Panthers' pitchers shut down W-DC, Perham
Brooke Jerger, Rilee Michaelson and Mercedez Bellanger combined to allow only five hits and one run as the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team remained undefeated on the season with 10-run victories over Wadena-Deer Creek and Perham.
Michaelson and Jerger combined on a one-hitter in an 11-0 five-inning victory at Wadena Thursday while all three pitchers combined on a four-hitter in a 12-1 five-inning victory over Perham Friday at Park Rapids.
The two wins lifted Park Rapids to 17-0 to top the 16-0 start from last season. The Panthers are rated No. 4 in this week's state Class AA poll with 65 points. Maple Lake (96 points), Pipestone Area (86 points) and Chatfield (71 points) top the Class AA poll. Rochester Lourdes (64 points) is rated No. 5 while Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (32 points) is rated No. 9.
The Panthers continued to dominate their opponents as an eight-run third inning sparked the win over W-DC.
Three errors and singles by Kaisa Coborn and Kendra Coborn set up an RBI single by Bellanger, an RBI double by Tara Johanning and an RBI triple by Kaisa Coborn for an 8-0 advantage in the third.
Kendra Coborn's bunt single, Macky Warne's RBI single and another error made it 10-2 in the fourth before Lizzie Bannerman reached on an error and scored on an error in the fifth to cap off the scoring.
Kendra Coborn (2 for 3, two runs), Bellanger (two runs) and Kaisa Coborn (2 for 3, two runs) led Park Rapids' nine-hit attack. Michaelson picked up the win, allowing one hit and one walk over three innings. Jerger walked one and struck out a pair over the final two innings.
The Wolverines, who had six errors in the game, fell to 3-17.
A seven-run first inning set the tone as the Panthers coasted past Perham.
Four walks, two errors, an RBI single by Warne, an RBI double by Michaelson and an RBI single by Natalie Kinkel gave the Panthers a 7-1 lead in the first before two errors, Kylee Pachel's single with two outs and Johanning's three-run home run made it 11-1 in the second. Warne reached on an error and scored on an error to conclude the scoring in the fourth.
Kendra Coborn, Warne and Johanning scored two runs each as the Panthers notched their 11th 10-run victory of the season. The Panthers managed only five hits, but took advantage of five walks and six Perham errors.
Jerger earned the win by giving up one run on three hits while striking out two over the first three innings. Bellanger pitched a perfect fourth inning while Michaelson gave up one hit in the fifth.
Perham fell to 6-12 on the season.