Blue Jays breeze past Minot in regional quarterfinals
Five extra-base hits, including a two-run home run off the bat of Gracie Gunderson, provided all the offense Jamestown High School softball would need to open the West Region tournament.
Five extra-base hits, including a two-run home run off the bat of Gracie Gunderson, provided all the offense Jamestown High School softball would need to back up another solid starting pitching performance from Katie Falk.
Falk struck out 11 Minot batters over seven innings as the Blue Jays opened the West Region tournament with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Majettes at South Hill Softball Complex in Minot on Thursday.
Falk allowed just four hits and put six zeros on the board before Minot scratched out its lone run in the seventh as Falk's complete game lasted 127 total pitches.
Jamestown immediately backed up its ace in the top of the first inning. Lead-off hitter McKenna Jackson worked a four-pitch walk facing Minot starter Kirsten Galloway to start and Alyssa Gange promptly chased Jackson home with a double to center on the eighth pitch of the game.
Jamestown gets a crack at top-seeded Dickinson (26-2) in Friday's semifinals at 5 p.m. The Midgets blasted Williston 19-0 during Thursday's quarterfinal action.
"I come in talking about let's play small ball, and then we end up doing what we do best and just hit the ball," laughed Jamestown coach Marissa Drenth. "When you hit first it's always: OK, let's score first. And, for your pitcher to come out and just throw strikes from the get-go and perform the way she did, that definitely helped us out."
While Falk kept the Majettes' bats quiet, Gunderson's big fly to left in the fourth put Jamestown out front 4-0. The shot followed a double off the bat of Jamestown's Payton Gall and a run-scoring error committed by the Majettes that allowed Ella Falk to scamper home from third.
The fourth inning continued for Jamestown as the order flipped around and Jackson and Gange both turned in back-to-back triples. The duo each batted 2-for-3 with a walk.
"It was a team effort, a lot of good at-bats," Drenth said. "We did a good job talking, making adjustments, and just sticking together as a team and pulling out the win."
Minot manufactured its run in the final frame behind a walk and an RBI double produced by Paige Ackerman. But the Majettes' hometown crowd was kept fairly suppressed throughout.
"We had a good number of fans and our dugout made a lot of noise today," Drenth said. "We made ourselves feel right at home.
"As far as the plan of attack, it was just playing within yourselves, do what you know you can do, and the big plays will come."
Jamestown will have its hands full Friday against Dickinson, whose only two losses this season have come against Central Cass and Bismarck Century. Jamestown is 0-4 against the Midgets, falling by a combined score of 46-6, but played Dickinson to a 7-3 outcome on May 18.
Drenth said the Blue Jays plan to play loose and let the chips fall. Friday's 3 p.m. semifinal has Bismarck playing Century.
"We talked to the girls tonight and we just said, I don't think we've given Dickinson our best combined game yet," Drenth said. "Either we're making errors defensively or we're not hitting the ball well, so I think the goal tomorrow is to go and try and put everything together and give them a true showing of who we are as a team."
WEST REGION SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Jamestown 6, Minot 1
M 000 000 1 -- 1 4 3
J 100 401 X -- 6 8 3
Batteries: Katie Falk and Jenna Fischer. Kirsten Galloway and Taylee Hertz. W-Falk. L-Galloway.
Highlights: J, Falk 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 11 SO, 3 BB; Payton Gall 1-3, 2B, R; Alyssa Gange 2-3, 3B, BB, 2 RBI; McKenna Jackson 2-3, 3B, BB, 2 R, 1 SB; Gracie Gunderson 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R; Katie Trumbauer 1 SB.
M, Galloway 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 SO, 5 BB, 1 HR; Paige Ackerman 1-4, 2B, RBI.
Records: Jamestown 19-9. Minot 16-11.
(7) Legacy 22, (10) TMCHS 0
(8) Williston 12, (9) Watford City 11
(2) Bismarck High 10, (7) Legacy 0 (5 inn.)
(3) Century 11, (6) Mandan 1 (6 inn.)
(1) Dickinson 19, (8) Williston 0
(4) Jamestown 6, (5) Minot 1
Legacy vs. Mandan, 11 a.m.
Williston vs. Minot, 1 p.m.
Bismarck vs. Century 3 p.m.
Dickinson vs. Jamestown, 5 p.m.
State Qualifiers, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Championship, 3 p.m.