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Beavers sweep Golden Eagles to open NSIC play

The Bemidji State University softball team opened Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play Wednesday afternoon with two wins over University of Minnesota Crookston at Chet Anderson Stadium. The Beavers (19-7, 2-0 NSIC) began the series with an 11-4 victory in game one and followed with a close 4-3 win in game two to extend their win streak to 10 games.

Bemidji State 11, Minnesota Crookston 4
The Beavers exploded for 11 runs off of 13 hits in the first action of the day and cruised to an 11-4 win over the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston started the scoring however and jumped to an early 3-0 lead after the second inning. BSU responded with two runs in the third inning off of a Golden Eagles error and RBI double from Makayla Pagel. The Beavers then scored four more runs in the fourth inning to take the lead at 6-3 highlighted by a three-run, home run by freshman Elaina Christiansen.

Minnesota Crookston added a run in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 6-4 but Bemidji State drove in five runs in the sixth inning to extend its lead to 11-4. Christiansen once again was a main contributor to the Beavers’ scoring in the inning by hitting her second three-run, home run in the inning followed by an RBI triple by Pagel.

Sophomore Stephi Dullum was excellent in the circle and earned the complete game win to improve to 8-3 on the season. She allowed just one earned run, three unearned, and struck out four batters.

Christiansen finished the day at the plate 2-for-5 with two home runs and a career-high six RBI while seniors Jessica Burlingame, Pagel, Kelsey McAllister and sophomore Sami Dullum each recorded two hits. The Beavers also totaled six doubles as team in the game led by McAllister with two.

Bemidji State 4, Minnesota Crookston 3
Game two would prove to be a much tighter race as the Beavers and Golden Eagles were within two runs of each other for most of the game. The Beavers started the scoring in the top of the first when McAllister and Sami Trana each hit RBI singles for the 2-0 lead but the Golden Eagles responded with a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game.

BSU regained the lead with a run off of an error in the third inning and extended its lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Pagel hit an RBI double. The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless between the two teams and heading in the to bottom of the seventh, BSU held a slim 4-2 lead over UMC. Minnesota Crookston hit an RBI single with two outs in the seventh to bring the score to 4-3 but senior Rochelle Koshalek and the Beavers’ defense forced a ground ball for the final out to complete the sweep over the Golden Eagles.

Koshalek pitched all seven innings for the Beavers for her fourth complete game of the season and improves her record to 3-2 overall after giving up just three runs, one earned off of eight hits and earned six strikeouts.

Christiansen once again led the Beavers at the plate and went 3-for-3 in the game with a run scored while Burlingame, Pagel and McAllister each went 2-for-4.

The Beavers continue NSIC play on the road this weekend and travel to University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University for a pair of doubleheaders March 30 and 31.

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