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Park Rapids JO softball team ends season on positive note

Bobby Gully tried to beat out a bunt during a 16-under Junior Olympic fastpitch softball game this summer.1 / 3
Katelyn Hilmanowski scored on a wild pitch during Park Rapids' JO softball game against Pine River-Backus.2 / 3
Tina Niemela prepared to swing at a pitch during a 16-under JO softball game this summer.3 / 3

The Park Rapids 16-under JO fastpitch softball team ended the season on a positive note by sweeping a Northern Lights League doubleheader from Pine River-Backus Wednesday night.

Park Rapids won the first game 4-3 and followed with a 10-6 win in the second game to end the season with a 2-10 record.

In the first game, Park Rapids trailed 3-0 after four innings before rallying for the win.

Olivia Vaadeland led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double by Katelyn Hilmanowski and a single by Brittany Kinkel.

Park Rapids scored three times in the sixth to complete the comeback. Singles by Caitlin Isaacson and Bailee Jerger and a triple by Vaadeland led to the winning runs.

Vaadeland struck out seven for the win.

In the second game, Park Rapids scored four runs in both the first and third innings to end the season with a win.

Singles by Tina Niemela, Vaadeland and Hilmanowski sparked the four-run first while singles by Niemela, Vaadeland, Hilmanowski, Kinkel and Bobby Gully sparked the four-run third.

Vaadeland's triple, Hilmanowski's double and Kaitlin Olson's single led to two more runs in the fifth before Isaacson walked and scored the final run in the sixth.

Jerger struck out five in a complete-game win.

Park Rapids starts slow

The rest of the season wasn't as successful for Park Rapids, which lost five league doubleheaders before sweeping PR-B.

Park Rapids opened the season on June 16 against New York Mills, which followed a 22-4 win in the opener with a 20-3 win in the second game. Isaacson walked and scored twice and Hilmanowski had an RBI single in the first game while Gully and Niemela had two hits apiece in the second game.

On June 30, Wadena swept Park Rapids by scores of 17-6 and 14-2. Vaadeland scored twice, Hilmanowski had two hits and Isaacson had a double in the first game while Desi Roach had two hits and scored a run in the second game.

Bemidji followed by defeating Park Rapids by scores of 17-2 and 14-2. Singles by Olson, Isaacson, Jerger and Hilmanowski led to the two runs in the first game while Jerger singled and scored in the second game.

Dent also swept a doubleheader against Park Rapids by scores of 8-5 and 14-5 on July 7. Gully had two hits, Vaadeland scored twice and Lexi Burlingame had a double in the first game while Hilmanowski's triple and Niemela's double highlighted the offense in the second game.

On July 14, Pequot Lakes followed a 10-2 win in the first game with an 8-5 victory in the second game. Vaadeland had a double in the first game while singles by Isaacson, Jerger and Hilmanowski, a double by Burlingame and a triple by Kinkel sparked a five-run first inning in the second game.