BEMIDJI, Minn. - Behind a solid start from pitcher Ali Willard (So., Hutchinson, Minn.) and clutch seventh-inning hits, the Bemidji State University softball team scratched out a split in a twinbill with the University of Mary (N.D.). The Beavers downed Mary in the opener by a score of 4-3, but the Marauder offense came alive to post a 10-0 shutout over BSU in the nightcap.
In the first game of the day, Bemidji State came out swinging with three runs in the second inning to give Willard a 3-0 lead. Bridget Smith (So., SS, Burnsville, Minn.) started off the Beaver rally with a double to left-center and was brought in to score one batter later, a single from Elk River, Minn., native Amy Klaers (Fr., INF). An error by the Mary leftfielder on the play allowed Klaers to move into scoring position.
The Beavers took advantage of the miscue with an RBI single by Katie Prettyman (So., OF, International Falls, Minn.), after Michelle Taylor (Jr., INF, St. Michael, Minn.) drew a walk. Taylor moved to third on the play. During the next pitch, Prettyman forced a run-down, which allowed Taylor to score before the tag on Prettyman ended the inning.
The Marauders battled back with two runs in the third inning, and one more in the fourth. Mary’s Kaitlyn Richardson had an RBI single in each inning to help tie the score at 3-3. BSU’s Willard settled in, to shutdown the Mary offense in the fifth and sixth, giving the Beavers a chance to take the lead for good.
In the home half of the sixth, Jamie Docken (Jr., OF, Owatonna, Minn.) got a two-out rally started with a single up the middle. Smith followed suit with a single of her own past the diving Marauder shortstop to put two on, with two out for Klaers. The third baseman roped a single into the left-centerfield gap to score Jamie Ford (Fr., OF, Edina, Minn.), who was pinch-running for Docken, from second.
With a one-run lead, BSU’s Kristen Paine (Jr., P, Chisholm, Minn.) entered the game with a baserunner on first in the seventh, and worked her way out of a bases-loaded jam later in the inning to earn her first save of the season, and first of her BSU career.
In the nightcap, Mary played nearly perfect on both sides of the ball scoring 10 runs on 12 hits, while pitcher Sarah Moder shut down the Beavers offense in a five-inning complete game. Moder allowed just four hits and struck out nine batters, with zero walks.
Lindsey Imhof (Sr., P, Littlefork, Minn.) took the loss for the Beavers, working two innings and allowing nine runs (nine earned) on seven hits and walking four. Paine pitched the final three innings for BSU, surrendering just one run on five hits and walking three Marauders.
The Beavers will play their third home doubleheader in the last three days tomorrow against St. Cloud, in a game originally scheduled for April 12. The first pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
Extra Bases: BSU’s Klaers was 3-for-6 on the day with two RBI and a run scored... BSU catchers Megan McDonald (Jr., Warroard, Minn.) threw two-of-three attempted base stealers in Game One... BSU’s defense recorded three double plays in the doubleheader.