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Softball: Yellowjackets split at Staples-Motley

STAPLES — Staples-Motley and Perham split a season-opening doubleheader in Mid-State Conference softball action Tuesday.

Perham won the opener 9-7. The Cardinals earned the series split with an 11-0 victory in the nightcap.

The opener was a back-and-forth affair. Staples got on the board early with an inside-the-park home run in the first inning, and tacked on three more runs in the second. After five strikeouts in the first two innings, Perham was able push a runner across the plate in the fourth when Ivy Honer knocked in a run with a two-out single. Staples answered back with a run of their own making it 5-1 after four complete.

The Cardinals led 6-1 in the sixth, when the Jackets mounted a rally with the bases empty and two away.

Megan Leslie came up to bat and ran the count full, and drew a walk. Honer singled,and Tina Schmitz walked on four pitches. Dani Nelson, who started the game on the bench, came to the plate with the bases loaded.

Nelson cleared the bases by ripping a double over the left fielder’s head to cut the lead to 6-4.  

Staples stranded two and scored once in the bottom half heading to the ninth up 7-4.

Brittany Miller walked. Allie Christenson hit a 2-2 pitch to the right side for a single. Allie Doll fouled off four consecutive high fastballs, before hitting a change up to the right side for another single. Trisha Kawlewski double in two runs, to pull Perham within a run, 7-6.

Megan Leslie kept the rally going, singling in Doll to tie the game. Honer reached first on an infield single. With the bases loaded Tina Schmitz flared a ball behind the first baseman, Kawlewski thought it was a single and with her hands in the air and fists pumping, the right fielder made a great play that forced Kawlewski to scramble back towards third base.

With Nelson stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run double, giving her 5 RBIs and the Jackets a 9-7 lead.  

Doll and Schmitz turned a double play on a line out back to Doll at the pitching rubber. Doll got a strikeout to seal the game and gain the pitching victory.

The Jackets would start a little flat in game two, and lose 11-0. 18 girls saw playing time in the field along with getting some quality at bats. Freshman Alex Lubitz was right around the plate, but couldn’t quite find the zone and took the loss. Offensively the Jackets were flat, failing to push a runner across.

Notes: Perham played without clean-up hitter and shortstop Syd Roberts, who is out with an eye injury.The JV game was cancelled because of field conditions. Dani Neslon would have started for JV, instead she came off the bench and hit 2 doubles (5 RBIs).