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Panthers receive Section 8AA, Mid-State Conference honors

Alyssa Carlson, Anna Grimes, Ashley Domino, Bailee Jerger and Olivia Vaadeland were a main reason the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team set or tied school records for team batting average (.389), runs scored in a season (261) and wins in a season (19).

It was no surprise that those five players capped off the season by earning post-season honors.

Carlson, Grimes, Domino and Jerger were among the 24 players named to the Section 8AA team while those four joined Vaadeland on the Mid-State Conference team.

The Panthers finished with a 19-7 overall record to tie the school record for wins in a season set by the 2003 team that went 19-4 and advanced to the Section 8AA championship game to become only the fourth Park Rapids team to play for the section title. The Panthers won the section title in 2000 and finished as the section runner-up in 2003 and 2005.

In the six Section 8AA playoff games this season, Carlson batted .650 (13 for 20) with eight runs and four RBI while starting at shortstop. Grimes batted .409 (9 for 22) with 10 runs, three RBI and two stolen bases as the designated player and an outfielder. Domino hit .400 (10 for 25) with six runs and seven RBI and started in center field. Jerger hit .381 (8 for 21) with seven runs, five RBI, two doubles and a stolen base. Jerger also pitched in all six games, going 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA. In 34 2/3 innings, Jerger allowed 29 runs (18 earned) on 38 hits and 26 walks while striking out 15.

Joining those four Park Rapids players on the all-section team were Fergus Falls' Aimee Magnusson, Amber Blondeau, Gabby Stocks and Haily Johnson; Detroit Lakes' Brianna Seebold, Chaz Butz and Laurenn Johnson; Wadena-Deer Creek's Amanda Perkins and Avery Jackson; Ottertail Central's Carmen Malmstrom and Lindsay Nelson; Roseau's Elizabeth Housker and Lexy Deming; Crookston's Kaylee Desrosier; Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Kaylee Pender; East Grand Forks' Chelsey Grassel; Pequot Lakes' Rachael Langer; Perham's Stephanie Miller; and Warroad's Megan Brettingen. Fergus Falls' Renee Erickson was named the Section 8AA Coach of the Year.

The Panthers also challenged for the Mid-State Conference title, finishing second with a 9-3 record. Detroit Lakes won the conference title with a 10-2 record.

In 12 conference games, Domino batted .542 (26 for 48) with 21 runs, 24 RBI, five doubles, one triple, one home run and seven stolen bases. Domino pitched in three conference games, going 1-1 while allowing 11 runs on 15 hits and four walks. Domino struck out three in 8 1/3 innings.

Grimes hit .500 (20 for 40) with 17 runs, nine RBI and six stolen bases in 12 Mid-State games.

Vaadeland played in 10 conference games at first base and pitcher and hit .474 (18 for 38) with nine runs, 14 RBI, nine doubles and four stolen bases. Vaadeland pitched in six games, going 2-1 while allowing 20 runs on 25 hits and 17 walks. In 26 1/3 innings, Vaadeland struck out 25 batters.

Jerger also played in 10 conference games at first base and pitcher and batted .462 (18 for 39) with 15 runs, 12 RBI, four doubles, two triples and one stolen base. On the mound, Jerger went 6-1 in conference play, allowing 38 runs on 45 hits and 41 walks in 45 2/3 innings. Jerger also struck out 39 batters in eight games.

Carlson played in all 12 conference games and batted .415 (17 for 41) with 15 runs, 13 RBI, two doubles, seven stolen bases and 11 walks. Carlson was an all-conference honorable mention selection last season.

Following Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids in the conference standings were Pequot Lakes (8-4), Staples-Motley (7-5), Wadena-Deer Creek (6-6), Perham (2-10) and Crosby-Ironton (0-12).