Bismarck takes two from Blue Jays
The hometown bats weren’t as warm as the weather at Jamestown’s McElroy Park on Friday.
“We didn’t make that many errors. We cleaned up the mistakes we made against Minot High,” Jamestown coach Mike Soulis said. “But we told the girls that now somebody needs to step up and make that big play. An outfielder needs to take away a hit and make a great running catch. An infielder needs to dive for a ball and take that hit away and get an out somewhere.”
The Blue Jays were swept at home on Tuesday by Minot.
“The pitcher’s got to say, ‘You know what? No one’s going to get another hit,’” Soulis added. “Someone has to step up in those spots and get the outs, rather than giving them one more at bat.”
Jamestown desperately needed something like that during inning No. 3 of game two. Trailing the Demons 4-0, Bismarck broke it open with seven runs in the frame.
The first seven batters for Bismarck in the inning all reached base. Bismarck’s Jazmine Bowman tagged Jamestown starter Jadee Lange for a 2-RBI double, and Kennedy Blair ripped a 2-RBI triple to left field.
Blair, who went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and three runs batted in, would later score on a sacrifice fly by Lexi Folmer to produce the 11-0 final.
Bismarck pounded out 14 hits, five of which went for extra bases, in game two. The Demons posted 12 hits, four for extra bases, during their 6-3 victory in the opener.
“Usually we rely on our bats, and today I thought our defense played extremely well,” Bismarck coach Paige Nustad said. “It was our first game where I felt we actually finished on the defensive end. They always come to bat, so I don’t worry about that.”
Bismarck’s Shelby Wittenberg picked up the complete game shutout from the circle in game two. Wittenberg allowed just the three hits and struck out a pair.
“I don’t think we were as selective as we should have been,” Soulis said. “I think we chased some high pitches and helped (Wittenberg) out a little bit, and then you’ve got two strikes on you and you have to protect.”
Jaime Barta notched the victory for the Demons in game one. She struck out nine, but she did allow an inside-the-park solo home run to Lange in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Lange also tripled in the game as she went 2-for-3, while Jamestown’s Paige Peterson posted an RBI-triple and Alicia Beckman banged out a double.
Bismarck jumped ahead 4-0 in the first inning after the first four batters reached safely. Bismarck’s Erica Frank had an RBI-triple in the first. Emily Omvig went 3-for-4 for the Demons.
Bismarck improved to 14-11 overall and 12-8 in the West Region, and is currently in the running for a potential top three finish in the region. Bismarck faces the Midgets today in Dickinson and Bismarck Century on Tuesday before the West Region tournament fires up on Friday in Jamestown.
“We hope to beat up on Dickinson a little bit (today), and then go after Century and hopefully lock in either that second or third spot,” Nustad said. “I’m feeling extremely proud of the girls going into the WDA, and I think they have high hopes.”
Jamestown finishes up the regular season at home on Monday against Turtle Mountain. The Jays are looking forward to playing the West Region tourney on their home turf.
“We’ll get a couple games in against Belcourt and then a couple more days of fundamentals in practices, and then who knows,” Soulis said. “It’s the old cliché, it starts over again. But we’ve proven we can play with the teams that we need to beat to get into the state tournament.
“The girls are confident. If we can show up for two days and play some good softball, I like our chances.”
Bismarck 6, Jamestown 3
Bismarck 420 000 0 — 6 12 0
Jamestown 020 001 0 — 3 6 1
W—Jaime Barta (7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K). L—Jadee Lange. (1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER). 2B—B, Emily Omvig, Shelby Wittenberg; J, Alicia Beckman. 3B—B, Erica Frank, Kennedy Blair; J, Lange, Paige Peterson. HR—Lange. RBI—B, Frank, Lexi Folmer, Omvig, Wittenberg 2; J, Marissa Drenth, Lange, Peterson. SB—B, Folmer, Wittenberg; J, Peterson. J, Kadie Anderson 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K).
Bismarck 11, Jamestown 0
Bismarck 137 00 — 11 14 0
Jamestown 000 00 — 0 3 0
W—Shelby Wittenberg (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). L—Jadee Lange (5 IP, 14 H, 11 ER, 5 BB, 2 K). 2B—B, Kennedy Blair, Lexi Folmer, Jazmine Bowman, Michaela Casey. 3B—B, Blair; RBI—B, Jaime Barta, Blair 3, Folmer 4, Bowman 2. SB—B, Barta 2, Frank 2, Blair, Omvig, Jordan Bushaw 3; J, Kadie Anderson.
Records: Bismarck 14-11, 12-8 West Region; Jamestown 5-19, 3-19 West Region.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org