Crookston led 2-0 in the first inning, but could not match the offense of the Flyers.
The Crookston Pirates took their first lead of the season thanks to RBI hits by sophomore Jasmin Hanson and freshman Emma Boll. Bagley went on to outscore the Pirates 15-3 from that point on to end the game after five innings and hand Crookston (0-6) their sixth loss of the season.
Sophomore Sophia Steiner started the game for the Pirates in the circle. Steiner pitched one inning allowing nine runs on four hits and striking out three. Fellow sophomore Ashlyn Genereux came on to pitch the final three innings surrendering six runs, three earned.
Other than the RBIs from Hanson and Boll, sophomore Maddi Salentine also collected an RBI. Five different Pirates crossed the plate in senior Jaeden Lizakowski, Salentine, Hanson, sophomore Kasey Cwikla and Steiner.
After Crookston’s two-run first inning, Bagley roared for nine runs in the first with six bases-loaded walks in the process.
“I probably need to do a better job of limiting walks by taking more mound visits or being willing to make a substitution,” Head Coach Robbe Nessler said. “Some days, a pitcher is just not feeling it. When we start walking in runs, our pitchers understand that we have a full team of players to think about. I believe in all of our girls who have stepped up to pitch this year and it will continue to be a committee approach, as we are still young and learning fundamentals.”
Cwikla led off the second with a walk and stole second with sophomore Brylee Lessard batting. On the next pitch, Lessard made contact and reached on an error which scored Cwikla to make it 9-3 in favor of the Flyers.
With two outs and a runner on third, Salentine singled on a line drive to right field scoring Steiner to draw closer with a 9-4 score.
“Maddi has shown a lot of confidence and patience at the plate,” Nessler said. “She has demonstrated that more often than not, she is going to find a way on. I believe she is either our team leader or is second on the team in terms of season batting average. If she can continue to get on base with that kind of percentage, that is very promising to me as a coach.”
Hanson drew a walk to extend the inning and bring up Boll. On the first pitch of the at bat, Boll hit a ball to center field misplayed by the fielder resulting in another run as Salentine crossed home plate.
“For Emma, she is just an aggressive hitter who goes up to the plate with confidence,” Nessler said. “I have had her hitting at the top of the lineup here at the beginning of the season because I am confident that she will bring in runs for us.”
Trailing 9-5 would be as close as Crookston would get. Bagley added five more runs in the bottom half and one more in the third to create a 15-5 lead. After five innings, Crookston could not get within nine forcing the mercy rule.
The Pirates had at least one runner reach base in each of the last three innings, but could not bring them in to score.
“In the first couple of innings we either found the gaps or hit the ball over their outfielders' heads in a couple of cases,” Nessler said. “As the game progressed, we did continue to make contact but their fielders made the plays that were there for them. We did not demonstrate the same power that we showed in the first couple of innings and this is why we left a number of runners on base in the last few innings.”
The Pirates return home for a game against Ada-Borup on Friday, April 27. First pitch at Donnie Lauf Field is set for 4:30 p.m.