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Big win for Blue Jays: JHS beats third-seeded Bismarck

Jamestown shortstop Marissa Drenth puts the tag down as Bismarck’s Jazmine Bowman slides into second base during Friday’s West Region tournament game. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Confidence can sometimes make all the difference.

The Jamestown Blue Jays struck for three first-inning runs against Bismarck High during the opening round of the West Region softball tournament at McElroy Park on Friday, and they kept the gas pedal to the floor.

The No. 6-seeded Blue Jays scored 12 unanswered runs, as everyone in the lineup recorded a hit, en route to stunning the No. 3-seeded Demons by the final of 12-3. Jamestown now faces No. 2-seeded Dickinson this morning at 11 a.m. in the semifinals.

“We talked about giving ourselves a chance, and we have put ourselves in a very good position,” JHS coach Mike Soulis said. “But even though we played well today, we have to back it up with the same thing (this morning).

“We have two games (today) and we need to go out and get a win.”

It’s the first time Jamestown has advanced to the region semis, as the host team also increased its season win total to a record of eight victories in the team’s third varsity season.

If the Jays are able to defeat Dickinson they’ll be in the state tournament and play in today’s championship game at approximately 3 p.m. If they fall, Jamestown will play in a state-qualifier at approximately 1 p.m.

Following the Blue Jays’ three runs in the first, they were able to pad their lead with six runs in the top of the third. Jamestown’s Ashlie Meier drove in a pair with a single, which was followed with a 2-run triple from Kadie Anderson.

Meier also added a 2-run triple in the Jamestown’s three-run fourth inning. It was Meier’s first triple of the year, as she went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.

“It was a huge confidence deal for us. We’d have big innings this year, but we never really followed them with another big inning,” Soulis said. “We talked to the girls, don’t let up and keep doing what you’re doing.”

Anderson was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, while Jadee Lange was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Paige Christ, Alicia Beckman, Paige Peterson, Marissa Drenth, Mariah Wick and Torri Kamlitz all recorded hits for the Jays.

Lange also picked up the win in the circle, as she pitched all seven innings and struck out six. Lange pitched four scoreless innings before allowing Bismarck’s three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Lange finished the game in the seventh by striking out Bismarck’s Shelby Wittenberg and Erica Frank for the final two outs.

“(Bismarck’s) lineup is all good hitters, and with a lot of the batters (Lange) was starting out 0-1 and got ahead in the count,” Soulis said. “She could then change to some off-speed stuff, and she was hitting her spots and keeping them off balance.”

Jamestown was 0-4 against the Demons this season. The Jays know they’ll face a stiff test today against Dickinson (25-4) in the semifinals.

“I told the girls what we did this morning, we’ve got to do it again,” Soulis said. “The girls bought into the fact that we were playing well the end of the season. They came out with the determination to give it their best shot and it was a good outcome.”

The prolonged rain storm that began late in the afternoon halted action shortly after 3 p.m.

Dickinson defeated Turtle Mountain 27-1 while the Blue Jays were beating Bismarck. Those were the only two full games played. Bismarck was leading Turtle Mountain 16-0 when the storm hit, so Bismarck advanced into a state-qualifier today.

In the third inning, fifth-seeded Minot led No. 4 Bismarck Century 2-0. That game will resume at 9:30 a.m., with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Minot Ryan.

Full tournament schedule can be found in the scoreboard.

West Region Tournament

At McElroy Park

Jamestown 12, Bismarck 3

Jamestown  306 300 0 — 12 11 1 

Bismarck  000 030 0 — 3 7 3

Jadee Lange and Ashlie Meier. Shelby Wittenberg, Jaime Barta (3) and Emily Omvig, Kennedy Blair (3). W—Lange. L—Wittenberg.

Records: Jamestown 8-19; Bismarck 17-14.

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at msavaloja@jamestowsun.com

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