Perham ousts Panthers from playoffs
Errors in the field plagued the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team all season.
Five errors proved costly in the first round of the Section 8AA playoffs as Perham capitalized on those mistakes to end the Panthers’ season with a 10-5 victory at the Area High School field.
In the regular-season finale, Allie Doll pitched Perham to a 3-1 win in the first game before the Panthers rebounded for a 22-3 victory in the second game.
Doll pitched another solid game in the rain as the Yellowjackets prevailed in the playoff opener.
Perham, the No. 6 seed, took advantage of errors to score twice in the third and six times in the fifth en route to the win.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second, the Yellowjackets opened the scoring as an error led to two unearned runs. The Panthers trailed 2-0 as Perham again left the bases loaded.
Park Rapids, the No. 3 seed, took a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Bailee Jerger was hit by a pitch, Ashley Thelen walked and Nikki Eischens singled to load the bases. With two outs, Jessie O’Hern lined a grounder to third. O’Hern was safe on the play and a throwing error enabled all three runners to score.
In the fifth, two errors enabled Perham to reclaim the lead. A walk, a single by Doll and a hit batter loaded the bases. Ivy Honer followed with a two-run single. Two errors on that play led to four runs. Morgan Byer singled and scored on a passed ball and Annie Ingabrand lined an RBI single to give Perham an 8-3 lead.
Doll’s two-run single plated two more runs in the seventh as the Yellowjackets claimed a 10-3 advantage.
The Panthers attempted a comeback when Lauren Naeve walked and Shania Johnson was hit by a pitch with one out. After Nakkita Buckanaga lined an RBI double, Thelen lofted a sacrifice fly. But Doll ended that rally as Perham advanced.
The Panthers, who made 76 errors this season, were held to only four hits in ending the season with a 12-8 record. Perham improved to 6-10.
Perham 002 060 2…10 9 2
Park Rapids 000 300 2…5 4 5
Player AB R H RBI
Naeve 2 1 0 0
S. Johnson 3 1 1 0
Buckanaga 4 0 1 1
Jerger 2 1 0 0
Thelen 3 1 0 1
H. Johnson 3 0 0 0
Eischens 2 1 1 0
Dean 2 0 0 0
Isaacson 1 0 0 0
Kinkel 1 0 0 0
O’Hern 2 0 1 2
Team totals 25 5 4 4
Jerger (5IP, 7H, 8R, 4ER, 7BB, 6K), Dean (2IP, 2H, 2ER, 3BB, 2K) and Naeve. W-Doll. L-Jerger, 10-8. 2B: Buckanaga. SB: Naeve 1.