Offense unleashed: Jimmies score 31 runs in sweep of Broncos

An injured Katie Reisdorfer rallied the troops Saturday in Nebraska and quite possibly resurrected University of Jamestown's offense ahead of the postseason.

uj softball 17 homer 040721
University of Jamestown's Gracie Fisher smiles as she rounds third and passes Coach Kevin Gall Wednesday, April 7, 2021, after hitting a two-run home run against Dordt at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

An injured Katie Reisdorfer rallied the troops Saturday in Nebraska and quite possibly resurrected University of Jamestown's offense ahead of the postseason.

Following 10 fly-ball outs to begin two games of softball at Hastings College, Reisdorfer's lecture to the Jimmies to hit the ball on the ground ignited a powder keg of UJ offense in the fifth inning of game 1.

Jamestown sent 14 batters to the plate, launched four home runs over the fence and scored nine runs in an electric half-inning for the orange and black.

The Jimmies took the opener 11-6 and rolled 20-4 in game 2, swatting 38 total hits and 14 extra-base hits, which included an impressive seven home runs.

"One to remember," said UJ softball coach Kevin Gall. "We've been focusing on team swings and Katie did a really good job of charting our path a little bit."


Reisdorfer, a UJ senior catcher with a year of eligibility remaining due to COVID-19 forgiveness granted by the NAIA, took a foul ball off her left leg Wednesday against Concordia, Nebraska, and is day-to-day with a thigh contusion. Freshman catcher Megan Neiles caught all four games for the Jimmies this weekend, which included Friday's split at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska.

"We made the goal we were not going to have any fly-ball outs, we were going to try to make them field the ball," Gall said. "A couple innings later we had the big inning and it just kept rolling."

uj softball ward bunt vs briar cliff 041021
University of Jamestown's Kassi Ward takes off for first after hitting a bunt against Briar Cliff Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

First baseman Kassi Ward, another senior in the classroom along with shortstop Morgan Geiszler, center fielder Mariah Wick, and pitchers Kat Miska and Ann-Marie Crandlemire, touched off the homer parade in the fifth with a two-run shot to left, which was immediately followed by a Sydney Prussia solo shot to center.

The Jimmies went back-to-back a second time -- separated by a Santina Zito single -- with Katie Merchant scoring Zito with a two-run blast to left and Gracie Fisher jolting a 3-2 pitch off new pitcher Mia Pemberton for another run scored the easy way.

The Jimmies tagged Hastings starter Kyra Maguire, who exited the fifth before recording an out, for eight runs on 12 hits. Ward, who batted 7-for-8 in the two games with three home runs, two doubles, eight RBIs and six runs scored, also doubled in the fifth.

"I just felt super comfortable," said Ward, whose season average soared to .414. "I wasn't really thinking or anything, I just felt comfortable in my shoes and comfortable around the team, and it just felt super natural."


More like supernatural.

UJ second baseman Jenna Remenar also turned in a 7-for-10 afternoon with a homer, a double, three RBIs and seven runs scored after Reisdorfer lit the fuse.

"That's really when our bats exploded," Ward said. "We just focused on driving the ball into the ground, which is so simple in an approach when you go up to the plate. That's really what it was. Keep it simple and drive everything into the ground."

Miska improved to 15-2 as the game 1 winner and is now five strikeouts shy of 200 after fanning 12 batters. The Broncos scored six runs, none charged to Miska, after UJ broke away 11-0.

Not every Jimmie enjoyed success at the plate in game 1. Geiszler -- UJ's No. 1 offensive weapon -- was dipping her shoulder, popping the ball up, and turned in a forgettable 0-for-5 from the leadoff spot.

"Yeah," Geiszler deadpanned. "I wasn't seeing the ball very well, and I wasn't really making the adjustments that needed to be made."

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University of Jamestown's Morgan Geiszler connects with the ball Wednesday, April 7, 2021, against Dordt University at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun


The perfectionist took it personally and unleashed four doubles (4-for-5), six RBIs and crossed the plate three times in UJ's 20-run nightcap. Jamestown smacked an unrelenting 23 hits in game 2, scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning before the game was mercy-ruled after five.

