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Midgets softball rout Turtle Mountain in home-opening doubleheader

In its first home action this season, the Dickinson High girls softball team broke out the bats in a big way during a doubleheader against Turtle Mountain.

DHS eighth-grade pitcher Mataya Mortensen unleashes a pitch in the second game of a doubleheader against Turtle Mountain on Saturday, April 21 from the Gress Softball Complex. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
DHS eighth-grade pitcher Mataya Mortensen unleashes a pitch in the second game of a doubleheader against Turtle Mountain on Saturday, April 21 from the Gress Softball Complex. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

In its first home action this season, the Dickinson High girls softball team broke out the bats in a big way during a doubleheader against Turtle Mountain.

The Midgets quickly erased an early deficit, exploding for 20 runs in the second and third innings en route to a 25-6 victory in game one. At the plate, senior Amber Sickler went 3-for-4 with a triple and seven RBIs.

DHS followed that performance with a 25-0 shutout over the Bravettes on Saturday, April 21 from North Softball Complex.

Dickinson combined for 43 hits in the two games and move to 5-1 on the season.

"I just told the kids right now after six games I am extremely proud of them and we are on the right track," Midgets head coach Amanda Mickey said. "We have a lot to clean up and a lot to work on. It's a little disappointing because I feel like we should be 6-0 after being six [runs] up on Century, but for being on the field for the first time against Century - literally with bases - you got to be super happy with their performance."

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In the first matchup, Midgets freshman starting pitcher Abbey Kubas struggled out of the gate.

Allowing two runs on three walks, a hit and a hit-by-pitch, she was briefly relieved by Sickler, who collected the final two outs of the inning. Kubas' control issues continued as she hit two more batters, walked three and allowed four runs in the next inning.

In the bottom of the second inning, sophomore Ali Lafond tied the game with a two-run single. Three batters later, senior infielder Kayla Friske added a two-run single of her own, giving the Midgets the lead for good.

Kubas settled into a groove, not allowing a Turtle Mountain run in her final three innings on the mound.

"She has a team behind her that's going to take care of her and have her back," Mickey said of Kubas. "Amber came in and helped her when she needed. When I had to pull her, I said 'Amber is going to come in and get you out of it, the team is going to score for runs and you are going to come right back in and you are going to try again.' She did exactly that and she finally figured it out towards the end so it was good to see."

In the second game, a pair of eighth-graders led the way.

On the first pitch of the third, catcher Taya Hopfauf crushed the ball over the right-centerfield fence for her first career home run.

"I knew I had to be picky with my at-bats and I knew I had to be confident when I swung. So when I made contact, I made sure I got to first," Hopfauf said. "Once my coach told me to keep going, I kept going until I saw it go over.

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"It's probably the best feeling in the world when you see your team all pumped up, you know you've done something to help them."
She finished 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Mataya Mortensen tossed five shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out seven.

"Seeing a homerun out of a little eighth-grader is always fun to see," Mickey said. "She's going to be a great catcher next year after Jordie McNeilly leaves. She's got some big shoes to fill, but I think she'll take care of that job. Mataya as well is an eighth-grader and to see them succeed so well at a young age is exciting for us in the future and it holds the bar high for our older kids as well."

Game One: Dickinson 25, Turtle Mountain 6 (F/5)

TM 240 00 - 6 5 4

D 4812 1x - 25 18 1

TM, Jazzmin Keplin (2.1), Avery Lafountain (1.2) and Tia Lavallie. D, Abby Kubas (4.1), Amber Sickler (0.2) and Taya Hopfauf.

W-Kubas. L-Keplin. HR-None.

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Highlights: TM, Mia Wilkie 2-2, 2 RBI, BB; Taylor Keplin 1-2, 2 R, BB; Teyha Azure 1-2, 2 BB, R. D, Sickler 3-4, 3B, 2 R, BB, 7 RBI; Kennedy Kuntz 3-3, 2 2B, BB, 4 R, 4 RBI; Ali Lafond 3-5, 2B, BB, 3 R, 3 RBI.

Game Two: Dickinson 25. Turtle Mountain 0 (F/5)

D 485 71 - 25 25 0

TM 000 00 - 0 2 0

TM, Hayden Poitra and Mallorie Crissler. D, Mataya Mortensen and Hopfauf.

W-Mortensen. L-Poitra. HR-Hopfauf.

Highlights: TM, T. Keplin 1-3; Lavallie 1-1, HBP. D, Hopfauf, 2-3, HR, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI; Bailey Jahner 3-3, 4 R, 2 RBI, 2 HBP; Briana Ashworth 2-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 4 RBI; Mortensen, 3-5, 3 R, 4 RBI, 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K.

Related Topics: DICKINSON HIGH SCHOOLDICKINSON MIDGETS
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