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Panthers' bats spark sweep over Cardinals

Kaisa Coborn delivered a pitch during Park Rapids' Mid-State Conference doubleheader sweep over Staples-Motley Thursday. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

The Park Rapids fastpitch softball team took another step closer to repeating as Mid-State Conference champions.

Marion Goeden's team belted out 33 hits, including 12 for extra bases, in a conference doubleheader sweep over Staples-Motley Thursday at the Area High School field. Park Rapids jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first inning and used a 14-hit attack to spark an 18-2 win in four innings in the first game. The Panthers also took control early in the second game by scoring 13 runs in the first inning and belting out 19 hits to complete the sweep with a 24-0 win in four innings.

That marked the 10th time this season that Park Rapids has won via the 10-run rule.

Those two wins also put the Panthers in position to defend their conference title. Park Rapids improved to 7-1 in conference play with Pequot Lakes (6-2) and Detroit Lakes (6-2) following. The Panthers and Pequot Lakes met to decide the conference title Monday.

In the opener against Staples-Motley, the Panthers sent 20 batters to the plate in the first inning. Tara Johanning's RBI single and two-run double, Rilee Michaelson's two-run double, Natalie Kinkel's two-run single and two-run double, Kaisa Coborn's RBI single, and Shailyn Pachel's two-run single gave the Panthers a 16-0 lead.

Katelyn Weaver tripled and scored on Michaelson's two-run home run to end the game in the fourth.

Kinkel (2 for 4 with four RBI), Kendra Coborn (2 for 3), Johanning (3 for 4 with three RBI) and Michaelson (3 for 4 with four RBI) led Park Rapids' offense. Kaisa Coborn picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on two hits and eight walks. Coborn struck out six in a complete-game showing.

Michaelson blasted another two-run homer to cap off a 13-run first inning and threw a three-hit shutout as the Panthers completed the sweep.

The Panthers sent 18 batters to the plate in the first inning as Weaver's two-run single, Michaelson's RBI single, Kylee Pachel's RBI double and Casey Witkin's two-run single preceded Michaelson's blast.

Three errors, Kinkel's RBI triple and Michaelson's RBI single sparked a seven-run third inning while a double by Kinkel, an RBI triple by Kaisa Coborn, an RBI double by Johanning and an RBI single by Kylee Pachel led to the game's final four runs in the fourth.

Kinkel (4 for 5 with four runs), Kendra Coborn (3 for 5 with three runs), Johanning (2 for 4 with three runs), Michaelson (3 for 4 with three runs and four RBI) and Kylee Pachel (4 for 5) led the Panthers' offense in the second game.

Park Rapids, which was rated No. 5 in the latest state Class AA poll, improved to 13-1 overall while Staples-Motley fell to 0-6 in the conference and 0-9 overall.

GAME 1

Staples-Motley 000 2--2 2 1

Park Rapids (16)00 2--18 14 0

Park Rapids batting: Kinkel (2 for 4, 1r, 4rbi), Kendra Coborn (2-3, 2r), Ka. Coborn (1-3, 2r, 1rbi), Johanning (3-4, 2r, 3rbi), Weaver (1-2, 2r), Michaelson (3-4, 3r, 4rbi), K. Pachel (0-1, 2r, 1rbi., 2sb), Witkin (1-2, 2r), S. Pachel (1-1, 2r, 2rbi). Park Rapids pitching: Ka. Coborn (4ip, 2er, 8bb, 6k).

GAME 2

Park Rapids (13)07 4--24 19 1

Staples-Motley 000 0--0 3 6

Park Rapids batting: Kinkel (4-5, 4r, 1rbi), Ke. Coborn (3-5, 3r, 1rbi, 2sb), Ka. Coborn (1-4, 3r, 1rbi), Johanning (2-4, 3r, 2rbi), Weaver (1-2, 1r, 3rbi), Michaelson (3-4, 3r, 4rbi), K. Pachel (4-5, 2r, 2rbi), Hinkley-Smith (0-2, 2r), Witkin (1-4, 3r, 2rbi). Park Rapids pitching: Michaelson (4ip, 3h, 0r, 5k).

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