What a way to start
One game was all the Dickinson High fastpitch softball team needed to wash away a year's worth of misery. The team that went 0-24 last spring in its inaugural season didn't look unfamiliar with victory Tuesday night as they scatted a team-record ...
One game was all the Dickinson High fastpitch softball team needed to wash away a year's worth of misery.
The team that went 0-24 last spring in its inaugural season didn't look unfamiliar with victory Tuesday night as they scatted a team-record 17 hits to open the 2010 season with a 12-2 victory in five innings -- the first in school history -- over Custer County (Mont.) under the lights at Gress Complex.
"Amazing," was the first word out of Dickinson sophomore pitcher Kelsey LaFond's mouth after leading her team to the historic and long-awaited win.
"We've been working for a win. We've been working really hard," said LaFond, who went 3-for-4 with a triple and scored a run.
She wasn't too shabby from the belt either.
The sophomore right-hander struck out six, plunked a pair of batters and didn't allow her first hit until the fourth inning. She gave up four hits and just one of her runs was earned.
"It really clicked," LaFond said. "Everything worked out. We didn't have a ton of errors like we did last year and everyone worked together."
Dickinson put the wheels in motion in the first inning after Briana Farnsworth's single up the middle scored LaFond. Farnsworth eventually scored on a passed ball, giving the Midgets -- who left the bases loaded -- a 2-0 lead.
"With us hitting the ball, the defense came and then the win came," Dickinson coach Bill Butterfield said.
Everything came together, though, with a brilliant second inning at the plate. The Midgets scored eight runs on nine hits and left three on base.
"After the first inning, we weren't letting up," LaFond said.
Dickinson scored four runs while putting six straight batters on base. Then, with two outs, five consecutive hits scored four more runs. The bases were loaded when catcher MacKee Hoffman grounded out to third base to end the inning.
Of the eight runs scored in the inning, seven came on batted balls.
With the bases loaded and one out, Hoffman opened the floodgates with a single to second base that scored Rachel Jahner. After LaFond scored on a passed ball, Jess Pachl sent Farnsworth home. Kira Kuntz then drove in Hoffman on a fielder's choice.
Mariah Quintus had a two-run double to short left center field and Jessica Priebe followed that up with a triple to left field to send Quintus home.
Jahner's RBI single plated Priebe and gave Dickinson a 10-0 lead.
Farnsworth, Jahner, Kuntz and Priebe all had multiple hits.
"We've never hit the ball this good," LaFond said. "Everyone was hitting the ball."
Cowgirls catcher Shelby Ries' base hit to left field in the fourth inning. Ries eventually scored on a Kimberle Scheid single to cut Dickinson's lead to 10-1.
But, the Midgets fired back -- something that didn't seem to happen often last season.
Jahner and Farnsworth scored runs on passed balls when Pachl came to the plate with two outs.
Custer County, which has not won a game in their two-year history, committed 11 passed balls and Dickinson scored runs on four of them.
Dickinson opens North Dakota play Friday and Saturday at the East-West Crossover in Bismarck.
Butterfield said the win with certainly give his team confidence going into the games.
"I just look for good things," he said. "We're going to compete."
CC 000 11 -- 2 4 5
DHS 280 2x -- 12 17 2
Jena Stratton, Taylor Jones (2) and Shelby Ries. Kelsey LaFond and Mackee Hoffman. W-LaFond (1-0). L-Stratton.
Highlights: CC, Jones 1-for-3, 2B; Reis 1-for-2, 2B; Kandance Kiose 1-for-2, run. DHS, Rachel Jahner 2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs; LaFond 3-for-4, 3B, run; Briana Farnsworth 2-for-2, 3 runs, RBI, BB, Hoffman 3-for-4, 2 runs; Jess Pachl 1-for-3, RBI, run; Kira Kuntz 2-for-3, RBI, 2B; Mariah Quintus 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Jessica Priebe 2-for-3, RBI, run.