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Softball: Osakis' scores six unanswered, but rally falls short against Eden Valley-Watkins

The Silverstreaks went to Saint Benedict as the home team on Friday night and fell behind early before having the go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.

Maggie Dirkes
Maggie Dirkes

The Osakis softball team is still waiting for its home field to be playable during this wet and cold spring, so the Silverstreaks had to travel to the College of Saint Benedict to host a “home” game with fellow Section 6AA foe Eden Valley-Watkins.

Osakis could not overcome an early deficit as the Eagles (1-2) jumped out to an 8-0 lead through three innings. The Silverstreaks (0-2) rallied with six unanswered runs, but could not push across the final two they needed after a two-run bottom of the seventh.

“Today was tough on pitchers,” Osakis head coach John Stigman said. “Cold, wet and rainy made it difficult for the pitchers to keep the ball and hand dry. Hayleigh (Niehoff) fought through those conditions and went all seven. The stats won’t show you how she continued to battle through the conditions and got stronger as the game went on.”

The two starting pitchers both went all seven innings as they combined to issue 18 walks, while also combining for 18 strikeouts. Niehoff had seven of those strikeouts.

Sophomore catcher Maggie Dirkes had a powerful day at the plate with a double and a home run to finish with three RBIs. Senior Lexi Klimek added a 3-for-3 game with two walks, and Kali Schoeck also went 2-for-4.

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“We had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third with Maggie up, but their pitcher stayed away from Maggie’s wheelhouse,” Stigman said.

Osakis fell to 0-2 with the loss after also falling to Swanville in a 5-4 game a day earlier, but Stigman liked the steps forward he saw his team take on Friday.

“Today was a big improvement over (Thursday),” he said. “We played much better.”

The Silverstreaks are scheduled to be at Pequot Lakes on April 28 for a doubleheader with a 2 p.m. game against Pequot Lakes and a 3:45 game against Pillager.

EDEN VALLEY-WATKINS   332 000 0 - 8 8 2

OSAKIS                               002 110 2 - 6 8 2

OSAKIS PITCHING - Hayleigh Niehoff - L, 7IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 8BB, 7SO

OSAKIS OFFENSE - Lexi Klimek - 3-3, 2 BB, 1 run, RBI; Kennedy George - 0-4, BB; Shelbe Schmidt - 0-3, 2 BB, 1 run; Maggie Dirkes - 2-4, HR, 2B, 1 run, 3 RBI; Niehoff - 1-3, BB; Charlee Thieschafer - 0-4; Josee Hartshorn - 0-3, BB, 1 run; Taylor Dirkes - 0-1, 3 BB, 1 run; Kali Schoeck - 2-4

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Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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