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Braves top Tigers in a pitchers' duel

Menahga shortstop Madi Marjamaa waited for the throw as Nevis' Jessica Swanda attempted a stolen base during a Section 5A playoff game on Monday, May 20. Menahga second baseman Jessica Pietila backed up the play. Vance Carlson / Enterprise1 / 2
Alyssa Peterson (7) avoided the tag by Nevis shortstop Ashley Pyburn for a stolen base during Menahga's 2-1 Section 5A playoff win on Monday, May 20. Vance Carlson / Enterprise2 / 2

Rachel Marjamaa outdueled Cora Umthun and Kia Heide as the Menahga fastpitch softball team eliminated Nevis from the Section 5A playoffs with a 2-1 victory at Menahga on Monday, May 20.

Marjamaa threw a three-hit complete game with five strikeouts for the win while Umthun and Heide combined on a four-hitter with eight strikeouts for the Tigers.

After Rena Pinoniemi and Jamie Erno walked but were left stranded on second and third in the second inning, the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third when Alyssa Peterson singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch with two outs.

Menahga stranded two more runners on base in the next two innings when Erno singled and Maryn Pinoniemi walked with two outs in the fourth and Peterson singled and Jessica Pietila reached on an error in the fifth.

The Braves made it 2-0 in the sixth when Madi Marjamaa walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch. Maryn Pinoniemi followed with a walk and Alli Anderson singled and stole second, but both were stranded.

Nevis, which was held to only a lead-off single by Umthun in the first inning, rallied in the seventh. Brianna Nelson led off with a walk and Heide followed two wild pitches with an RBI single. Nicole Bayman walked as the Tigers put runners on second and third with one out, but Rachel Marjamaa retired the next two batters to preserve the win.

Menahga, which defeated Nevis 15-4 on April 26, ended the regular season with an 11-5 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on May 14. Nevis ended the regular season with a 6-5 loss to Kelliher-Northome on May 16 and a 14-9 loss in 10 innings to Sebeka on May 17.

Nevis, the No. 6 seed in the West, ended the season with an 8-10 record while Menahga, the No. 3 seed, advanced with an 8-10 record.