Jamestown High School's Ella Roladson has been smashing her way through North Dakota softball pitchers, but the sophomore had a setback Thursday evening at Trapper Field.
Roaldson exited the nightcap with an apparent arm injury after a throw to first base didn't have a lot of velocity during the first frame.
The Blue Jays' defense struggled and the offense couldn't keep with Bismarck Legacy as it defeated Jamestown by scores of 8-7 and 13-10 during West Region action. The Blue Jays moved back to .500 at 10-10 overall and 7-7 in conference play, while the Sabers are 12-10 and 11-5.
"Her arm's just hurting," Jamestown coach Marissa Drenth explained. "She's having some issues with it. She's been doing a good job of playing through it and just couldn't overcome it tonight, but we'll get her back.
"Even once she came out, she was being a leader on the bench and that's what you want to see out of someone."
Drenth said she expects Roaldson to be back on Tuesday against Dickinson, but if the sophomore has to miss some time it'll be a big hit to the lineup. Roaldson has hit for a .532 average (41-for-77), with 10 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 28 RBIs and 34 runs scored.
But on Thursday, it was the defense that struggled for most of the evening.
After Jamestown starter Payton Gall struck out seven during the first 2 2/3 innings of game 1, the Blue Jays put their backs against the wall. A hit by pitch and single with two outs allowed Taryn Allmaras to crank a three run homer to left field.
The Blue Jays struggled even more in the fourth as a walk, a hit batter, a pair of singles and two errors allowed four runs to cross the plate, giving Legacy a 7-3 lead.
"That's experience, too. That's just making the out is more important than getting the lead runner or letting a run score or whatever else," Drenth said. "Experientially we just need to learn that sometimes you have to make sure of the out and forget about everything else.
"When you're struggling through an inning, don't have any outs and your pitcher is starting to get tired, you just have to fight through it and gut it out."
But besides a rough third and fourth for Gall, the sophomore had a season-high 13 strikeouts and totaled 19 during nine total frames of the doubleheader.
"When Payton is on, she's on," Drenth said. "A lot of that comes from just being confident and working through her mechanics and we've talked about that. When she's confident, she'll give you a good performance. When she's on, the team will rally the bats behind her."
Jamestown, who combined for eight errors on the day, took a 6-5 lead after four innings of game 2, but Legacy combined to score eight over the next two frames and eventually won 13-10.
Despite the two losses, Jamestown had plenty of highlights. Jenna Fischer cracked an estimated 250-foot moonshot to left field that hit off the second outfield fence in the seventh frame of game 2. The freshman catcher also hit a three-run homer in the seventh of game 1 that cut Legacy's deficit to 8-7.
"The girls are seeing the ball well," Drenth said. "We just reiterate, 'See the ball, hit the ball.' Keep everything simple. The simpler they keep it and the less they think, the better they hit the ball. Hopefully we'll see that more up and down the lineup."
Jamestown's schedule doesn't get easier, however, as Class A runner-up, Dickinson, comes to town Tuesday for a doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m.
"They're going to provide some good competition," Drenth said. "We'll get two good practices tomorrow and Monday. I just want them to come out and be ready to go, ready to compete and ready to fight.
"At the end of the day, if they show heart, fight and gut it out, we'll give Dickinson a run."
High school softball
Bismarck Legacy 8, Jamestown 7
BL 003 410 0 -- 8 9 0
JHS 003 001 3 -- 7 11 2
W--Casey Lovsness. L--Payton Gall.
Blue Jay highlights: Alex Nihill 3-4, 2 RBI, R; Payton Gall 2-4, 7 IP, 6 ER, 8 R, 9 H, 13 K, 6 BB; McKenna Jackson 1-4; Ella Roaldson 1-4, R; Rachel Schiele 1-4, 2 R; Jenna Fischer 1-4, HR, 4 RBI, R; Katie Falk 1-3; Rachel Woodley 1-4, 2B.
Bismarck Legacy 13, Jamestown 10
BL 400 126 0 -- 13 11 2
JHS 300 300 4 -- 10 11 6
W--Tori Olson. L--Alex Nill.
Blue Jay highlights: Jenna Fischer 2-4, HR, RBI, R; Alyssa Gange 2-5, 2 R; Sadie Meissner 2-3, RBI, 2 R; McKenna Jackson 1-4, R; Alex Nihill 1-4, R; Rachel Schiele 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Katie Falk 1-4, R; Payton Gall 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI.
Records: Jamestown 10-10 overall, 7-7 WDA. Bismarck Legacy 12-10, 11-5.