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Patriots put up late runs to topple Dickinson softball

MINOT — As back-to-back-to-back doubles allowed the No. 2 Bismarck Century softball team to score six runs in the second, things didn't look great for No. 3 Dickinson High.

Down 7-0 early put the Midgets in a bad spot, but they didn't blink. A seven-run third inning got them right back in it.

Another big inning from the Patriots did them in, though. Scoring five runs in the sixth, Century defeated Dickinson 14-9 on Friday, May 24 at the South Hill Complex.

Dickinson starting pitcher, freshman Mataya Mortensen gave up a solo shot to junior catcher Madeline Grad on her first delivery of the game, putting the Patriots up 1-0.

Things got worse for the Midgets in the second. After Mortensen walked junior Kelsey Mischel, sophomore Lexi Duchsherer reached on an error. One out later, three consecutive doubles from freshman Brooklyn Morris, Grad and junior Grace Meschke plated four runs. During the next at-bat, sophomore starting pitcher Madison Zander sent a 2-2 pitch out of the park to make it 7-0 Patriots.

Dickinson didn't draw back, instead they drew their bats and went to work.

Junior extra hitter Taylor Nelson and junior second baseman Ali Lafond drew walks and one out later, senior third baseman Kamryn Kuntz singled to load the bases.

Zander walked senior first baseman Briana Ashworth and hit freshman catcher Taya Hopfauf to push runs home, handing the Midgets two free runs.

Mortensen and junior centerfielder Emy Personne doubled to get within one run, and as freshman pinch hitter Kali Kubas reached on an error, Personne ran home to tie the game at seven.

"It was kind of on the unbelievable side," Dickinson head coach Amanda Mickey said. "To be getting your butt kicked down seven runs like that then be able to string hit after hit after hit. ... It was amazing to see our team come back like that. That's hard to do."

With a line drive RBI single from sophomore Malee Wittenberg in the bottom of the fourth, the Patriots temporarily snagged an 8-7 lead, but the Midgets took it back in the fifth.

Mortensen and freshman Reese Hauck both reached on errors, and when Personne also got to first via error, Mortensen scored. Nelson was next up and singled to plate the go-ahead run.

Century freshman reliever Brooklyn Morris was lights out after that, as she gave up three hits over four innings, while striking out two.

Dickinson ran into trouble in the sixth. Grad, who led the Patriots at the plate going 4-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs, singled and Meschke followed with a double, tying the contest at nine. A ground out and a single later, freshman Hope Fath relieved Mortensen on the mound. She gave up an intentional walk to load the bases, but when she walked the next batter the Patriots took a 10-9 lead.

Mortensen returned to the rubber and drew a line out to center, but with a passed ball and a single to centerfield, three more runs scored. When Dickinson finally retired the side, Century led 14-9.

"I was hoping (Fath) would be able to change it up, she has a little bit of a different spin on the ball," Mickey said. "(Mortensen) was throwing a lot of balls so I was just trying to change it up and get some different pitches in there. Then Hope just came into a situation she had never thrown before in her life in horrible conditions. It was raining, not trying to make excuses, but it was a tough spot for her. It didn't work out for us."

While Personne led off the seventh with a single, a double play and a ground out sealed the Patriots victory.

Dickinson will face No. 5 Bismarck Legacy in a state-qualifying game at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday.

No. 2 Bismarck Century 14, No. 3 Dickinson

D 007 020 0 — 9 9 1

BC 160 105 X — 14 14 4

D, Mataya Mortensen (6), Hope Fath and Taya Hopfauf. Madison Zander (3), Brooklyn Morris (4) and Madeline Grad.

W—Morris. L—Mortensen. HR—None.

Highlights: D, Personne 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Kamryn Kuntz 2-4, R; Kennedy Kuntz 1-4; Taylor Nelson 1-2, RBI; Ali Lafond 1-3, R; Mortensen 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 6 IP, 14 H, 12 R (10 ER), 3 K, 4 BB. BC, Madeline Grad 4-4, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI; Grace Meschke 2-4, 2 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI; Morris 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 K.

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