Ward homered twice, Remenar went yard and Geiszler got her groove back. UJ's shortstop is batting .440 with 21 doubles, seven homers and 36 RBIs in an all-conference-type season.

"I was able to kinda make some adjustments to my swing and get my foot down a little bit earlier so I could see the ball a little bit better," Geiszler said. "I was able to put better swings (together) and make better contact on the ball."

It was difficult not to point out the afternoon's irony, however. After all, Reisdorfer said to put the ball on the ground.

"I even joked," Geiszler said, "I was like, 'So, are we gonna start hitting the ball on the ground or are we just gonna consistently keep putting them over the fence?'"

Merchant earned the win in the circle, striking out five of 20 batters faced.

Geiszler became the seventh Jimmie to reach 200 career hits in Friday's 7-3 victory at Doane. A milestone she might be able to add to next spring, as Geiszler said she and UJ's seniors scheduled to graduate this May plan to make a decision on next year's eligibility following the current season.

"I actually had no idea," Geiszler said on reaching 200. "To me, it's about the team. It's cool to be a part of something like that and get the results that we want."


The Jimmies are hoping Saturday's offensive firestorm has finally awakened the bats. UJ was seven days removed from being shut out at home in two games by Midland University but improved to 29-11 overall and 12-6 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference following its 3-1 trip to Nebraska.

Gall singled out right fielder Zito's four games at the dish: 6-for-13, one home run, six RBIs, four runs scored and a pair of sacrifice flies.

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University of Jamestown's Santina Zito fields a ball in right field against Concordia Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"Everybody's kinda had their ups and downs," Gall said. "It's all mental stuff. We're just trying to zero in on what we do well and stick with it so, hopefully, here at the end of the year we can all kinda be swinging well at the same time."

The Jimmies' final week of the regular season begins Tuesday hosting Dakota Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Jamestown then hosts 11th-ranked Morningside on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Jamestown and Northwestern are both at 12-6 in the conference standings behind Midland (14-2) and Morningside (17-1).

"I think the focus for all of us right now is just having fun," Ward said. "Keeping everything simple and just enjoying what we have left."


University of Jamestown 11, Hastings College 6

J 101 090 0 -- 11 15 1

H 000 060 0 -- 6 11 2

Batteries: J, Kat Miska, Katie Merchant (5), Lucy Sinkkonen (5), Miska (6) and Megan Neiles. H, Kyra Maguire, Mia Pemberton (5) and Hannah Langer. W-Miska. L-Maguire.

Highlights: J, Miska 6 IP 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 SO; Merchant 0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB; Sinkkonen 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB; Jenna Remenar 3-5, 2B, 3 R; Kassi Ward 3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB; Sydney Prussia 2-4, HR, RBI, R, BB; Santina Zito 2-3, 3 RBI, R; Merchant 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R; Gracie Fisher 2-3, HR, RBI, BB.

H, Maguire 4 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 1 SO; Pemberton 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 SO; Alyssa Carter 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI.

Records: Jamestown 28-11, 11-6 GPAC. Hastings 14-24, 6-11.

University of Jamestown 20, Hastings College 4


J 122 (10)5 -- 20 23 0

H 002 20 -- 4 6 0

Batteries: J, Katie Merchant and Megan Neiles. Hannah Norquest, Mia Pemberton (4), Madison Hemphill (5) and Taylor Stuhr. W-Merchant. L-Norquest.

Highlights: J, Merchant 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 SO; Morgan Geiszler 4-5, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R; Jenna Remenar 4-5, HR, 3 RBI, 4 R; Kassi Ward 4-4, 2 HR, 2B, BB, 5 RBI, 3 R; Camryn Schwab 1-2, RBI; Santina Zito 1-2, 2 RBI; Gracie Fischer 2-3, 2 RBI, R; Mariah Wick 3-4, RBI, 3 R.

H, Norquest 3 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO; Pemberton 1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB; Hemphill 1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 1 SO; Sydney Schelkopf 2-3, R.

Records: Jamestown 29-22, 12-6 GPAC. Hastings 14-25, 6-12.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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