improved to 7-3 in conference play and 9-4 overall. "We hope to keep this winning streak going."
Panthers rally past Bagley
After Bagley scored three times in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead, the Panthers rallied by scoring once in the sixth and seven times in the seventh.
The Panthers sent 12 batters to the plate in that pivotal seventh inning. A single by Anna Grimes and an error started the inning. Bagley's Sean Benson retired the next two batters before a two-run double by Bailee Jerger, an RBI single by Katie Just, a two-run single by Lauren Naeve, an RBI triple by Alyssa Carlson and an RBI single by Grimes sparked Park Rapids' comeback.
Grimes and Just both went 3 for 4 to pace the Panthers' nine-hit attack. Jerger picked up the win in relief of Olivia Vaadeland as Bagley fell to 7-4 on the season.
Panthers sweep Perham
After being forced into extra innings in the first game, the Panthers made sure to avoid playing extra innings in the second game.
In the opener, Ashley Thelen walked and scored in the second before Just and Caitlan Isaacson scored in the fourth to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Grimes had an RBI single in the fourth.
Two walks and three singles enabled Perham to tie the game in the seventh. The Yellowjackets had a chance to win it in the ninth, but left runners on second and third.
The Panthers put the game away in the 10th by sending 10 batters to the plate. With two outs, Erika Jerger's RBI single brought in the winning run. Three walks, a two-run single by Ashley Domino and a two-run double by Bailee Jerger completed the rally.
Grimes, Domino and Just had two hits each to lead the Panthers, who had 11 hits in the game. Bailee Jerger went the distance, allowing three hits and nine walks while striking out eight for the win.
Bailee Jerger followed by pitching a five-hitter and was aided by a 10-hit attack as the Panthers completed the sweep.
A two-run double by Domino and an RBI single by Carlson led to three runs in the first before singles by Grimes and Just sparked a two-run second.
Three errors and an RBI single by Naeve produced four runs in the sixth before the Panthers sealed the win by scoring three times in the seventh. Singles by Erika Jerger and Grimes, a two-run single by Domino and an RBI double by Carlson capped the scoring.
Grimes went 2 for 4 with four runs scored, Domino went 2 for 5 and Carlson went 2 for 4 to lead the Panthers' offense as Perham fell to 2-6 in the conference and 2-9 overall.