HIGHLIGHTS: Bemidji Sweeps Denfeld Behind Offensive Surge

A pair of home runs from Lexi Tatro in game one helped set the tone for Bemidji to roll to 11-3 and 12-2 (F/5) wins against Duluth Denfeld in a blustery softball doubleheader Friday at the Bemidji High School Softball Field.

Game 1: Bemidji 11-3 Duluth Denfeld

The Lumberjacks responded to an early deficit in the first inning with an explosive showing from their offense, which entered the game having scored just eight runs in the previous five games combined.

After surrendering a single run in the top half of the opening frame, Bemidji captured the lead thanks to Tatro’s second home run of the season–a two-run blast to left field that carried through a strong cross breeze.

Chloe Hasbargen opened the bottom of the second with a double, then came around to score when an attempted throw to third following Katarina Malterud’s groundout resulted in an errant throw.

The Hunters cut the lead to 3-2 in the third with a pair of doubles off Bemidji starter Mariah Graves, but could do no further damage.

The fourth inning proved to be the big breakthrough for the Lumberjacks, who sent eight batters to the plate and scored five runs. Malterud brought Beth Bolte home from third by lacing a sharp single up the middle.

Bemidji kept its formula consistent in the inning–RBI singles followed by a steal of second with the incoming wind making throws to second base a difficult task. Payton Weideman and Jody Pemberton went back-to-back with run-scoring, two-out hits that expanded the lead to 6-2.

After working a full count, Tatro then unleashed another two-run home run to left field that capped off the big inning.

While Graves and the Jacks’ defense kept Denfeld locked up for just one further run the rest of the way, Bemidji plated three more in the sixth inning on another RBI knock from Pemberton and a two-run double by Elizabeth Oster.

Graves took the win with a complete game performance that featured just three runs allowed on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Tatro went 2-for-3 with the two home runs and four RBI at the plate, Weidemann tallied three hits, three runs, and an RBI, and both Pemberton and Oster finished with two runs batted in.

Game 2: Bemidji 12-2 Duluth Denfeld (F/5)

The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back in completing the sweep of Denfeld despite continued high winds in game two.

Tatro drew a two-out walk and stole a base in the top of the first to set up another RBI single from Oster, who was then tagged out trying to reach second base after the run had scored.

The Lumberjacks benefited from a Denfeld wild pitch and error on the same play to bring home both Isabelle Neadeau and Bolte in the second.

Weidemann tallied another two-out RBI when she singled in Malterud to put Bemidji up 4-0 after two innings at the plate.

Denfeld got on the board against Jacks pitcher Aleah Shogren in the bottom of the second, but Bemidji put up three more runs in the third to go up 7-1. Bolte, Hasbargen, and Malterud strung together consecutive run-scoring hits–all coming with two outs.

Two more Bemidji runs came home in the fourth inning with help from another error from the Hunters, who then posted two more errors in the fifth that contributed to a 12-2 lead for the Lumberjacks.

Shogren worked five innings for the victory, allowing two runs–one earned–on eight hits while striking out six. Oster reached base all four times at the plate–posting three hits and two runs batted in–while Bolte went 3-for-3 with one RBI.