Panthers begin new win streak following loss at Detroit Lakes
After seeing a long winning streak during the regular season and in Mid-State Conference play end Thursday at Detroit Lakes, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team regrouped to start another winning streak.
Detroit Lakes ended the Panthers' 13-game conference winning streak and 32-game winning streak in regular-season games with a 4-2 victory in the first game of a Mid-State doubleheader Thursday. The Panthers rebounded from that loss to earn a split with a 4-0 win in the second game at Detroit Lakes.
Park Rapids then defeated Barnesville via the 10-run rule for the second time this season with an 11-1 victory Friday at the Area High School field. The Panthers improved to 4-0 against Section 8AA teams and 11-1 overall with the win over Barnesville, which fell to 4-4 against section teams and 5-5 overall.
Panthers, DL split
Three home runs supported a one-hitter by Madi Kirchner as the Lakers edged Park Rapids in the first game before Rilee Michaelson threw a three-hit shutout in the second game as these two state-ranked teams settled for a split.
Detroit Lakes, which was rated No. 16 in the first state Class AAA poll, opened the scoring on Laura Prussia's lead-off home run in the bottom of the first inning. Taylor Prussia singled to lead off the third and scored on Lauryn Manning's two-run homer with two outs. Madi Anderson's solo homer with two outs in the fourth gave the Lakers a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers, who were rated No. 4 in the first state Class AA poll, managed only a two-out walk by Kaisa Coborn in the first inning before Shailyn Pachel reached on an error and Natalie Kinkel singled with one out in the sixth. Pachel scored on a wild pitch and Kinkel scored on Kendra Coborn's sacrifice fly.
Kirchner faced only 24 batters, allowing two unearned runs while striking out seven. Rilee Michaelson took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits with six strikeouts.
Park Rapids earned the split by scoring four times in the first three innings.
Kinkel walked, advanced to third on a stolen base and Kendra Coborn's bunt single, and scored on a double steal in the first. The Panthers added two runs in the second when Kylee Pachel walked and Lexi Hinkley-Smith reached on an error with one out. Kinkel's two-run single made it 3-0. Katelyn Weaver concluded the scoring with a solo home run in the third.
Michaelson again went the distance, striking out five for the win. Mercedez Bellanger took the loss despite throwing a four-hitter.
The split left the Panthers with a 5-1 record to tie Pequot Lakes atop the conference standings while Detroit Lakes is now 4-2 in Mid-State games and 6-5 overall.
"We've looked forward to DL all season long. We were pretty tight going into that first game. We haven't seen a pitcher with that much speed all season. As the first game progressed, we made some adjustments. By the end of the game, we were starting to play much more relaxed," said Park Rapids head coach Marion Goeden. "Game 2 showed our tenacity. We relaxed and played much better. We know we need more games like this to prepare us for playoffs. We welcomed the challenge. As long as we fall forward, this will help us more than it will hurt us down the road."
Park Rapids 000 002 0--2 1 1
Detroit Lakes 102 100 x--4 6 1
Park Rapids batting (Game 1): Kinkel (1-3, 1 r), Ke. Coborn (0-2, 1rbi), Ka. Coborn (0-2), Johanning (0-3), K. Pachel (0-3), Michaelson (0-3), Weaver (0-2), Hinkley-Smith (0-2), S. Pachel (0-0, 1r), Witkin (0-2). Park Rapids pitching (Game 1): Michaelson (6ip, 6h, 4er, 0bb, 6k).
Detroit Lakes 000 00--0 3 2
Park Rapids 121 0x--4 4 1
Park Rapids batting (Game 2): Kinkel (1-2, 1r, 2rbi), Ke. Coborn (1-2), Ka. Coborn (0-2), Johanning (0-2), Weaver (1-2, 1r, 1rbi, 1hr), K. Pahcel (1-1, 1r), Michaelson (0-2), Hinkley-Smith (0-2, 1r), Witkin (0-2). Park Rapids pitching (Game 2): Michaelson (5ip, 3h, 0r, 0bb, 5k).
Panthers roll again
After being held to only six hits in two games at Detroit Lakes, the Panthers returned home and belted out 12 hits to spark their eighth win via the 10-run rule this season.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the first on Kaisa Coborn's two-out single, an error and Tara Johanning's RBI single.
Barnesville tied the game in the third before Park Rapids sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of that inning to take control. Casey Witkin singled and scored on Kendra Coborn's RBI single. Kaisa Coborn followed with a two-run home run. Three errors, a single by Johanning, and RBI singles by Kylee Pachel and Witkin made it 8-1.
Kendra Coborn reached on an error and scored following singles by Kaisa Coborn and Weaver in the fourth for a 9-1 advantage before the Panthers ended the game early in the fifth when Michaelson and Hinkley-Smith scored on Kendra Coborn's two-run double.
Kendra Coborn (2 for 4, two runs, three RBI), Kaisa Coborn (3 for 3, two runs, two RBI) and Johanning (2 for 3) paced the Panthers' offense. Michaelson went the distance, giving up seven hits while striking out four.
Park Rapids defeated the Trojans 13-0 in five innings earlier in the season.
Barnesville 001 00--1 7 7
Park Rapids 107 12---11 12
Park Rapids batting: Kinkel (0-4), Ke. Coborn (2-4, 2r, 3rbi), Ka. Coborn (3-3, 2r, 2rbi, 1hr), Johanning (2-3, 1r, 1rbi), Weaver (1-3, 1r), K. Pachel (1-3, 1r, 1rbi), Michaelson (1-3, 2r), Hinkley-Smith (0-3, 1r), Witkin (2-2, 1r, 1rbi), S. Pachel (0-1). Park Rapids pitching: Michaelson (5ip, 7h, 1er, 0bb, 4k).