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Over the fence: McNeilly’s grand slam sends Midgets over Coyotes

Even as a senior, athletes still experience 'firsts'. Catcher Jordie McNeilly hit her first career grand slam, igniting her teammates and propelling the Dickinson High softball team to a 15-2 win over Williston on Tuesday, April 24 at the North S...

Dickinson High senior Jordie McNeilly hit a grand slam against Williston on Tuesday, April 24 at the North Softball Complex. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High senior Jordie McNeilly hit a grand slam against Williston on Tuesday, April 24 at the North Softball Complex. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Even as a senior, athletes still experience 'firsts'.

Catcher Jordie McNeilly hit her first career grand slam, igniting her teammates and propelling the Dickinson High softball team to a 15-2 win over Williston on Tuesday, April 24 at the North Softball Complex. In the nightcap, McNeilly put up a team-high four hits en route to a 20-2 victory.

"They went pretty well," Dickinson head coach Amanda Mickey said of the games, "To play pretty clean softball defensively, and to hit very, very well, that's awesome."

McNeilly wasn't the only one to send a ball over the fence in the first game. Eighth grader Taya Hopfauf stretched the lead to 12-1 with a three-run home run in the third.

"Being an eighth grader and seeing your team," Hopfauf said. "It just feels really good, knowing that your making a difference on the team"

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Hopfauf went 3-for-6 over the two games, earning seven RBI.

The first Coyote run came in the second when sophomore Bridget Carvey hit an RBI triple. She hit another before the night ended.

"Bridget is a special player. You don't get to coach many of those players along the way," Williston head coach Todd Remus said. "She's very knowledgeable. She loves softball, she's competitive and she's just a special player. I would put her up against any player in the state because I think she's that good."

In her four innings pitched, Midgets senior Amber Sickler allowed just that hit. Freshman Abbey Kubas stepped in for the final inning. She walked three and allowed the final Coyote run.

Over the whole evening, the Coyotes seemed to lack confidence as they made more than a handful of near misses in the outfield. However, on at least three occasions over the two games, the Coyotes got back-to-back outs following a long stretch of hits, including a strikeout followed by a double play in the second inning of game one.

"We're a young team. We have only four seniors," Remus said. "It's a new coaching staff, so there's a lot of terminology that they're still learning, that they just haven't been taught."

The Midgets scored nine in the first inning of game two, and seven more in the second. Nevertheless, the Coyotes persisted, scoring a run in the first and in the final inning.

Despite the RBI single from Coyote Alexis Renner, Midgets eighth-grader Mataya Mortensen finished the outing, wrapping up a complete game in which she allowed five hits and struck out seven batters. Additionally, she went 3-for-5 at the plate, hitting two doubles and driving in a run.

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"She did it, but I expect a lot out of her," Mickey said. "Her and Amber are both throwing very well right now but I still don't think they're even close to their prime so they still need to really work on it."

Dickinson High 15, Williston 2

W 001 01 - 2 1 3

DHS 346 2X - 15 14 1

Alexis Renner (2.2) Audrey Land (1.1) and Aliah Campos. Amber Sickler (4), Abbey Kubas (1) and Jordie McNeilly.

W-Sickler. L-Renner. HR-DHS, Jordie McNeilly, Taya Hopfauf.

Highlights: W, Bridget Carvey 1-3, 3B, 1 RBI; Renner 2.2 IP, 7 H, 12 R (8 ER), 5 BB, 2 K. DHS, McNeilly 1-2, HR, 3 R, 6 RBI; Hopfauf 2-2, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; Ali Lafond 2-4, 2B, RBI; Kennedy Kuntz 2-3, 2 R; Kamryn Kuntz 2-4, 1 R; Bailey Jahner 2-2, 1 R; Brianna Ashworth 1-2, 2B, 2 R; Mataya Mortenson 1-1, 2B, 1 R; Emy Personne 1-3, 3R; Sickler 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 K, 1 BB; Kubas 1 IP, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB.

Dickinson High 20, Williston 2

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W 972 02 - 20 20 0

DHS 100 01 - 1 2 5

Mataya Mortenson and McNeilly. Abigail Fagerland (1.1), Renner (3.2) and Main.

W-Mortenson. L-Fagerland. HR-None.

Highlights: W, Carvey 1-2, 3B, 1 R; Kobee Gardner 1-2, 2B, 1 R; Graicen Whitlock 1-2, Makia Remus 1-3, Renner 1-2, 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K; Fagerland 1.1 IP, 13 H, 15 R (15 ER), 1 K, 4 BB. DHS, McNeilly 4-4, 3 R, 3 RBI; Taylor Nelson 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; Kamryn Kuntz 2-5, 2 R,2 RBI; Personne 1-5,1 R, 1 RBI; Kennedy Kuntz 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI; Hopfauf 1-4, 2 R, 4 RBI; Kayla Friske 1-4, 1 RBI; Jahner 1-1, 1 R, 2 RBI; Kubas 1-4, 1 R; Ashworth 1-1, 1 R, 1 RBI; Mortenson 3-5, 2 2B, 3 R, 1 RBI, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 7 K.

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