Midgets slide past Bismarck High
Each time the Bismarck High softball team called Dickinson was right there to answer.
Dickinson used every answered to pick up a 7-2 and 5-4 sweep against Bismarck in a West Region doubleheader on Tuesday at Gress Softball Complex.
“They were challenging games,” Dickinson head coach Bill Butterfield said. “(Bismarck) took a lead early on us in the first game and they were coming for us in the second game. The girls were able to rally, come together and win. That’s important for our team, because we know that we are going to have close games throughout the year. We need to be able to adjust to those.”
In the second game, Bismarck attempted a late-inning rally, but Dickinson sophomore starting pitcher Madison Jahner shut the door.
With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, Jahner struck out back-to-back batters to keep the Midgets’ 5-3 lead intact.
The Demons scored one more in the seventh inning, but Jahner struck out Erica Frank to end the game.
“I was focused on hitting my spots,” said Jahner, who pitched seven innings, allowed four runs (one earned) and struck out eight. “Getting my change-up where we are supposed to be and getting my screwball where it’s supposed to be. I knew if I hit it, I have defense behind me and they are going to make the plays.”
Dickinson (7-0, 4-0 West Region) scored five unanswered runs in the first three innings. Rachel Jahner scored the first run of the game after tagging up on Mackee Hoffmann’s RBI sacrifice fly to center. The Midgets tacked on four runs in the third, which included RBI hits from Sierra Rohr and Riana Cooper.
Riley Cooper drove in two runs — Lexi Yates and Riana Cooper — on an error by Bismarck shortstop Jaime Barta.
Bismarck closed the gap to two runs — 5-3 — after Jordan Bushaw and Sammy Steckler collected back-to-back RBI. Bushaw hit a RBI single to right and Steckler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Demons scored their final run on an error.
“Our team is young and developing,” Bismarck head coach Paige Nustad said. “Each game we are seeing improvements. Offensively, I have 100 percent confidence (that) every one of our girls can go up, crack the bat and make the play. It’s a good feeling to know that we can hit. Defensively, I’m glad that’s something we need to work on because that’s fixable.”
The first game was a pitchers battle through the first three innings.
Dickinson’s Haley Butterfield and Barta each pitched three straight scoreless innings. The Demons struck first in the top of the fourth on an Emily Omvig lead off solo home run.
Dickinson answered with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Avery Privratsky scored the opening run and two batters later Riana Cooper drove Hoffmann and Madison Jahner on a catching error by the second baseman. The Midgets scored its final two runs of the inning on a passed ball and a wild pitch.
During the sixth inning, the Demons ripped back-to-back doubles. Lexi Folmer drove home Kennedy Blair on a RBI double past the shortstop.
The Midgets responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Rachel Jahner drove in Jamee Ludwick and Emilie Sickler on a double to right field.
Haley Butterfield pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out three. Barta went six innings, allowed seven runs on six hits, walked three and struck out eight.
The Midgets continue their homestand with Jamestown beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Madison Jahner said the team is continually gaining confidence at the plate with each live pitcher.
“It’s a lot more fun to see live pitching than a pitching machine,” she said. “We have to make a lot of adjustments during the game. If you are behind, you have to get back ahead. It’s just a lot of on-the-fly adjustments.”
Bismarck 000 101 0 — 2 7 1
Dickinson 000 502 x — 7 6 0
Jaime Barta and Kennedy Blair. Haley Butterfield and Mackee Hoffmann.
W–Butterfield. L–Barta. HR–B, Emily Omvig.
Highlights: B, Omvig 2 for 3, HR, 3B, RBI, run; Blair 2 for 3, 2B, 3B, run; Lexi Folmer 1 for 3, RBI; Leah Hoekstra 1 for 3; Jazmine Bowman 1 for 3. D, Rachel Jahner 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI; Sierra Rohr 2 for 3, 2B, run; Mackee Hoffmann 2 for 3, 2B, run; Avery Privratsky run; Riana Cooper run; Jamee Ludwick run; Emilie Sickler run.
Bismarck 000 102 1 — 4 9 2
Dickinson 104 000 x — 5 7 3
Shelby Wittenberg, Jaime Barta (4) and Kennedy Blair. Madison Jahner and Mackee Hoffmann.
W–Jahner. L–Wittenberg. HR–None.
Highlights: B, Blair 2 for 3, 3B, 2 runs; Barta 2 for 4; Jessica Bushaw 2 for 4, run; Jordan Bushaw 2 for 3, RBI; Wittenberg 1 for 2; Sammy Steckler RBI; Emily Omvig run. D, Hoffmann 2 for 4, RBI; Jahner 2 for 4; Rachel Jahner 1 for 3, run; Riana Cooper 1 for 2, RBI; Sierra Rohr 1 for 3, RBI; Jamee Ludwick run; Emilie Sickler run; Lexi Yates run.