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Packers down Lions in extras

WEST FARGO -- The championship was a little harder to come by, but for the 15th consecutive year West Fargo is North Dakota's top softball team.

The Packers defeated Minot Ryan 1-0 in 8 innings during the North Dakota Class A state softball championship game on Saturday at Elmwood Park.

West Fargo senior catcher Sydney Greenlund led off the eighth inning with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Andrina Brogden. Brogden advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored the winning run when Brittany Rheault connected for a two-out, RBI single to right field.

The hit and Brogden sliding safely into home plate sent the hometown crowd into celebration.

"I was just thinking 'hit it,'" Rheault said. "That's all I was thinking. I was going to go after it and attack it. I kept thinking this the chance, this is my chance to get a hit and win it."

The title game was an instant classic.

"I thought we battled through and kept working hard as we could," West Fargo head coach Pat Johnson said. "We kept putting pressure on them and we finally broke through in the end. That was a great feeling."

Rheault, who also served as the Packers' starting pitcher and Ryan starter Hannah Stewart locked up in a pitching duel.

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Stewart and Lipp. Brittany Rheault and Greenlund W-Rheault. L-Stewart.

Mix is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.