By PATRICK SLACK
Tiara Hopkins worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth inning to complete a three-hit shutout and lead the Pierz Junior Olympic (JO) softball team to a 3-0 win in the opening game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Sauk Rapids.
Hopkins also led Pierz at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
Sara Schlegel came in on a walk and Miranda Woitalla scored on an error as Pierz built its three-run advantage.
Sauk Rapids threatened to close the gap in its final at bat, filling the bases with one out.
But Hopkins got a ground ball hit right back to her and started a double play to preserve the lead and close out the win.
Sauk Rapids bounced back to win the second game 12-2.
Kayla Carter went 2-for-3 with a double and a run and Shelbie Boser had a double, run and walk for Pierz.
Next up for Pierz is a home doubleheader against Little Falls, Tuesday.
Pierz 3 4 2
Sauk Rapids 0 3 2
Pierz—Tiara Hopkins: 2-2, R, BB; Sara Schlegel: R; Miranda Woitalla: R; WP-Hopkins: 5-IP, 0-R, 3-H, 2-BB, 1-K.
Pierz 2 7 5
Sauk Rapids 12 4 3
Pierz—Kayla Carter: 2-3, 2B, R; Shelbie Boser: 1-2, 2B, R, BB.