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Panthers edge D-G-F, end regular season undefeated

A 4-1 win over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Glyndon Tuesday capped off a perfect regular season for the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team.

The victory in this battle of state-ranked teams lifted the Panthers' record to 20-0. Park Rapids entered this game rated No. 4 while D-G-F was rated No. 9 in the latest state Class AA poll.

Kaisa Coborn singled and scored on an error in the second inning before a walk to Mercedez Bellanger, an RBI double by Macky Warne and an RBI single by Brooke Jerger gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead in the third.

Jerger pitched out of trouble all game, leaving the bases loaded in the third, fifth and sixth innings. D-G-F managed to push across one run in the fifth.

A double by Bellanger, a single by Warne and Kylee Pachel's squeeze bunt provided an insurance run in the seventh.

The Panthers finished with eight hits with Warne (2 for 3) and Jerger (2 for 4) leading the way. Jerger went the distance, allowing four hits and six walks while striking out 12 as the Panthers improved to 8-0 against Section 8AA teams. The Rebels fell to 9-2 against Section 8AA teams and 16-2 overall.

"We've been looking forward to this game since the first day of the season. To do it on their home turf is pretty sweet," said Goeden. "Beating DGF was intense and exciting and felt amazing. It felt like we were in playoff mode already. We knew there were many eyes on the results of our game. Even though it was nerve-wracking, it was very fun."

The Section 8AA tournament begins next week. Park Rapids will be the No. 1 seed in the South. The seedings will be announced Saturday.