Minnesota Crookston falls to 11-15 (0-2 NSIC).

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston softball team opened up Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play Wed., March 27 at Chet Anderson Stadium in Bemidji, Minn. The Golden Eagles 11-4 after giving up four runs in the fourth frame, and five runs in the sixth stanza. In game two, Minnesota Crookston battled until the final pitch with the game-winning run on the base paths in the bottom of the seventh. The Golden Eagles ultimately fell 4-3 to the Beavers.

    Minnesota Crookston falls to 11-15 (0-2 NSIC) with Wednesday’s doubleheader loss. The Golden Eagles are one win away from tying the school record set during the 2017 season, while they are two victories away from setting the wins mark. Bemidji State improves to 19-7 (2-0 NSIC) with Wednesday’s sweep.

Game One

    The Golden Eagles dropped the first game 11-4 after holding a 3-0 advantage going into the third inning. Bemidji State scored 11 runs in the final five frames of Wednesday’s game with just seven earned runs on the game, due in part to five errors in the field for Minnesota Crookston.

    Taylor Graven (So., RHP, Greene, Iowa) got the start for Minnesota Crookston and allowed three earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3.1 innings of work. Mikayla Jones (Sr., RHP, Huxley, Iowa) came on in relief and allowed four runs on seven hits with one strikeout. Darian Pancirov (Fr., RHP, Las Vegas, Nev.) made her first appearance in the circle of her collegiate career, as she tossed a shutout inning for Minnesota Crookston.

    Stephi Dullum pitched the complete game for the Beavers, allowing just one earned run on 11 hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

    Bemidji State was led by Elaina Christiansen, who was 2-of-6 with six RBIs and two runs scored, while Makayla Pagel went 2-of-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Jessica Burlingame finished 2-of-5 with one run scored, while Rochelle Koshalek was 2-of-4 with three runs scored.

    Minnesota Crookston was led by Malia Pula (Jr., UT, Gilroy, Calif.), who was 2-of-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Haley Strachan (Sr., OF, Phoenix, Ariz.) was 2-of-3 with one run scored. Maggie Morales tied the all-time doubles mark in game one, and finished 2-of-4 for the day.

    The Golden Eagles scored the first two runs of the game when Hannah Macias (Fr., OF, West Covina, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice, and Strachan and Pula came in to score on an error at third base.

    Minnesota Crookston extended their lead to 2-0 later in the second frame as Jordan Peterson (So., C, Lakeville, Minn.) grounded out to short stop, driving in Jones from third.

    Bemidji State cut the deficit to 3-1 as Koshalek scored on an error on a failed throw down to second base from the catcher. The Beavers cut the lead to 3-2 when Brooke Phillips doubled to center field to plate Pagel.

    Bemidji State knotted the game up 3-3 in the fourth when Olivia Tucker scored on an error by the pitcher. The Beavers took a 6-3 advantage on a three-run blast from Christiansen, as she drove in herself, Koshalek, and Dullum.

    The Golden Eagles cut the lead down to 6-4 in the fifth frame with a Pula sacrifice fly to left field to plate Proctor.

    The Beavers responded though as Christiansen had her second home run of the game, as she drove in Koshalek and Lexi Derrick. Later in the sixth frame, Pagel had a triple to right field to drive in Burlingame. Pagel came in to score on an error in right field as they took the 11-4 advantage, which would be the final tally.

Game Two

    The Golden Eagles battled back late as they had two runners on, including the game-winning run, unfortunately Minnesota Crookston ultimately fell 4-3 to Bemidji State.

    Paige Pitlick (Jr., RHP, Jordan, Minn.) had a strong outing in the circle for Minnesota Crookston. Pitlick gave up just one earned run on 10 hits in a complete game with eight strikeouts and a walk.

    Koshalek earned the win in the game for Bemidji State, giving up just one earned run in the pitcher’s duel on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

    Minnesota Crookston was paced by Morales, who was 3-of-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Pula went 1-of-4 with one run scored, while Proctor was 2-of-4 with two RBIs.

    Bemidji State was guided by Christiansen, who was 3-of-3 with one run scored. Pagel went 2-of-4 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Burlingame was also 2-of-4.

    The Beavers took the early advantage with a pair of runs in the first inning. The first run of the game crossed as McAllister hit an infield single to plate Pagel. Later in the frame, Sami Trana singled to center field to plate Phillips.

    Minnesota Crookston knotted the tilt up 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth as Proctor had a ground-rule double down the left field line to drive in Morales and Mika Rodriguez (Jr., 2B/SS, Laveen, Ariz.).    

    The Beavers took the lead back 3-2 in the top of the third as Pagel crossed home on an error by the pitcher.

    In the third inning, Morales set the school doubles mark with a ground-rule double, as she surpassed her former teammate Gabriel Antolak. However, the Golden Eagles stranded a pair of runners on the bases.

    Bemidji State extended the lead to 4-2 in the fourth inning as Pagel had a ground-rule double to drive in Christiansen.

    The Golden Eagles looked to make a late comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-out rally. Pula opened up the rally for Minnesota Crookston with a round-rule double. Morales came up in a big spot and singled up the middle to drive in Pula to cut the lead to 4-3. With two outs, Rocky Bjorge (Sr., 3B/1B, Prior Lake, Minn.) drew a walk, moving pinch-runner Tavia Lawson (So., OF, Hawley, Minn.) to second. Unfortunately, Koshalek got the final out of the game as the Beavers prevailed 4-3.

    Minnesota Crookston is slated to play Southwest Minnesota State University Sat., March 30 at 1 and 3 p.m., in Marshall, Minn., and University of Sioux Falls Sun., March 31 at 12 and 2 p.m.