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Packers keep streak alive

West Fargo players celebrate after beating Minot Ryan 10-1 in the championship game of the state softball tournament in Minot on Saturday. Ryan Holmgren / Minot Daily News

MINOT — Shortly after West Fargo’s softball team claimed its 17th consecutive state title Saturday at South Hill Complex, senior pitcher Brittany Rheault exhaled a sigh of relief.

Finally, as her career culminated with a 10-1 victory over Minot Ryan, the pressure of the streak is gone.

“I can finally breathe after four years,” Rheault told a former teammate who made the trip to see the Packers’ reign extend once again.

Rheault, who was named Class A’s senior athlete of the year, scattered four hits, walked one and struck out 14 — one shy of the single-game tournament-record 15 she set against Dickinson in the semifinals. Her total of 41 strikeouts shattered the old record of 25 in a tournament, which was set by West Fargo’s Kacie Johnson in 2010.

“I think that every Packer holds the weight of keeping up the streak, and I’m just glad to be a part of it as many times as I was,” Rheault said. “It was an amazing experience freshman to senior year, and I couldn’t have thought of a better group to do it with than the girls that are right here.”

The Packers (30-1) squeaked out 1-0 victories over the Lions (28-3) in the previous two championship games. This time around, they capitalized on six Ryan errors in posting 10 unanswered runs to end the contest.

“It was just one of those days. It wasn’t our day all the way around,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. “We knew we had to play not a perfect game, but as flawless as we could. Those errors can be costly sometimes.”

Demons win ‘A’ baseball title

A three-run first inning proved to be all of the offense Bismarck would need in a 3-1 win against Grand Forks Central in the championship game of the North Dakota Class A state baseball tournament Saturday.

Nathan Dinga allowed a run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Demons, who were the top seed out of the West.

Zachary Walz yielded three runs on five hits in six innings for the Knights.

Class A State Baseball Tournament

At Grand Forks

Bismarck 3, Grand Forks Central

GFC 000 000 1 — 1 3 1

BHS 300 000 x — 3 5 3

W—Dinga. L—Walz. S—Bauer.

Davies claims soccer crown

GRAND FORKS — Two long-distance strikes from senior forward Kenzie Carlson proved to be a winning combination for Fargo Davies on Saturday afternoon.

Carlson scored two goals to lead the Eagles to a 2-1 golden-goal overtime victory over Bismarck Century in the state championship match of the North Dakota state girls soccer tournament at Cushman Field.

The match was tied 1-1 at halftime and the end of regulation.

During overtime, it was all about opportunity.

Carlson seized one such opportunity by rocketing a shot with her left foot from 31 yards out. The attempt was booted 4 minutes, 13 seconds into overtime and got past Century goalkeeper Amanda Leintz.

Just like that, the Eagles —playing in their first state title match — were champions.

“I got a pass in the middle of the field, I turned, and I knew I had to take a chance,” said Carlson, who is signed to play soccer at Minnesota State Moorhead. “I was thinking it is golden-goal overtime, and I have to take a shot. Luckily it went in. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

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