Six runs in the second inning and four more in the sixth were enough damage for #9 Buffalo to hand #8 Bemidji a season-ending 10-3 loss in a Section 8AAAA play-in game on Monday at the Bemidji High School Softball Field.
Despite landing in the play-in game for a second-straight year, the Jacks were once again seeded #8–giving them the chance to play the game on home field once again. But despite avoiding surrendering a run after allowing the game’s first two batters to reach, the Lumberjacks could not repeat the feat in the second.
Buffalo pieced together five consecutive singles, which were capped by two-run hits from Elsa Sabulla and Cadence Lindquist to give the Bison a 4-0 lead.
Two more runs came home on an infield single and RBI double to left Bemidji down 6-0 after just an inning and a half.
The Lumberjacks got a run on the board in the bottom half of the inning through Maya Schmidt’s RBI single with two outs.
Both teams kept each other at bay until the bottom of the fifth when the Jacks pieced together the makings of an offensive threat. Annika Nelson’s leadoff walk was followed by a bunt single from Sammy Nistler that gave the hosts a pair of early baserunners.
After Mady Nistler and Elizabeth Oster were each retired, Izzy Neadeau came through with a two-run double that cut the lead to just three by the end of the fifth inning.
But Buffalo awakened again to put up another number that left Bemidji in an even deeper hole. After loading the bases, the Bison got a grounder from Sarah Gaida that was enough to bring lead runner Sabulla home to extend the advantage.
Annika Stoll then stepped up with the bases loaded and drove all three runners in with a deep double that left the Bison ahead 10-3.
Bemidji could not find any consistent offense over the next two innings, finishing the game and season on a deep flyout from Oster to right field.
The Lumberjacks finished with seven hits, but from seven different players sprinkled all throughout the afternoon.
Buffalo advances to face #1 seed St. Michael-Albertville in a Tuesday first round game.
Bemidji concludes its season with a record of 7-12, graduating seven seniors: Adie Potratz, Beth Bolte, Elizabeth Oster, Annika Nelson, Isabelle Neadeau, Joscelyn Pegueros, and Madyson Nistler.