The Crookston Pirates Softball team once again went to extra innings against the Northern Freeze, this time falling 7-6 in nine innings of a non-Section game in the Agassiz Valley High School Softball Tournament played at MEC Park in Thief River Falls.
In the top of the first inning, Jenna Coauette walked the first batter she faced before picking up her first strikeout of the day. Another walk put runners on first and second base before a hit by pitch loaded the bases. A dropped fly ball in left field scored the Northern Freeze’s first run of the game giving the Freeze a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch scored the second run of the inning giving the Northern Freeze a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, a one-out bunt for a base hit followed, but a double to center field pushed the Northern Freeze lead to 3-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Ashlyn Genereux walked to start the inning before Kasey Cwikla reached on an error at first base that allowed Genereux to score trimming Crookston’s deficit down to 3-1 into the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, Emma Boll started a rally with a lead-off walk. Boll advanced to third after stealing second with a wild pitch before another wild pitch scored Boll bringing Crookston within 3-2. Jasmin Hanson walked before ultimately scoring on a wild pitch tying the game at 3-3. With two runners in scoring position, Amber Cymbaluk drove a single to center field plating two and giving Crookston a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. “She had a couple of really nice at-bats,” said Crookston head coach Robbe Nessler. “She’s been swinging a hot bat from yesterday into today. I just kind of had a good feeling when she was up there. We had runners on second and third base, and she hit a nice single that brought in two, and that’s what secured our first lead.”
Down to their three outs, the Northern Freeze started the bottom of the seventh inning with two straight outs before four consecutive singles plated two runs tying the game at 5-5 heading into the eighth inning. “We made a couple of blunders in the field,” explained Nessler of what allowed the Freeze to tie the game. “We had a dropped ball in the outfield, and we hesitated on a play in the middle of the infield where we could’ve gotten an out so we gave them two extra outs in the inning and that’s what made the difference there.” In the top of the eighth inning, the Northern Freeze scored on a bases-loaded walk, but Emma Boll drove home Kenze Epema with an RBI single leveling the game at 6-6 and forcing a ninth inning. “It was definitely a game where we showed lots of resilience,” noted Nessler. “We were down 3-0, and I could already tell girls were starting to look at it like here we go again. Jenna got stronger pitching as the game went on, but we’ve got to find a way to put things together to find a way to win there.”
In the top of the ninth inning, the Freeze capitalized off of a leadoff double and wild pitch to move the winning run into scoring position before an RBI groundout gave the Northern Freeze took a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI ground out. Crookston went down in order in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Freeze hung on for a thrilling 7-6 win in nine innings. “We’ve been pretty consistent here making things happen with our bats,” summarized Nessler. “We’ve been doing a better jobs protecting our pitchers in the field. We still had some blunders tonight that ended up costin us, but at the end of the day we’ve been more consistent and that’s really what we’re looking for. Our pitching has been very strong the last few games. I would say that I’m really proud of these girls just continuing to battle and doing what it takes to find a way to improve themselves each and every day.”
Crookston wraps up the regular season with a 2-17 record. In the postgame award ceremony, Jasmin Hanson and Jenna Coauette were both named to the All-Conference team. The Pirates will play in the Section 8AA Tournament on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. against an opponent to be determined at 5:00 p.m. on KROX.
|Eylie Homme – Northern Freeze||7.0||2||5||4||8||11|
|Zoey Magner – Northern Freeze||2.0||1||1||0||1||1|
|Jenna Coauette – Crookston||9.0||8||7||3||7||8|
Emma Boll – 1-2, run, 3 walks
For Northern Freeze
Brooke Fredrickson – 2-3, run, walk
Keylee Dahl – 2-5, 2 runs