Offense erupts as Blue Jays qualify for state tourney

Electric team at-bats fueled a 12-game winning streak for Jamestown High School softball earlier this season.

jhs softball jackson n roaldson 051721
Jamestown's Ella Roaldson (10) high-fives McKenna Jackson as she earned a run against West Fargo Monday, May 17, 2021 at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Electric team at-bats fueled a 12-game winning streak for Jamestown High School softball earlier this season.

The Blue Jays once again showcased a batting order locked in at the plate on Saturday, erupting for 11 runs in the first inning facing Mandan in a West Region tournament state qualifier at South Hill Softball complex in Minot.

Jamestown sent 14 batters to the plate in the opening frame, with Ella Roaldson and Jenna Fischer teaming up to drive in five runs on a pair of softballs that cleared the fence, in a game where eight Jamestown athletes combined to produce eight extra-base hits.

Jamestown turned away Mandan 15-1 in five innings and has advanced to next week's Class A state softball tournament in Mandan as the fourth seed out of the West Region. Jamestown will play the East Region champion Valley City next Thursday in the first quarterfinal pairing beginning at 11 a.m. at Mandan's Fort Lincoln Field.

"When we were on our roll midseason there that's sort of what it was, everyone was hitting," said Jamestown softball coach Marissa Drenth. "We just needed to get back to that and it was good to see that come alive, and, hopefully, we'll carry it into next weekend.


"That was awesome."

The Blue Jays' McKenna Jackson doubled leading off the bottom of the first, and a walk issued to Alyssa Gange batting second set up Roaldson's three-run home run to center. Fischer singled and hit a two-run homer in the frame after Jamestown's batting order flipped over, and Gange added a bases-clearing triple as well.

Jamestown knocked Mandan starting pitcher Andrea Borchers out of the circle with an out still to get in the first. Borchers would be charged with nine of Jamestown's 11 first-inning runs, four of which were earned.

"They hit really well in warmups this morning and I had a good feeling about it," Drenth said. "They were seeing the ball really well out of the pitcher's hand."

The offensive explosion allowed Jamestown starter Katie Falk to settle in and toss the pitches she wanted to toss. Falk collected her second win of the tournament, scattering three hits without a walk and striking out six, while also helping her cause at the plate.

Falk stroked a three-run homer to left in Jamestown's four-run third.

"Katie pitched well," Drenth said. "She communicates well with the catcher (Fischer) and does a good job of making in-game corrections.

"The girls were just ready to play this morning. They wanted another three games and they went and got them."


The Blue Jays drew eight walks to go with 11 total hits on Saturday. Gange finished 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, while Fischer batted 3-for-4 and drove in three.

Bismarck topped Minot 8-2 in the second West Region state play-in game and Bismarck Century upset Dickinson 5-0 in the conference title game.

Valley City defeated West Fargo 9-5 on Saturday in the East Region championship played in Devils Lake. The state tournament bracket can be found below.

"No matter who you're playing, you've got to bring your 'A' game," Drenth said of next week's state tournament. "You never know what will happen, so you've gotta be ready to go and I think the girls will be. We'll get a good few days of practice in here and hopefully carry the momentum from today."

Jamestown 15, Mandan 1 (5 inn.)

M 000 10 -- 1 3 2

J (11)04 0X -- 15 11 2

Batteries: A. Borchers, M. Gourley (1) and S. Gustavsson. J, Katie Falk and Jenna Fischer. W-Falk. L-Borchers.


Highlights: M, Borchers 2/3 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 1 SO, 3 BB, 1 HR; Meagan Gourlay 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, ER, 2 SO, 5 BB, 2 HR. Avianna Moen 1-2, 2B, RBI; Olivia Leingang 1-1, 2B.

J, Falk 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 SO, 0 BB. McKenna Jackson 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, R; Rylee Joseph 1-1, 2B, R; Payton Gall 1-3, 3B, R; Alyssa Gange 2-2, 3B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 3 R; Ella Roaldson 1-3, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 3 R; Jenna Fischer 3-4 HR, 3 RBI, R; Katie Falk 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R; Addi Douty 1-1, 2 BB, RBI, 1 R.





G1: (E1) Valley City vs. (W4) Jamestown, 11 a.m.

G2: (W2) Dickinson vs. (E3) West Fargo Sheyenne, 1 p.m.


G3: (E2) West Fargo vs. (W3) Bismarck, 4 p.m.

G4: (W1) Bismarck Century vs. (E4) Grand Forks Central, 6 p.m.


G5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 11 a.m.

G6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, 1 p.m.

G7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 4 p.m.

G8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4, 6 p.m.



FIFTH: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 10 a.m.

THIRD: Loser G7 vs. Loser G8, noon.

FIRST: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 3 p.m.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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