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Panthers eliminate Pirates in first round

Alyssa Carlson slid in with one of her three stolen bases during Park Rapids' 13-3 win over Crookston in a Section 8AA playoff game Tuesday.

A bases-clearing double by Jenny Palm and a two-run double by Olivia Vaadeland sparked a six-run fifth inning that lifted the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team to a 13-3 win over Crookston in the first round of the Section 8AA playoffs Tuesday at Park Rapids.

Crookston, the No. 7 seed in the north half of the section, held a 3-2 lead before the No. 2-seeded Panthers followed a six-run fifth with a five-run sixth to win this game via the 10-run rule.

Park Rapids, which defeated the Pirates 9-1 in the second game of the season, claimed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Alyssa Carlson led off with a bunt single, advanced to third on two passed balls, and scored on a wild pitch.

Leeza Tostenson and Brie Warne followed with two-out singles, but were stranded on first and second. Taylor Ondracek and Anna Grimes singled to lead off the second, but the Panthers failed to score by leaving runners on second and third.

After Crookston tied the game in the third, the Panthers took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning when Vaadeland reached on an error and eventually scored when Ondracek's fly ball to right was dropped.

Crookston used three singles and an error to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth before the Panthers' bats came alive.

Walks to Warne and Grimes and an error loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Palm's double cleared the bases and Carlson followed with a single. After Carson Lee Christenson's fielder's choice, Vaadeland's double gave the Panthers an 8-3 lead.

Singles by Shelby Weckwerth, Lizzy Vaudrin and Grimes started the game-ending sixth. Palm and Carlson lined RBI singles before Tostenson's two-run single ended the game.

Carlson went 3 for 3 with three stolen bases and three runs scored while Tostenson, Grimes and Palm had two hits each to pace Park Rapids' 14-hit offensive attack. Palm drove in four runs while Vaadeland and Tostenson had two RBI each. Vaadeland also scored three times while Christenson and Weckwerth scored twice each.

Warne improved to 14-5 on the season with a complete-game effort. Warne gave up seven hits and three earned runs while striking out six as the Panthers improved to 16-5 on the season.

Crookston ended the season with a 6-14 record.

In Tuesday's other first-round games in the north, No. 8 Roseau upset No. 1 Detroit Lakes 6-0, No. 5 Warroad defeated No. 4 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 6-3, and No. 3 Thief River Falls edged No. 6 East Grand Forks 6-5.