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Midgets take two victories to stay in control of West Region

In only her second varsity start of the season, Zoe Fath was worried if she could take the circle like the rest of Dickinson High's starters. But as she became more comfortable, she became evidently more confident. The junior gave up just one ear...

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Dickinson High pitcher Zoe Fath throws a pitch against Williston in Dickinson’s 10-3 win on Monday at the North Softball Complex. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

In only her second varsity start of the season, Zoe Fath was worried if she could take the circle like the rest of Dickinson High’s starters.

But as she became more comfortable, she became evidently more confident.

The junior gave up just one earned run on six hits and three walks while striking out seven batters to lead the Midgets to a 10-3 win over Williston on Monday at the North Softball Complex. Fath also drove in three runs on two hits to help Dickinson to a 12-2 victory in the second game of a West Region doubleheader.

“I have a lot to follow up,” Fath said. “After the first inning, I was getting a feel for it. It felt really good, especially because I had everybody backing me up.”

But Fath had plenty of offense from the rest of her team to back her up. The Midgets (21-2, 18-2 West Region) put up three runs in the first inning of the day on a two-run single from Julie Knight, who scored on a passed ball later that inning.

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The Midgets added six runs in the third. Kayla Friske scored on an error, Katie Lafond hit a two-run single to right field, Amber Sickler drove in Lafond on a single, and Sickler found a way home two batters later.

“We play with as much confidence as we can,” Lafond said, “because that’s what helps us make the routine plays and reminds us we can make the plays and make them right,”

Though Williston (2-19, 1-17) scored two runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk and an RBI single from Toni Tanck, Lafond chalked up her third RBI of the game in the bottom of the inning to reply.

Willison would only score again on an RBI from Graicen Whitlock in the top of the fifth.

“I think defensively in the first game, they actually did really well,” Dickinson assistant coach Danie Benito said of her team. “Zoe is not a normal starting pitcher, so they came out strong for her.”

The Midgets didn’t let up in the second game. Paige Schweitzer started Dickinson’s scoring with an RBI single in the first frame. An inning later, Knight brought in three runs on a double to center field. In the third, Lafond scored on an error and Fath hit a sacrifice fly to bring Sickler home.

The Coyotes scored a couple of runs on Sickler, who earned the win from the circle by limiting Williston to just two hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out six batters and walking three.

But the Midgets backed Sickler up with a six-run fourth frame.

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Friske drove in a run on the second at-bat of the inning, then she scored when Schweitzer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. After another walk that brought Knight in, Lafond scored on a passed ball and Fath cranked a two-run double to right field to put Dickinson in position for a 10-run rule win.

“When bases are loaded or with two runners in scoring position, you have to get a hit because you have to get those scores,” Fath said. “I just felt like it was my obligation to go up there and do the best I could, and that’s what I did.”

With these wins, the Midgets stay in command of first place in the West Region and are three games ahead of Bismarck Century. Benito said her team will have added confidence and momentum going into Dickinson’s West Region doubleheader against Bismarck Legacy at 4:30 p.m. today at the North Softball Complex.

“We haven’t reached our peak yet,” Benito said, “and I think this is perfect time to start reaching our peak.”

Dickinson High 10, Williston 3

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Alexis Renner and Graicen Whitlock and Abigail Fagerland. Zoe Fath and Kennedy Kuntz.

W–Fath. L–Renner. HR–none.

Highlights: W: Claire Erickson 1 for 4, run; Haleigh McKenzie run; Lynze Swanson run, 2 walks; Shelly Stewart 2 for 4; Graicen Whitlock 1 for 4, RBI; Renner 1 for 3; Toni Tanck 1 for 3, RBI. D: Kuntz 1 for 2, run, 2 walks; Kayla Friske 1 for 2, 2 runs, RBI, 2 walks; Emilie Sickler 1 for 4, run; Julie Knight 4 for 4, 3 runs, 2 RBI; Katie Lafond 1 for 2, run, 3 RBI, walk; Taylor Privratsky 1 for 4; Amber Sickler 1 for 4, run, RBI; Zoe Fath 1 for 3, run, RBI.

Dickinson High 12, Williston 2

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Jaidyn Johansen and Graicen Whitlock. Amber Sickler, Abby Jones (5) and Kennedy Kuntz.

W–Sickler. L–Johansen. HR–none.

Highlights: W: Claire Erickson 1 for 3; Lynze Swanson run, 2 walks; Shelly Stewart 1 for 3, run, RBI. D: Kuntz run, walk; Kayla Friske 3 for 3, 3 runs, RBI; Kameryn Kuntz run, walk; Julian Knight 2 for 2, run, 3 RBI, walk; Katie Lafond 2 runs, walk; Paige Schweitzer 1 for 2, run, 2 RBI; Amber Sickler 1 for 2, 2 runs, RBI, walk; Bailey Jahner RBI; Zoe Fath 2 for 2, run, 3 RBI.

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Dickinson High’s Katie Lafond celebrates after scoring a run against Williston in Dickinson’s 10-3 win on Monday at the North Softball Complex. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

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