Barnesville outslugs Panthers in opener
Errors proved costly as the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team opened the season with a 21-17 loss.
While the season opener didn’t go as planned, Marion Goeden and the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team were just happy to be back on the field.
“I have to admit, I got a bit choked up when we played the National Anthem. It seems ages ago that we had a game,” said Goeden, whose team had last season canceled because of COVID. “It was truly beautiful to have the opportunity to play and our team was pumped to have the opportunity to compete.”
The Panthers had 10 hits and drew 15 walks, but six fielding errors proved costly as Barnesville jumped out to a 15-2 lead and held on for a 21-17 victory at the Park Rapids Area High School field. Barnesville scored seven runs in the first, five runs in the third, three runs in the third and four runs in the fifth.
“I feel offensively we did a great job. Our pitch selection was quite good. We had some solid hits. Ten hits in the opener is a positive thing. We have spent more time with live hitting than most pre-seasons and it showed,” said Goeden. “Defensively, our lack of time on the field showed. That area of the game didn't go all that well. It's really difficult to win a game with the amount of errors we had.”
Five walks and a hit batter led to two Park Rapids runs in the bottom of the first before a 10-run fourth inning started a comeback. Four walks, two errors, RBI singles by Shailyn Pachel and Allison Offerdahl, a two-run single by Kasen Girtz and a two-run double by Natalie Harvey cut the gap to 15-12.
A double by Mickey Clark and an RBI single by Chloe Tretbar made it 19-14 in the sixth before Tori Weaver’s RBI single sparked a three-run seventh.
Clark scored four runs and stole three bases, Abby Morris and Offerdahl had two hits each, and Girtz and Harvey drove in three runs apiece for the Panthers. Offerdahl started and took the loss while Tretbar took over in relief. Those two allowed 16 hits and eight walks while striking out eight.
“I thought our team showed a lot of fortitude in our opener. We never gave up. We challenged right up to the last out of the game,” said Goeden. “Our No. 1 need is fielding the ball. We also need to be sharper on the bases. This is a very focused and hard working team and they will continue to gain each and every game.”
Barnesville 705 340 1...21 16 2
Park Rapids 200 (10)02 3...17 10 6
Park Rapids batting: Clark (1-1, 4R, 3 SB), Morris (2-5, 1 R, 1RBI, 1SB), Tretbar (1-3, 1R, 1RBI), Pachel (1-4, 1R, 1RBI), Ulvin (0-2, 2R), Offerdahl (2-2, 2R, 1RBI), Weaver (1-4, 2R, 2RBI), Girtz (1-4, 2R, 3RBI), Harvey (1-5, 2R, 3RBI).
Park Rapids pitching: Offerdahl (.1IP, 7R, 6H, 3BB, 0K), Tretbar (6.1IP, 14R, 10H, 5BB, 8K).