BISMARCK — Last year’s West Dakota Conference tournament ended in heartbreak for the Dickinson Midgets softball team in a 5-0 loss to Bismarck Century in the championship. Dickinson’s comebacks redeemed themselves, winning both games of their Tuesday doubleheader against the Patriots with an aggregate score of 21-10.
Despite the win, the match came with some difficulties, with Century taking a momentary lead in both games, but their 11 errors would cost them dearly.
game one started with Dickinson chasing a 4-0 lead, but would end in a 7-6 victory.
At the top of the first, Ava Jahner relieved Mataya Mortenson from the circle with bases loaded and three runners already scoring home plate. Jahner walked her first batter, which made for a score, but she managed to get her team out of the hole, holding the Patriots to five scoreless innings after the first. She tallied the stoppage and the winning pitcher, striking out seven batters, walking two, and earning no runs.
The Midgets tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, due to a Century fielding error that allowed Taya Hopfauf to cross home plate.
The Patriots would restore their lead in the first period of the final inning with two runs to make it 6-4. The win was anything but theirs until senior Kali Kubas entered the batting box. She chose a single on a hard-ground fly ball to left field that would send Mortenson home and move Hopfauf and Jahner into scoring positions. The Century Battery would be the cause of their demise with a wild pitch sending Hopfauf home and then a catcher error that allowed Jahner to clear the 60-foot plate.
game two showed a much stronger performance from Dickinson, who would ensure the game ended early due to the 10-point rule. The end result was 14-4 with a Midget run majority in the final innings.
The Midgets got on the scoreboard late in the second, extending to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. The Patriots showed resilience and pulled back in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead. The score included a two RBI single from senior Brooklyn Morris.
The Midget’s response was aggressive with stellar hits in the fifth and sixth innings, resulting in nine runs to cement their win.
Century gave up the lead of a homer from Reese Hauck to send her and Hopfauf back in the fifth inning.
Hauck would also have a two RBI single in the sixth inning, sending Mortenson and Hopfauf home to increase the lead to 7-4.
Dickinson started the final inning atop their roster, sophomore Jenna Decker, who would score the first and last innings of the inning.
Hopfauf led the Midgets in scoring with five points, two from Game 1 and three in the landslide Game 2 victory. Another senior contribution came from Hauck who led with six RBIs on the day, including his home run.
Senior Hope Fath held the circle for the full six innings of Game 2 and struck out three batters, allowed four hits and pitched a 1,2,3 inning in the top of the second.
Dickinson’s defensemen also did their part and contributed 39 outs in both games.