There's a first for everything, and Jamestown High School softball accomplished one of those on Tuesday, May 14 at Trapper Field.
Payton Gall pitched one-run ball over seven innings and the Blue Jays broke a 1-all tie with Dickinson with two runs in the third inning of game 1, as Jamestown defeated Dickinson for the first time ever, 3-1. The Midgets got the best of the Blue Jays in game 2, however, winning 10-7.
Jamestown broke a three-game losing streak with the victory and improved to 12-10, while Dickinson bumped up to 19-7.
"I think we really limited the errors in the first game," Gall said of the goose egg in the errors column. "It felt way more clean than the other games we played and we rallied much better."
The Midgets have been a tough team in the state in past years, even though they've never won a state championship. Dickinson, who was the Class A runner-up in 2018, have been to seven straight state tournaments going back to 2012.
"I think it's really great," Gall said. "It feels like a turning point in our program."
Rachel Schiele broke the 1-1 tie for good with a non-pitch throwing error on third baseman Kamryn Kuntz, while Ella Roaldson moved up to third base. Payton Gall later hit a sacrifice fly in the same at-bat that scored Roaldson as the Blue Jays led 3-1.
Meanwhile, Gall limited the Midgets to one hit for the remainder of the game-a Reese Hauck double down the left-field line-while leaving three runners stranded. Gall relied on her defense for most of the game after striking out only four hitters, which was two below her average.
"I think the defense did amazing. It was probably the best we've been this season," Gall said. "We made some tough plays.
"My game plan was to put the ball in there and let my defense play for me, just to limit the walks and streamline the innings."
Jamestown and Dickinson traded the lead three times and were tied 4-4 at one point, but the Midgets came back to scored six unanswered runs-after trailing 7-4-to defeat the Jays 10-7.
Jamestown had the tying run come to the plate in the sixth and seventh frames. After two straight singles in the sixth, Alex Nihill lined out to the shortstop with both runners in motion causing a 5-4, 4-3 triple play. Rachel Woodley and McKenna Jackson tried to spark a two-out rally in the final frame, but Rachel Schiele flew out to end the game.
"We got into a high-scoring effort, like we've had a tendency to do all season," said Jamestown coach Marissa Drenth. "This time we didn't rally and come out on top. I wouldn't say pressure broke us or anything like that. I just think we didn't have enough to push through at the end."
The Blue Jays end their season with a doubleheader at Turtle Mountain on Thursday, followed by a non-conference twin bill against Valley City on Friday.
"I hope to get things done at Turtle Mountain like usual and play hard against Valley City," Gall said.
--Ella Roaldson was in the lineup Tuesday as a designated player after coming out of the game on May 9 with an arm injury. Drenth said the sophomore, who went 1-for-5 with three runs scored, is still day-to-day for getting back onto the field.
"It's still kinda a day-to-day thing," Drenth said. "We want to make sure she's alright, but she's pushing through and chomping at the bit, too. Good thing she can hit or otherwise I'd be fighting her."
--Alyssa Gange, who's played shortstop since Roaldson's injury, has been a perfect 11-for-11 on putouts. The junior utility player has made 20 plays on 21 tries this season.
"She did a very good job today," Drenth said. "It's always nice to have a kid step in, be confident make the plays she's supposed to make and supposed to do. Every once in awhile she makes one of those great plays everyone is excited about."
High school softball
Jamestown 3, Dickinson 1
DHS 010 000 0 -- 1 3 1
JHS 102 000 X -- 3 5 0
W--Payton Gall. L--Mataya Mortensen.
Blue Jay highlights: McKenna Jackson 1-3, 2B; Ella Roaldson 1-2, 2 R; Rachel Schiele 1-3; R; Jenna Fischer 1-2, 2B, RBI; Payton Gall 1-2, RBI, 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB, 3 H.
DHS 112 204 0 -- 10 15 1
JHS 313 000 0 -- 7 13 1
W--Mataya MortensenL--Alex Nihill.
Blue Jay highlights: Payton Gall 3-3, 2B, 2 R; McKenna Jackson 2-5, RBI; Alex Nihill 2-3, 2 RBI; Rachel Schiele 2-5, 2B, RBI, R; Jenna Fischer 1-4; Alyssa Gange 1-4; Sadie Meissner 1-2, 2 RBI; Rachel Woodley 1-2.
Records: Jamestown 12-10, Dickinson 19-7.