BEAR LAKE — A year ago, it took Emily Bergren two days to pick up a win in a postseason opener that featured 35 runs and a 24-hour suspension due to rain.
This time around, the Onekama junior needed less than 90 minutes to lead the Portagers to a 4-1 win in a Division 4 district quarterfinal rematch against Bear Lake on Tuesday.
“It’s the best our team has played all year, I think,” Bergren said. “We finally got it all together.”
Bergren admitted it was probably her best outing of the season as she tossed a one-hitter and allowed one unearned run while walking three and striking out seven over seven innings.
“I felt great,” she said. “My drop balls were like perfect.”
The win was payback for the Portagers (12-15), who dropped a pair to Bear Lake (18-16) two weeks ago and will face host Frankfort in a district semifinal on Saturday.
“I was very proud of the way our girls responded today,” said Onekama coach Rob Johnson. “Bear Lake is a good team. We worked hard in our practices getting ready for them.”
The Lakers were coming off an 11-run win in their last game against the Portagers. “It’s always hard to beat a team three times, no matter what sport it is and no matter what team it is,” said Bear Lake senior Jaimey Ferguson. “You still have to go out there.”
Bear Lake coach Garret Waller said overconfidence wasn’t an issue. “I don’t think that was it,” he said. “I think they were nervous. … I’ve got a young team and it’s hard for a young group like that to shake the nerves.”
Emileigh Ferguson took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with eight strikeouts.
“She pitched a great game,” Waller said of his sophomore. “If you can’t beat a team that scores four runs against you, they deserved to win. They did what they had to to beat us.”
Onekama struck first with a run in the second as Hailey Kott drew a walk, Kaitlin Kubiskey singled and Sierra Warner hit a high chopper to short that took a huge bounce — and an unlucky one for the Lakers — over shortstop McKenna Fink’s head to drive in Kott.
Bergren led the Portagers with two hits.
Onekama added two more in the third after Nicki Slater led off with a single and came around to score on a ground out by Tawny Kott. Hailey Kott followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
After Emileigh Ferguson got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth, the Lakers cashed in with an unearned run in their half of the inning. Jaimey Ferguson struck out but reached on a passed ball and Nicole Girven followed with an RBI single.