Crookston falls to 0-9.
Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal took an early lead and put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth to defeat Crookston 8-0 in a game played in Twin Valley. For the second straight game, the Pirates failed to score a run as they dropped to 0-7.
"We stuck with them," Pirates Head Coach Robbe Nessler said. "I believe they're the sixth-ranked team in Class A [MN Softball Hub] in the state of Minnesota, and we were down 3-0 through five innings. I told our girls that we hung with a good team today."
Ryah Opsahl (Jr. P) dominated the Crookston hitters generating a great deal of swings and misses. The junior went the distance and earned the complete game shutout on three hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts.
Jasmin Hanson (Jr. P) kept the Pirates in the game for five innings allowing three runs, but in the sixth, the Titans (10-2) scored five times to put the game out of reach.
"Jasmin has thrown the most innings for us this year," Nessler said. "I think she's pretty unflappable out there. She just goes out and does what she knows she can do. I think she understands that she's going to pitch to contact, and she just goes about it and does her job."
The sixth inning rally started with a one-out RBI double by Skylar Brevik (Jr. C). Corey Peterick (Jr. 1B) followed suit hitting a double to score two more and pushed the lead to 6-0. Gillian Keezer (So. SS) drove in a run on a single, and an error allowed Norman County East’s eighth run to cross home.
Hanson finished the game giving up eight runs, six earned, on 15 hits and did not allow a free pass the entire contest.
"We played well defensively," Nessler said. "We couldn't have played much better. Jasmin threw strikes like she always does, and our defense did play well today. That's something that I continued to stress today, because we're hanging with a good team here."
Of the Pirates’ three hits, two came from Allie Love (Jr. RF). The first was a one-out double in the second. Opsahl quickly recovered and retired the next two hitters to strand Love on the bases.
With the Pirates down to their last out, Jenna Coauette (Fr. CF) and Love reached on back-to-back singles, but Opsahl’s 12th punchout put an end to the threat and the game.
"They had a good, solid pitcher we just could not make solid contact on," Nessler said. "Allie Love had a solid double, but other than that, [Opsahl] shut us down today. That's just where we're at right now. Offensively, we're struggling to generate solid contact."
Crookston completes their filled week with a tournament in Park Rapids on Saturday, May 4. Their first game will be against Roseau at 11 a.m.
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