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Panthers open season with 3-1 victory

Leeza Tostenson beat the throw to second for a stolen base during Park Rapids' 3-1 victory over Bagley Tuesday.1 / 2
Jenny Palm scooped up a grounder during Tuesday's game against Bagley.2 / 2

Marion Goeden predicted that solid pitching and defense and some timely hitting would lead to a successful season for the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team.

That formula sparked the Panthers to a 3-1 win over Bagley in the season opener Tuesday afternoon.

Brie Warne threw a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts and the Panthers took advantage of their three hits to open the season on a successful note.

The Panthers used a timely double by Leeza Tostenson to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alyssa Carlson walked and Warne reached on a fielder's choice before Tostenson lined a two-run double.

Bagley made it 2-1 in the fourth when two errors and two singles to open the inning produced a run. Warne escaped further damage by striking out the next three batters to leave the bases loaded.

Park Rapids scored an insurance run in the sixth. Tostenson reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Olivia Vaadeland walked and stole second, Ashley Domino bounced a grounder to second to plate Tostenson.

Warne faced only three batters in every inning except the fourth. The senior pitcher didn't walk a batter and struck out the side in the second and fourth innings. Carlson's double in the third and Vaadeland's single in the fourth were the only other hits for the Panthers.

The Panthers will host their 11th annual Park Rapids Invitational next Saturday at Olson Fields starting at 11 a.m. The first-round games feature Park Rapids against Crookston, Pine River-Backus against East Grand Forks, Nevis against Norman County West and Lake of the Woods against Bagley.