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Perham walks off in game one, falls in game two

The Perham fastpitch softball team showed things can change in a blink of an eye on the diamond. For six innings, Hawley's Emily Tjaden was in control, mowing down the Yellowjackets and staking her team to a 5-0 lead. In a quick blink, the Yellow...

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Perham's Cierra Olson connects with the pitch and sends it over the fence for a game-tying grand slam home run against the Hawley Nuggets. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham fastpitch softball team showed things can change in a blink of an eye on the diamond. For six innings, Hawley’s Emily Tjaden was in control, mowing down the Yellowjackets and staking her team to a 5-0 lead. In a quick blink, the Yellowjackets turned the momentum and the game, earning a 6-5 walk off victory in game one.

The Nuggets rebounded and used a strong pitching performance from Abby Rux in game two, earning a 3-1 victory, salvaging a Heart O’Lakes Conference split with the Yellowjackets on May 4 at Arvig Park.

In game one, Cierra Olson capped off a Perham rally by depositing an offering from Emily Tjaden over the fence for a game-tying grand slam home run. It capped off a five run inning, erasing a 5-0 deficit.

The Nuggets jumped ahead with a pair of runs in the first inning on an RBI double by Jordyn Byklum. They tacked on another run in the second when Marissa Thompson singled and scored.

Byklum delivered another run scoring double in the third inning, giving the Nuggets a 4-0 lead.

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However, Perham’s Katie Zepper continued to battle on the mound and limited the damage throughout. The Nuggets left eight runners on base and could not but together the big inning to break the game open.

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The Nuggets added another run in the fifth inning when Courtney Bjerke hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Tjaden, who singled to lead off the inning.

Things turned on Tjaden in the sixth inning. The ninth grade pitcher was in control for the first five innings. She retired the first nine Perham batters to start the game and lost the perfect game with a walk in the fourth. Perham’s first hit of the game came in the fifth when Aixa Kolofale singled.

Zepper started the sixth inning rally with a double to left field. Katelyn Pedersen reached on an error, putting runners on the corners. Mattie Scheidecker followed with an RBI single, making it 5-1. Erin Winter singled to load the bases for Olson.

Olson struggled at that point. She hit two infield pop flies. However, she timed Tjaden perfectly in the sixth and tagged an offering over the fence in left centerfield, tying the game at five.

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Rylee Lindquist led the seventh off with a single and was taken out of the game when they put Jade Lenius on for her speed. It paid off instantly when she swiped second base and moved to third on a bunt by Jojo Winkels. Zepper hit a line drive to center, which allowed Lenius to tag up and score the game winning run.
Zepper earned the win in game one. She allowed five runs on eight hits. She struck out three, while walking four. Rux took the loss in relief. She allowed one run on one hit. Tjaden did not factor in the decision. She gave up five runs in six innings. She allowed five hits, while striking out four batters.

The Nuggets used a strong performance from Rux in game two, lifting them to a 3-1 victory over the Yellowjackets and salvaging a split. Rux allowed just six hits in seven innings. She struck out five batters. Her control was on point for much of the game. She walked just one batter. The walk led to the only Perham run.

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The Nuggets jumped ahead with an RBI single by Tavia Lawson in the first inning. They tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth. Makayla Weiss delivered a two-run single, making it 3-0.

A lead off walk to Jojo Winkels started the Perham fifth. Winkels stole a pair of bases and scored on a ground out by Katelyn Pedersen. It was the lone Perham run of the game.

Katie Johnson suffered the loss. She went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. She induced 12 pop outs in the loss.

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The Yellowjackets announced a schedule change earlier in the day. Perham will host Barnesville on May 5 at 4 p.m. for an HOL doubleheader at Arvig Park. The schedule game at Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale has been moved to Monday, May 8 and will start at 3 p.m. in Verndale.

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Related Topics: PERHAM
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