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Midgets softball splits with Minot to open season

Ali Lafond wasn't even supposed to be on the varsity field. With Dickinson High softball a bit short-handed for the season-opener against visiting Minot High on Friday, Lafond was added to the Midgets' varsity roster in place of a few upperclassm...

Dickinson High junior Kayla Friske swings at a pitch in the first game of a doubleheader against Minot on Friday at the North Softball Complex. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High junior Kayla Friske swings at a pitch in the first game of a doubleheader against Minot on Friday at the North Softball Complex. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

Ali Lafond wasn't even supposed to be on the varsity field.

With Dickinson High softball a bit short-handed for the season-opener against visiting Minot High on Friday, Lafond was added to the Midgets' varsity roster in place of a few upperclassmen who had not yet fulfilled their preseason practice requirements.

So of course the freshman found herself at the plate with the bases loaded in the second inning of a scoreless game.

She came through, however, looking like a veteran, drilling a one-out triple to right field to score Kennedy Kuntz, Kamryn Kuntz and Kayla Friske for a 3-0 lead.

"We practice a lot on two strikes on us, loaded bases, two outs, so I just took it all in at the moment and gave it all I got," Lafond said.

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Senior Sarah Dobitz followed with a sacrifice fly to score Lafond and tally the final run of a 4-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader at the North Softball Complex.

"I couldn't take the chance of only having 10 players, so I brought her over to play," Midgets head coach Amanda Mickey said. "For her to have bases loaded and two strikes on her, and for her to come through and get a triple out of it was exhilarating to have that happen because she's such a young kid."

Minot had won the first game, 9-4, posting a split in the first series for both teams. Despite scoring four times, Dickinson was held to just one hit in the first game, so Lafond's timely hit was a welcome sight.

"We came together as a team and really picked it up in that second game," Lafond said.

Minot's bats, however, fell silent in the second game. Dickinson (1-1) senior pitcher Abby Jones limited the Majettes (1-1) to two hits and one walk in the five-inning game that was called for darkness. She also had a double in the game.

"I think we totally relaxed. We had no intensity in game two like we had in game one," Minot head coach Gerard Cederstrom said. "They came out and hit the ball when they had to, is what it amounted to."

Jones had six strikeouts and worked around two errors behind her to complete the shutout.

"Abby came out throwing strikes, and that's what we needed," Mickey said. "She was able to make them swing because she's throwing so many strikes and working the count."

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In the first game, Minot junior pitcher Marisa Andrysiak limited the Midgets to one hit - an RBI triple in the first inning from senior Paige Schweitzer - but five walks and four errors in the field kept the Midgets busy on the basepaths. But she did strike out nine and only one run was earned.

"Marisa's very competitive, and she was able to hit her spots, and that was huge," Cederstrom said. "If we're able to make the plays behind her, they don't get the four runs, but she battled and she hung in there."

Schweitzer's triple gave the Midgets a 2-0 lead, which would be cut in half in the bottom of the first on a bases-loaded walk from Riley Irmen.

Friske reached on an error in the second inning which allowed Kamryn Kuntz to score, making the score 3-1. Jenna Andrysiak and Brianna Walker notched RBI singles in the third, and a Dickinson error allowed another run, giving Minot a 4-3 advantage.

Dickinson pitcher Amber Sickler drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning, but five runs in the bottom of the frame gave Minot all the cushion it would need.

Walker finished 2 for 2 with three RBI, and Marisa Andrysiak and Irmen each tallied two hits, two RBI and two runs scored.

Sickler struggled in the circle for Dickinson, allowing all nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits with six walks and eight strikeouts. Still, her offense did her no favors either.

"We're going to get a lot of front toss going on next week," Mickey said. "The crazy thing is that we've been doing a lot of front toss and tee work, and some kids had good hits but they just didn't fall into place like they were supposed to."

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Minot 9, Dickinson 4

DHS 210 001 0 - 4 1 2

M 103 005 X - 9 9 4

Amber Sickler, Abby Jones and Jordie McNeilly. Marisa Andrysiak and Jaycie Rostad.

W-Andrysiak. L-Sickler. HR-None.

Highlights: Dickinson, Abby Jones 0-3, 2 R; Paige Schweitzer 1-3, 3B, RBI; Sarah Dobitz 0-3, R; Kamryn Kuntz 0-2, 1 R; Sickler 0-2, 1 BB, RBI, 5 1/3 IP, 9 R (7 ER), 8 K, 6 BB, 8 H. Minot, Riley Irmen 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI; Jenna Andrysiak 2-3, RBI; Brianna Walker 2-2, 3 RBI; Rostad 1-4, R; Marisa Andrysiak 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 7 IP, 4 R (1 ER), 9 K, 5 BB, 1 H.

Dickinson 4, Minot 0

M 000 00 - 0 2 4

DHS 040 00 - 4 4 2

Rylee Terrel, Jenna Andrysiak and Paige Moran. Abby Jones and Jordie McNeilly.

W-Jones. L-Terrel. HR-None

Highlights: Minot, Emily Melom 1-3; Riley Irmen 1-2; Terrel 2.1 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 2 H, 2 BB. Dickinson, Ali Lafond 1-2, 3B, R, 3 RBI; Kamryn Kuntz 1-1, R; Sarah Dobitz 1-2, RBI; Jones 1-2, 2B, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
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