The Pirates move to 1-15 on the year.
In 2018, the Crookston Pirates earned their first win of the season against Northern Freeze. History repeated itself a year later as the Pirates won 12-11 in an extra-inning contest against the same team, this time on the road.
“I was getting nervous by the end of it, but they kept their head in it for the most part, and they came out victorious,” Acting Head Coach Matt Torgerson said.
The Pirates (1-15) trailed 11-9 down to their last three outs and put together their most important offensive inning of the season.
Allie Love (Jr.) made it a one-run game on an RBI fielder’s choice, and down to her last strike with two outs, Amber Cymbaluk (So.) sent the game-tying hit to right field which brought home Jenna Coauette (Fr.) for a brand new ballgame.
“When we needed bats, we got them,” Torgerson said. “When we needed girls to hit, they hit. They all kind of stepped up when they needed to. We made a few mistakes in our fielding, but all the girls stepped up and kept their heads up.”
For the first time this season, Jasmin Hanson (Jr.) pitched into extra innings. Hanson went the entire game, worked around 15 errors and was charged with three of Northern Freeze’s 11 runs. The junior also walked four and struck out four.
Despite all that had happened, Torgerson sent Hanson back out the circle with the Pirates up 12-11 and a chance to close out their first win.
“I asked Jasmin how she was doing, she said she was okay so I trusted her to know where she needs to be,” Torgerson said. “Even though we had the fielding issues, Jasmin was right on point. She was pitching strikes, and she was doing what she needed to.”
It seemed only fitting Hanson pitch the final inning as it was her bat that gave Crookston a lead in the eighth with an RBI single to score Brylee Lessard (Jr.).
In the spirit of a nail-biting finish, Northern Freeze loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the eighth. A pop-up to Kasey Cwikla (Jr.) at third served as the second out and the Pirates sat one out away from a celebration.
Hanson got a ground ball between the circle and third base, charged the slow-roller and fired to Cymbaluk at home for the force to end the game.
The umpire originally signaled safe forgetting about the force rule but quickly corrected the call, and Crookston could finally celebrate.
“The grounder was right between pitcher and third base, so that’s where the play needed to be, and it worked out,” Torgerson said. “I want to say we got a little bit lucky, but it was skill. The girls knew what they needed to do, and they did it.”
As any team who notched their first win would do, the Pirates made sure to savor the victory.
“It was a little indescribable,” Torgerson said. “We knew going into this game we had a good chance of doing well. This was a team pretty equally matched to us, and actually, they beat a couple teams who beat us pretty bad.”
The Pirates will finish their final two regular season games on the road. The first is against East Polk in Fosston on Thursday, May 16 at 4:30 p.m.Crookston 0 4 1 1 3 0 2 1 12 8 15 Northern Freeze 3 2 0 2 3 1 0 0 11 14 4
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