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Jays hit new high for wins

Jamestown’s Paige Peterson takes the throw at first base to record an out during Monday’s West Region doubleheader at McElory Park. John M. Steiner The Sun

A pair of wins at McElroy Park propelled the Blue Jay softball team into uncharted territory on Monday.

Winners of five games in each of its first two seasons at the varsity level, Jamestown notched victories No. 6 and No. 7 on the season against the visiting Turtle Mountain Bravettes. The mark of seven wins now stands as a program best, and no matter how big or small the milestones are for the third-year program, it’s a sign the Blue Jays are moving in the right direction.

“It’s the work in progress that we’re seeing. The girls each year have been getting better and better,” Blue Jay coach Mike Soulis said. “We’ll be losing four seniors that have been here from the start, and they’re leaving the program much better than it was in the beginning.”

Those seniors are Alicia Beckman, Ashlie Meier, Paige Peterson and Natasha Reister.

“They’re contribution has been greatly appreciated,” Soulis said, “and we’ll continue to get better.”

Jamestown will now be fully focused on potentially making more program history this weekend while hosting the West Region tournament. The Blue Jays have come up one game short of qualifying for the state tournament in each of the past two seasons, and Soulis and the Jays are hoping to knock down that door starting on Friday at McElroy Park.

Jamestown (7-19 overall, 5-19 region) have locked up the No. 6 seed for the tourney, and will be facing either Bismarck Century or Bismarck High at 1 p.m. at Lyle Lawrence Field. Century (17-11, 11-11) and Bismarck 15-13, 12-10) square off today at Bismarck High to determine the tournament’s No. 3 seed.

Minot Ryan (24-2, 23-1) has sewn up the No. 1 seed, while Dickinson (22-4, 18-4) will be the No. 2 seed.

“It’s a new season now, and everybody is going to be looking for two wins before you lose two to get into the state tournament,” Soulis said. “Our girls have to believe that we are one of those teams that are very capable of doing that.”

The Blue Jays made quick work of the Bravettes during Monday’s doubleheader. Each game only needed five innings to complete, with the Blue Jays winning 15-1 and 12-2.

After spotting Turtle Mountain a run in the top of the first, Jamestown broke the flood gates open with six runs in the bottom of the frame. Kadie Anderson’s RBI-double got the ball rolling, while Marissa Drenth punched an RBI-single past third base and Torri Kamlitz pushed two runs across the plate with a single to left field.

Drenth and Paige Christ each had solid games offensively, as each went 3-for-4. Meier went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Peterson was 1-for-2 with a triple and three runs batted in.

The Bravettes have struggled this season, leaving Jamestown with a mark of 0-24.

“I liked the way we were able to stay focused and mentally stay in the games,” Soulis said. “We worked on the things we could work on. Like game situations, such as first and third situations, and things like that we were able to execute and we were happy with.”

Anderson notched the win in the circle for the Jays, walking five and striking out five through five innings. Jamestown’s Jadee Lange picked up the 12-2 victory in game 2, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out five.

Lange also was solid with the bat, going 2-for-3 and driving in four runs in the nightcap. Peterson went a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Meier went 2-for-4.

The Jays scored four runs in the first, three in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth. Jamestown banged out eight singles and picked up an RBI-double from Drenth in the  fourth inning.

“At the plate we stayed focused and looked for our pitches,” Soulis said. “Once we got into a groove the bats started hitting and we started making some plays.

“Going into this weekend, it was good to get this pair of games in today.”

Jamestown 15, Turtle Mountain 1

Turtle Mountain  100 00 — 1 1 5

Jamestown   610 8x — 15 12 0

W—Kadie Anderson (5 IP, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K). L—J. Keplin (4 IP, 5 ER, 7 BB, 1 K). 2B—J, Marissa Drenth, Anderson. 3B—J, Paige Peterson. RBI—J, Drenth 2, Alicia Beckman, Torri Kamlitz 2, Anderson, Peterson 3, Ashlie Meier 2, Mariah Wick. SB—TM, J. Keplin 2; J, Drenth, Jadee Lange, Beckman 2, Anderson 2.

Jamestown 12, Turtle Mountain 2

Turtle Mountain  010 10 — 2 2 1

Jamestown   432 3 — 12 9 2

W—Jadee Lange (5 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). L—H. Golus (3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 1 K). 2B—TM, H. Golus; J, Marissa Drenth. RBI—TM, H. Golus; J, Drenth 2, Page Christ, Jadee Lange 4, Paige Peterson 2. SB—J, Christ; Alicia Beckman, Ashlie Meier 2.

Records: Jamestown 7-19, 5-19 West Region; Turtle Mountain 0-24; 0-24 West Region.

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at