Belting five home runs gave the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team a Mid-State Conference doubleheader sweep at Detroit Lakes and a new school record for homers in a season on Thursday, May 20.
Mickey Clark and Abby Morris hit homers as the Panthers won the first game 15-3 in six innings. Shailyn Pachel belted two homers and Chloe Tretbar had a home run as Park Rapids completed the sweep with a 17-1 victory in four innings in the second game.
The five home runs gave the Panthers 19 this season, breaking the school record of 15 hit during the 2019 season. The sweep moved Park Rapids into second place in the conference standings with a 6-4 record. Pequot Lakes locked up the Mid-State title with a 10-0 mark. Aitkin, which is 4-2 with four games remaining, could still overtake the Panthers for second place in the conference.
A six-run first inning sparked the Panthers to the win in the opener.
A single by Ellie Ulvin, an RBI double by Morris, a three-run homer by Clark, and doubles by Allison Offerdahl and Natalie Harvey provided a quick 6-0 lead. After the Lakers used two errors to score three unearned runs in the third, singles by Ulvin, Pachel and Offerdahl and an RBI double by Morris pushed the lead to 9-3 in the fourth. Morris’ three-run blast made it 12-3 in the fifth before the Panthers ended this game via the 10-run rule in the sixth on Tori Weaver’s RBI grounder and Morris’ two-run single.
Morris went 4 for 5 with three runs and seven RBI while Ulvin, Pachel and Offerdahl had two hits apiece as the Panthers finished with 12 hits. Tretbar earned the win, allowing five hits with seven strikeouts over five innings.
The Panthers used a 10-run second inning in the nightcap to complete the sweep.
After Weaver’s RBI single and Pachel’s two-run blast produced a 3-0 lead in the first, the Panthers sent 14 batters to the plate in the second to claim a 13-0 advantage. A double by Kilea Persons and a two-run single by Weaver started the inning. With two outs, Tretbar blasted a two-run homer, Cassidy Bera singled and Weaver had a two-run double.
Two errors and Clark’s RBI single led to two runs in the third before a single by Morris and Pachel’s two-run homer concluded the scoring and ended the game early via the 15-run rule in the fourth.
Weaver went 3 for 4 with two runs and five RBI and Pachel went 2 for 3 with four runs and four RBI as the Panthers finished with 10 hits. Tretbar claimed the win with three innings of no-hit ball. Offerdahl gave up two hits and a run in the fourth.
The sweep lifted Park Rapids to 8-8 overall while the Lakers fell to 2-6 in the conference and 2-14 overall.