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TOP: University of Jamestown hitter Emily Newman fouls off a pitch against Mayville State on Thursday at McElroy Park. Photos by John M. Steiner / The Sun

Jimmies take sweep of Mayville

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It was cool, and a little windy, but the Jimmie softball team was happy to be home.

The University of Jamestown rode the left arm of Hanna Dunnigan in Game 1 and then scored three runs late in the nightcap to sweep Mayville State 7-1 and 6-5 on Thursday in their first home outing of the season after playing their first 22 games on the road.

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“We equaled our number of homes games from last year in one day,” UJ coach Kevin Gall said.

Courtney Van Den Bussche, who had two hits, two RBI, two stolen bases and scored four runs on the day, said they were excited to play without a long bus trip.

“It gets a little frustrating sometimes, but that’s North Dakota winters, we understand that,” the senior standout said. “We’re happy to get to play at home. We just want to play well and take advantage of it.”

The Jimmies have won 10 of their last 12 games and improved to 4-0 in the North Star Athletic Association and 13-11 overall.

“We had a lot of new girls come in this year, but they’ve meshed in really well and they learned how things are done here,” said Van Den Bussche, who’s hitting nearly .450 on the season. “We’re playing pretty well. We have to keep improving, but there’s a lot of potential to be a good team.”

The Jimmies were without ace Emily Snow, who is fighting an illness, but Dunnigan allowed just one run on five hits in the opener and Mandy Thiessen followed with another solid outing in just her second start of the season.

“It’s not easy when you don’t get to pitch very much, but with Mandy she has a great work ethic. She doesn’t hang her head, she continues to prepare herself and then today when we needed her she threw a really good ballgame for us,” Gall said.

The Jimmies are back in action on Saturday and Sunday, hosting the University of Great Falls, Mont.

UJ 7, MSU 1

Dunnigan didn’t need much run support in the opener.

The Regina, Saskatchewan native allowed just five hits and a solo run in the top of the third inning.

“She was more of a volleyball player and hadn’t played a lot of softball,” Gall said of the 5-foot-10 freshman’s high school days. “She has a lot of room for growth. I think she’ll keep getting better and better.”

The Jimmies scattered their seven hits, grinding out one run in the third and two in the second for an early 3-0 lead. No grinding was needed in the bottom of the fifth inning when Cassie Simenson, a freshman from Bismarck, led off with a solo home run. It was the first long ball of the season for the Jimmies.

Autumn Wang singled and scored twice. Van Den Bussche had a pair of RBI groundouts. Emily Snow singled in Van Den Bussche with the opening run of the game in the bottom of the first.

UJ 6, MSU 5

Tied 3-all after 5 1/2 innings, the Jimmies scrambled for three in the bottom of the sixth.

After singles from Emily Snow and Megan Heriot started the frame, Wang ripped a double down the third-base line to plate Snow. Hattie Fullmer’s hard grounder to shortstop brought in Heriot. Fullmer eventually scored from third on a wild pitch, a run the Jimmies ended up needing.

The Comets (3-14, 1-6) scored twice in the top of the seventh to cut it to one before Thiessen fanned Megan Cole with runners on first and second to end the game.

“We made it a little interesting there at the end,” Gall said. “You have to give them credit. They have some tough outs in their lineup,”

Courtney Priddie would be at the top of the list. The Comets’ leadoff hitter belted a two-run home run in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-2.

Van Den Bussche, Emily Newman, Heriot and Wang each had two hits for the Jimmies. Fullmer missed a home run by inches in the fifth inning. Her drive to left-center field clanged off the top of the tape and deflected back into the outfield. Fullmer, though, overran third and was tagged out.

“We swung the bats pretty well,” Gall said. “A few of our girls that hadn’t been swinging the bats very well swung it pretty good today, so that was good to see.”

University of Jamestown 7, Mayville State 1

MSU 001 000 0 — 1 5 3 

UJ 120 211 x — 7 7 2

Felicia Gonzales, Katrina Newman (5) and Jaime Scott. Hanna Dunnigan and Sydney Greenlund. W—Dunnigan (5-5). L—Gonzales. HR—UJ, Cassie Simenson (1). SB—Courtney Van Den Bussche, Autumn Wang.

Jamestown 6, Mayville State 5

MSU 002 001 2 — 5 6 1

UJ 201 003 x — 6 11 4

Rachel Koopman and Jaime Scott. Mandy Thiessen and Megan Heriot. W—Thiessen (2-0). L—Koopman. 2B—MSU, Priddie 2. UJ, Brook Rheault, Autumn Wang. 3B—UJ, Hattie Fullmer. HR—MSU, Priddie. SB—UJ, Van Den Bussche, Emily Newman.

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701)

952-8460 or by e-mail at dselvig@jamestownsun.com

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Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460
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