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Perham upsets Osakis in subsection semifinals

The Osakis softball team went into the 6AA-North Subsection semifinals as the top seed, but fifth-seeded Perham wasn't intimidated and used two big innings to upset the Silverstreaks 10-6.

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Perham's Katie Zepper slides into third safely with an RBI triple in the seventh inning, helping Perham to a 10-6 victory over Osakis. Ryan Pietruszewski/Forum News Service

The Osakis softball team went into the 6AA-North Subsection semifinals as the top seed, but fifth-seeded Perham wasn’t intimidated and used two big innings to upset the Silverstreaks 10-6.

The Yellowjackets (10-12) were all over sophomore Jaden Klimek’s pitching in the first inning and finished the frame with a 6-0 lead.

“We jumped out to that lead and it was the benefit of sloppy play. We got stuck at six and every inning we kept saying we need more than six,” Perham head coach Tyler Doll said of the quick start.

Katelyn Pederson, Cierra Olson, Katie Zepper and Hannah Eske each singled and scored in the inning, Mattie Scheidecker walked and scored, and JoJo Winkels reached on a fielder’s choice and scored.

“It’s kind of a hard way to start a game, being down 6-0,” Osakis head coach John Stigman said. “But you’re playing a team that’s upset-minded. They’re the five-seed, we’re the one-seed. Obviously they’re going to come in with fire. It’s just whether or not you can weather the storm because they’re going to come in with a lot of energy.”

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The Silverstreaks (15-4) picked up a run in the third inning. Eighth grader Tia Dykema walked and scored when Jordyn Rajdl reached on an error. They had a chance for two more runs, but Morgan Staloch struck out swinging and left runners on second and third.

In the fourth, the Osakis bats finally came alive, and the Streaks tied it at six apiece.

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“In their five run inning, we had a couple of aggressive errors trying to get the lead base runner and couple of the errors were from pretty poor defense and we need to figure that out,” Doll said. “We need to get three outs in an inning as fast as we can. It was a pretty big game changer. We went from up 6-0, to all of a sudden we are tied at six and we are the away team.”

Kali Giesler and Shea Olson started it off with back-to-back singles and Klimek hit a fly ball to center field that was dropped. Two batters later, Kylie Anderson singled home Giesler and Dykema followed with a run-scoring walk on four pitches.

Up next was Harlie Falzone, who reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. Rajdl then tried to stretch a single to left field into a double and was thrown out at second, but Falzone had already crossed the plate for the tying run.

“I thought we battled back great,” Stigman said. “We did a great job of getting back in the game. And then that seventh just kind of killed us again.”

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Both pitchers settled in for the next two innings, and it wasn’t until the top of the seventh that the Jackets retook control. Olson lined a double to center field to lead it off and two batters later Zepper hit a hard grounder that went barely fair over the third base bag. Despite third base coach Tyler Doll’s signal to hold up at second, Zepper rounded second and slid into third safely.

Perham picked up two more runs before the Streaks could stop the bleeding, and after a leadoff single from Rajdl, the next three Osakis hitters were put away to end the game.

Zepper not only went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, two RBI and two runs scored, but she also got the win in the pitching circle in a complete-game effort.

“She (Zepper) kept us in the game,” Doll said. “She got out of some jams and pounded the strike zone the whole game.”

Klimek took the loss, but pitched well after the first inning despite a couple mistakes in the seventh.

“She started very slow,” said Stigman. “I thought she was a little erratic early on. Kind of hurt herself a little bit with some walks, and then she had that hit-by-pitch where she actually hit her own hip first. But then she settled down and threw well. The big thing is just to make sure she comes in tomorrow prepared to throw.”

Osakis drops to the losers bracket to face the second seed, Pequot Lakes, who they beat 18-8 on April 7.

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“We played them the third game of the year, beat them,” Stigman said. “It doesn’t mean anything this time of year.

“We had a nice comeback (today). We’re not going to roll over and die. We’re just going to make sure we come out with more energy tomorrow.”

The Yellowjackets advance to face Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale in the subsection finals tomorrow (Thursday). The Yellowjackets were defeated by the Raiders earlier in the season, 7-3. Perham hopes to erase the memories from that contest when they meet for the North Subsection Championship.

“We thought we would see them in the first round, but it’s not a bad thing to face them in the subsection championship. Both teams are going to be familiar with each other,” Doll said. “Our girls have a little chip on their shoulder. They feel they left a little bit on the field that day. I think there will be big nerves on both sides because of the familiarity and the big spot. It’s something that our girls are really excited for.”

 

Jason Groth from the Perham Focus contributed to this story

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Perham's Grayce Mickelson ropes an RBI double for the Yellowjackets in the seventh. Ryan Pietruszewski/Forum News Service

Related Topics: PERHAMOSAKISALEXANDRIA
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