Crookston played their second seven-inning game of the year in the 16-8 loss.
CROOKSTON - Had the Pirates applied their defensive play in the final three innings to the entire contest, they might have escaped victorious. Rather, Crookston committed 10 errors, six coming in a single inning, and fell to the Bagley Flyers 16-8 for their third straight loss.
Through three innings, Crookston (0-3, 0-2 Section 8AA) trailed 4-2 with only two blemishes in the field. The fourth inning, however, proved to be the back-breaker as the Flyers (1-1, 1-0 Section 8AA) plated 10 on six errors and seven hits.
The inning began with Sarah Hecht (Jr. 2B) reaching on an error and scored when Kara Cease-Bowman (Sr. 3B) sent an RBI single to center. After two errors and a wild pitch scored Bagley's sixth, seventh and eighth runs, Cori Bonik (Jr. RHP) brought home one more on a double for a 9-2 Bagley advantage. All this occurred before the first out of the inning.
“They had a couple tough plays to make,” Pirates Head Coach Robbe Nessler said. “Once you make one or two, then girls start to get down on themselves, and you can just see the shoulders slump a little. They got to make sure they keep their head in the game. You can tell that wasn’t the case in that inning.”
The Flyers took advantage of two more errors and scored five more times to lead 14-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Crookston’s starting pitcher Jasmin Hanson (Jr. RHP) went the entire game with three runs charged to her. The rest crossed the plate as a result of misplays in the field. The junior, in her second start of the season, struck out five, walked one and notched her second complete game of the year.
“Jasmin did her job in East Grand Forks where she had two earned runs and today with three,” Nessler said. “If a team ends up with 16 runs, but only three of them are earned, to a pitcher, that’s got to be frustrating. You don’t expect perfection, but we’ve got to be able to buckle down a little bit more and avoid a big inning.”
Bagley used two pitchers to earn the win, and it began with Bonik who went the first three innings and surrendered two runs, one earned.
To start the fourth, the Flyers went with Maria Melbo (Jr. LHP). The lefty with the long delivery retired the first batter via a strikeout and proceeded to run into trouble as the Bagley defense began to unravel.
With runners on first and third, Kasey Cwikla (Jr. 3B) broke for second which drew a throw and allowed Amber Cymbaluk (So. C) to score on a steal of home. After an RBI groundout by Ashlyn Genereux (Jr. RF), Maddi Salentine (Jr. 2B) hit a swinging bunt, Melbo threw it away, Kenze Epema (So. LF) and Eden Haller (Jr. 1B) came around to score and the Pirates cut the deficit to eight down 14-6.
Bagley’s third error of the inning led to Salentine coming home, and Jenna Coauette (Fr. CF) capped off the six-run inning with an RBI hit to score Emma Boll (So. SS).
Both defenses calmed down after the fourth inning which saw 16 runs from both sides.
The Flyers retaliated in the fifth courtesy of an RBI single by Faith Broten (Sr. SS) and tacked on one more in the seventh frame on an RBI groundout from Gracey Halverson (So. 1B) for a 16-8 score, the eventual final.
Crookston saw seven baserunners and three hits in their final three innings at the plate, loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, could not push across any more and Bagley celebrated their first win of the season.
For two of the first four innings, Crookston responded after a Bagley score, but such was not the case in the fourth through seventh. Nessler attributes the lack of late offense to unfavorable approaches at the plate and overall effort for balls in play.
“I’ve been telling a couple of our girls they need to be more aggressive, and some of them need to calm down a little bit,” Nessler said. “You saw a couple swinging at pitches that are way too high, and there’s a couple of us who are lunging. I guess, at the end of the day, the girls that were getting on, whether it be a walk or hustling all the way to first base, is ideal for us. Some girls just take it for granted that the defense is going to make an automatic play.”
Up next for the Pirates, a road affair against Ada-Borup on Friday, April 26. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.Bagley 0 2 2 10 1 0 1 16 12 7 Crookston 0 2 0 6 0 0 0 8 12 10 Bagley AB R H RBI BB SO Cori Bonik (P) 5 0 1 1 0 1 Tessa Tramm (LF) 5 3 1 1 0 1 McKinzie Halverson (C) 4 0 1 1 0 1 Faith Broten (SS) 5 2 3 3 0 0 Sarah Hecht (2B) 2 3 0 0 1 0 Kara Cease-Bowman (3B) 4 1 1 2 0 1 Gracey Halverson (1B) 4 1 2 1 0 0 Aleah Nelson (CF) 4 1 2 1 0 0 McKenna Melbo (RF) 2 1 1 1 0 1 Maria Melbo (P) 1 0 0 0 0 0 Pitchers IP H R ER K BB Cori Bonik 3.0 4 2 1 2 5 Maria Melbo (W) 4.0 8 6 3 7 4 Crookston AB R H RBI BB SO Maddi Salentine (2B) 4 1 3 1 1 1 Emma Boll (SS) 4 1 1 0 0 2 Jasmin Hanson (P) 3 0 1 0 1 1 Jenna Coauette (CF) 3 0 2 0 1 1 Amber Cymbaluk (C) 3 2 2 0 1 1 Kasey Cwikla (3B) 3 1 1 0 1 1 Brylee Lessard (LF) 0 1 0 0 1 0 Kenze Epema (LF) 1 1 1 0 2 0 Ashlyn Genereux (RF) 3 0 1 2 1 1 Sophia Steiner (1B) 1 0 0 0 0 1 Eden Haller (1B) 3 1 0 0 0 0 Pitchers IP H R ER K BB Jasmin Hanson (L) 7.0 12 16 3 5 1
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