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Panthers generate enough offense for split

Despite being held to only six hits, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team managed to split a Mid-State Conference doubleheader at Perham Tuesday.

The Panthers capitalized on four hits and six walks to win the opener 5-4. Park Rapids managed only two hits in a 2-0 loss in the second game.

In the opener, the Pan-thers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Walks to Alyssa Carlson, Carson Lee Christenson and Olivia Vaadeland set up a sacrifice fly by Leeza Tostenson and an RBI grounder by Brie Warne. Vaadeland scored the third run on a wild pitch.

Vaadeland walked and scored on Shelby Weckwerth's two-out single in the third to give Park Rapids a 4-0 lead.

Weckwerth's lead-off single and Jenny Palm's two-out RBI double gave the Panthers a 5-2 lead in the sixth.

Perham scored twice in the bottom of the sixth and had a chance to win it in the seventh by putting runners on second and third with two outs. The Panthers preserved the win when Weckwerth made a running catch in center field to end the game.

Carlson's single with two outs in the fourth was the only other hit for the Pan-thers, who were led by Weckwerth's 2 for 2 effort. Warne went the distance for the win, allowing eight hits and striking out seven. Park Rapids' batters struck out 10 times.

The Panthers were shut out for the first time in the last 34 games as Perham gained the split.

Tostenson doubled with two outs in the fourth and Christenson had a lead-off single in the fifth to account for the Panthers' two hits. Warne took the loss, allowing nine hits.

The split gave the Panthers a 5-1 record in conference play and a 9-2 overall record. Perham is 3-3 in the conference and 6-5 overall.