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Panthers open section playoffs with 17-2 rout over Mahnomen-Waubun

Bailee Jerger sprinted to third base for a triple during Park Rapids’ 17-2 Section 8AA playoff victory over Mahnomen-Waubun Tuesday.

     After being eliminated in the first round of the Section 8AA playoffs the last two seasons, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team made sure that wouldn’t happen for the third year in a row.

     The No. 3-seeded Panthers followed a six-run second inning with an 11-run third inning to spark a 17-2 five-inning victory over No. 6 Mahnomen-Waubun Tuesday at the Area High School field.

     Bailee Jerger’s triple, Hope Johnson’s bunt, Nikki Eischens’ RBI single, Sarena Kinkel’s bunt, Lauren Naeve’s RBI double, Brooke Jerger’s single and Charity Ridlon’s two-run triple in the second inning gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead.

     After a two-run home run by M-W’s Lacey Lauinger, the Panthers sealed the win by scoring 11 times in the bottom of the third. A single by Bailee Jerger, a two-run double by Eischens, a two-run single by Naeve, a two-run single by Shania Johnson, a two-run triple by Hope Johnson and a run-scoring grounder by Jessie O’Hern sparked that inning.

     The Panthers finished with 12 hits with Naeve, Ridlon, Bailee Jerger and Eischens having two hits each. Naeve and Eischens had three RBI each while Hope Johnson and Eischens scored three runs apiece. Bailee Jerger earned the win, allowing two unearned runs on two hits with 11 strikeouts.

     The win gave the Panthers a 15-6 overall record while M-W ended the season at 6-5. Park Rapids entered the double-elimination portion of the tournament Thursday at Thief River Falls.

Mahnomen       002 00…2  2  2

Park Rapids    06(11) 0x…17  12  1

Player               AB     R    H      RBI

Naeve                 4      0    2      3

Br. Jerger           2      2    1      0

Ridlon                 3      2    2      2

S. Johnson           4      1    1      2

Ba. Jerger          3      1    2      0

H. Johnson          3      3    1      2

Eischens              2      3    2      3

Dean                   1      0    0      0

O’Hern                1      1    0      1

Kinkel                 1      0    1      1

Warne                0      2    0      0

Waggoner          0      2    0      0

Totals                24    17    12    14

Spry, Jackson (3) and Lerud; Ba. Jerger (5IP, 2R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 11K) and Naeve. W-Ba. Jerger. L-Spry. 2B: Naeve 1, Eischens 1, Ridlon 1. 3B: Ba. Jerger 1, H. Johnson 1, Ridlon 1. SB: Ba. Jerger 1, S. Johnson 1, Eischens 1, Ridlon 1, Br. Jerger 1.