Perham’s Katie Johnson saved her best for last. The junior pitcher found herself in a jam with the tying run at third base and one out in the seventh inning against Wadena-Deer Creek. The two batters set to face her had already recorded four hits in six trips to the plate. However, Johnson settled in and recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Nevada Schulz and Laura Krause to preserve a 6-5 victory in Perham’s home-opener at Arvig Park on April 26.
Katie Zepper’s solo home run in the fifth inning stood up as the game-winning run for the Yellowjackets, who jumped to a 4-0 lead on the Wolverines, but the Wolverines would not go away.
Wadena-DC answered back, but could not push the tying run across against the Yellowjackets. Johnson earned the complete-game victory. She allowed five runs on 10 hits. She struck out eight and walked one. She was helped by some strong defense behind her throughout the contest.
Perham was able to capitalize on early miscues from Wadena-Deer Creek. The Yellowjackets scored three runs on three Wadena-DC errors in the first inning, and another run in the second on a Wadena-DC error.
Johnson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, while Kaylie Kirchenwitz drove in a pair with a single. Alexis Wood reached on an error in the second, which allowed Grayce Mickelson to score, making it 4-0.
However, the Wolverines responded. Nevada Schulz drove home Madison Carsten and Mercedes Shulz with a two-run single in the third, cutting the lead to 4-2. Yet, Perham had an answer. Emma Daniels singled in a run to make it 5-2.
Wadena-DC answered back with an RBI single from Mercedes Schulz in the fourth and an RBI double from Laura Krause in the fifth to make it 5-4.
Zepper answered for Perham when she took a Mackenzie Carsten’s offering and sent it over the fence in left, making it 6-5. Zepper’s solo home run loomed large as it gave Perham a much-needed insurance run.
Madison Carsten started the seventh with a lead-off double, her third hit of the game. She scored when Kyla Ness doubled, which cut the lead to one. Ness advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Johnson left her stranded when she recorded the final two outs via the strike out.
Madison Carsten led the way for Wadena-DC with three hits and two runs scored. Nevada Schulz had two hits and two runs batted in, while Krause added two hits and a run batted in. Courtny Warren, Kyla Ness and Mercedes Schulz added a hit each.
Johnson, Daniels and Mickelson had two hits each for Perham, while Zepper, Kirchenwitz and Wood had a hit a piece for Perham.