The Pine River-Backus softball team finished the regular season 11-3 overall after defeating the Pillager Huskies 5-4 in seven innings on Saturday, May 18.
The Tigers were ranked sixth in their subsection playoffs, and their first playoff game was scheduled at No. 3 Sebeka on Tuesday, May 21.
Tigers 5, Pillager 4
The Tigers scored three runs off three hits and a walk in the top of the second against Pillager. PR-B made the Huskies strand three runners on base in the bottom of the inning to keep their lead 3-0. The Tigers added one more run to their lead in the top of the third, and Pillager managed to get on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the third. Neither team scored in the fourth and fifth, but Pillager tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, PR-B’s lead-off batter ground out to third but their second batter, Tatum Sheley got on base on an error. Autumn Ackerman walked and Journee Howard hit a single to bring in Sheley to score a run for the Tigers. The Tigers easily held the Huskies as the first batter got on base but the next two struck out and the fourth ground out to Sheley at third for the last out.
Ackerman was the winning pitcher as she struck out eight, walked three, and gave up 10 hits. The Tigers were out-hit 5-10 and struck out 11 times to Pillager’s eight, but the Tigers had no errors to Pillager’s two. Nicole Arends and Megan Felthous led the Tigers at bat as they each went 2-3. Arends had two RBIs and Felthous had one.
Tigers win conference title
On Friday, May 17, the Tigers traveled to Bemidji State University and defeated the Blackduck Drakes 9-2 for the Upper Mississippi Conference championship. Blackduck didn’t score until the top of the fourth which is when they got both of their runs, while the Tigers scored one run in the bottom of the first, three in the second, and five in the fifth.
Ackerman took the win with three strikeouts, three walks, and allowed four hits. At bat, the Tigers were led by Felthous who went 2-3 with two RBIs. Liz Downie went 2-4 with two RBIs. Ackerman went 2-4 with a double and one RBI. Morgan Demars, Kendra Brasel, and Arends each added a single for the Tigers.
Tigers split at Pequot Lakes
On Thursday, May 16, PR-B traveled to Pequot Lakes to take on the Patriots and Pillager in a triangular. The Tigers played the Patriots first and came away with a 5-2 loss. The Patriots were the first to score as they got three runs in the bottom of the first and they added two more in the third to take the lead 5-0.
The Tigers managed two runs in the top of the fifth as Stephanie DeGrote got on base on an error, was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brasel, stole third, and got home on a passed ball. Felthous walked, stole second, got to third on a passed ball, and was hit in by Demars. Unfortunately, the Tigers didn’t make it past second base for the last two innings so Pequot took the win. Ackerman took the loss as she struck out three, walked two, and gave up six hits. The Tigers only had three hits as Brasel, DeGrote, and Demars each got a single. The Tigers struck out 12 times and walked twice.
The Tigers easily defeated the Pillager Huskies 10-5 in the second game. Neither team scored in the first inning, Pillager scored one run in the top of the second, and the Tigers came roaring out in the bottom of the second with six runs as they batted through the lineup. Pillager managed one run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth, and the Tigers scored three in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Desirae Sonenstahl took the win for the Tigers as she struck out five, walked 12, and gave up five hits. She was relieved by Ackerman in the top of the seventh and Ackerman struck out two. The Tigers were led by Howard who went 3-3 with a double and two RBIs. Demars went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs. Downie, Sheley, Ackerman, Brasel, Sonenstahl, Carlee Staples, and Felthous each added a single for the Tigers.
Tigers split with Nevis
The Tigers split with Nevis Wednesday, May 15, in Nevis to send the Tigers to the conference championship game. The Tigers won the first game as Nevis managed one run in the first and one in the fourth, while the Tigers scored two runs in the fourth and three in the seventh. Ackerman took the win with six strike outs, two walks, and three hits.
The Tigers were led by Demars who went 3-4 including a double and a homerun in the seventh. Downie went 3-4. Ackerman helped herself out by going 2-4 with two doubles. In the second game the Tigers were out-hit 5-8 and the Tigers walked Nevis nine times. Caitlyn Aleckson took the loss for the Tigers as she struck out two, walked seven, and gave up five hits. Sonenstahl relieved her in the top of the third, walked two, and gave up three hits. Demars went 2-2 with a double, Ackerman went 2-3 and Downie doubled.