Pirates edged out by NCE/U-H, 15-12, in extra innings

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times

The Crookston softball team was defeated by Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal, 15-12, in nine innings Friday afternoon at Donnie Lauf Field.

The Pirates (0-7) and the Titans played a scoreless first two innings, an outlier in a game that saw a combined 30 base hits, 10 extra-base hits and 17 walks from both teams. Crookston had 14 of those hits, three extra-base hits and 13 walks.

NCE/U-H scored three runs in the top of the third, but the Pirates came back with four of their own in the bottom half. Jenna Coauette and Julia Lallier drew walks to drive in runs, and Coauette stole home on a double steal to tie. Emily Bowman later scored on a passed ball.

The Titans took the lead back in the fourth with two runs. Crookston managed to tie it up in the bottom fourth when Coauette tripled on a fly to deep left, but NCE/U-H scored five straight runs to take a 10-5 lead after five and a half innings.

The Pirates loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, and with two outs, Brianna Kelly hit a grounder to second that the Titans proceeded to mishandle. The error led to three runs scoring and Crookston coming back to within 10-9.

NCE/U-H answered with an insurance run in the top of the seventh, but it wasn't enough. After an Emma Boll single, Amber Cymbaluk slammed a deep drive that glanced off the Titan left fielder's glove, resulting in an RBI triple. Bowman then singled on a ground ball to third, allowing Cymbaluk to score and tie the game.

Emily Bowman gets her bat on the ball.

The tying run came at a cost, as Cymbaluk hurt her left leg on the slide and had to be helped off the field by her coaches. Nevertheless, the senior catcher gutted it out and came back out for the eighth inning, in which both teams went scoreless.

The Titans broke through in the ninth inning for four runs, which the Pirates were unable to answer. They still put up a threat as Cymbaluk and Coauette drew consecutive walks and Bowman drove in Cymbaluk with a single. However, a groundout ended the game.

Every Pirate got on base at least once. Cymbaluk went 3-for-4 and crossed the plate five times. Coauette went 1-for-2 and scored twice, drawing four walks. Bowman went 3-for-5 with a run. Julia Lallier went 2-for-5 with a run. Brianna Kelly went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Boll went 1-for-5 with a run scored, Kenze Epema went 1-for-6 with a run scored and Emilee Tate went 1-for-4. Carley Knutson drew two walks and scored a run.

Coauette pitched all nine innings on the mound, allowing 16 hits and striking out six.

Anna Carlson went 4-for-6 at the plate to lead Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal. Adi Klementson and Kaitlynn Brenna each drove in three runs.

UP NEXT: Crookston will host Red Lake Falls (4-2) on Tuesday, May 4 at 5:00 p.m.

NORMAN COUNTY EAST/ULEN-HITTERDAL 15, CROOKSTON 11 (9)

NCE/U-H 0-0-3-2-4-1-1-0-4—15-16-4

Crookston 0-0-4-1-0-4-2-0-1—12-14-5

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