Bemidji softball used four combined RBI from three different seniors and a strong stretch of defense and pitching to finish the regular season with a 5-2 win over Alexandria on Saturday at the Bemidji High School Softball Field.
The Jacks’ final tune-up for the Section 8AAAA playoffs started rather slowly, with Alexandria taking a 1-0 lead off a pair of hits in the top of the first inning.
The early deficit did little to deter Bemidji’s defense and pitcher Aleah Shogren in the circle, as she fired her first strikeout to end the frame–starting a run of 14 consecutive batters retired. The junior maintained that stretch by notching another strikeout to wrap a quick top of the second.
At the plate in the bottom of the inning, the Lumberjacks scratched out their first run through a single, steal, and score on a wild pitch from Beth Bolte.
Two more runs followed one inning later to give the Jacks the lead for good–first on an RBI from Elizabeth Oster, then through another single by Bolte that brought Oster home.
Oster delivered another big blow in the fourth inning by going to right center with a run-scoring triple that put the Jacks up 4-1.
In the circle, Shogren continued to keep Alex at bay in the fifth inning by again retiring the side in order.
Bemidji again scored a single run in the fifth to stretch the lead further, this time through an RBI knock from senior Annika Nelson.
The run of retired Alexandria batters ended in controversial fashion in the sixth inning. Oster–who had moved to second base in the field–put away a pop fly using her first baseman’s glove, which was ruled to be a violation despite protests of a rules discrepancy from the Bemidji coaching staff. The Cardinals subsequently brought the runner home through an error on a throw to third, but could do no further damage in both the inning and the game.
Shogren finished an impressive complete game allowing just two runs–one earned–on three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Oster picked up two runs batted in, while Bolte had three hits and an RBI, and Nelson added the other run knocked in.