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Blue Jay grand slam isn't enough against title-hungry Midgets

Jamestown and Dickinson faced off in the state tournament semifinals on June 3.

state a softball jhs 9 out by dhs 14 060322.jpg
Dickinson's Kali Kubas lunges forward to force out Jamestown's Katelyn Trumbauer (9) Friday, June 3, 2022, during the Class A state softball tournament at Trapper Field in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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Some teams might have been worried when Makenna Nold hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning.

The thought didn't even enter the heads of the Dickinson High School softball team.

"It didn't phase us one bit," DHS head coach Amanda Mickey said. "We didn't say anything special, we just needed to suck the energy out of them and that's exactly what we did."

Dickinson is heading to its fifth state championship game appearance, having taken down Jamestown 5-4 in the 2022 Class A State Softball semifinals. The Midgets are set to face Bismarck High in the title tilt Saturday at 3 p.m. at Jamestown's Trapper Field. Dickinson defeated BHS 10-0 in the 2021 state finals but the one blemish on the team's 2022 record came against the Demons on May 16.

Jamestown will face Bismarck Legacy in the third-place game Saturday. First pitch is scheduled to be delivered at noon. If the Jays win against the Sabers, it will be the highest finish in program history.

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The Midgets and the Blue Jays have met more than any other team this year. Friday's win capped off a perfect 6-0 Dickinson record against the Jays but it hasn't been easy along the way. Two of the six games — the state semifinals and the WDA tournament semis have come down to just one run.

"I told the other reporters yesterday that today was going to be a state championship in itself," Mickey said. "Jamestown is a heckuva team and to be able to take six away from them on the year says something about our kids.

"We put those five wins behind us and came into (today) like we had never won before and just played our game. Our game plan worked."

While it was the Midgets' who came out with the victory, it could have been anyone's game.

In the top of the first, with two down, Nold connected on an 0-2 count, ripped one out to left field, and made the crowd go wild as it cleared the fence and gave the host team a 4-0 lead.

"We played them tough last week but we didn't put any runs on the board," JHS head coach Mike Soulis said. "Well today, we did — but that's a team that you can't not continue to produce runs on because they are going to get their runs eventually.

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The Jamestown dugout clears and runs to homeplate Friday, June 3, 2022, to celebrate a grand slam home run by Makenna Nold against Dickinson during the Class A state softball tournament at Trapper Field.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

"No way can you say that it was a lack of trying or a lack of effort — we just have to get past that next step. I am upset that we didn't get it done but not at our effort. I'd take this group and battle for another anytime."

Baylee Berg gave the defending state champs their first points of the day, singling on a ground ball that scored Kali Kubas and Hope Fath to make it a 4-2 ball game. Jamestown maintained the lead until the bottom of the fourth when Kubas and Fath went home again to knot things up at four apiece.

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In the bottom of the fifth, Ava Jahner tried to give the Midgets the lead on a stoke out to left field but the sophomore's poke drifted foul and wound up striking out swinging. Nold collected out No. 2 on a Kubas pop-out then the struck out Fath looking.

Both teams remained scoreless in the sixth and the Dickinson defense clutched up and got out of the top of the seventh with no runs scored.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jamestown's defense started out hot with Jada Walter collecting out No. 1 on Reese Hauck but a walk of Hopfauf and a double from Mataya Mortenson put the game-winning run 60 feet away from home plate. Nold intentionally walked Ava Jahner bringing up Kubas to the batters' box.

"After those three outs in the top of the seventh and our lineup coming up to bat, I had all of the confidence in the world that we were getting it done right then and there," Mickey said. "When they walked AJ to first base and Kali was the next one up, I was like, there's no one better to be in this situation. That kid wanted it and wanted to be (in the championship)."

Kubas wound up flying out to centerfield and while Alyssa Gange caught the ball for out No. 2, the Blue Jay senior centerfielder didn't have quite enough power to throw Hopfauf out at home.

"I was excited to be in that moment actually," Kubas said. "I was excited I had the at-bat and the opportunity to get to do that. I just knew I had to put the bat on the ball — it's pretty simple.

"I love my team, I love how competitive our program is and I hope we can keep it up tomorrow."

2022 Class A State Softball Tournament

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Semifinal

Dickinson 5, Jamestown 4

JHS 400 000 0 — 4 4 0

DHS 020 200 1 — 5 8 1

JHS: Katie Falk, Makenna Nold (4); DHS: Mataya Mortensen, Ava Jahner (3). W — Jahner; L — Nold

Highlights: DHS — Jahner (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB); Jenna Decker 1-3, RBI; Taya Hopfauf 2-3, 2B; Mataya Mortensen 1-4, 2B; Kali Kubas 2-3, RBI; Baylee Berg 1-3, 2 RBI; Hope Fath 1-2.

JHS — Falk ( 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 K, 2 BB); Nold (3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 4 BB) 1-3, 4 RBI, HR; Rylee Joseph 1-3; Katie Trumbauer 2-2.

2022 Class A State Softball Tournament

Consolation game

Grand Forks Red River 2, WF Sheyenne 1

GF 010 100 0 — 2 8 0

WFS 000 001 0 — 1 5 1

RR: Ella Speidel; WFS: Kyra Narum, Briley Thompson (6). W — Speidel; L — Narum

Highlights: RR — Speidel (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB); Rylie McQuillan 3-4; Ella Nelson 2-3, RBI, 2B; Elizabeth Nuelle 2-3, RBI, 2B; Jocelyn Berg 1-3, 3B.

WFS — Narum 2-3, 2B; Makenna Alexander 1-3; Kate Geiszler 1-3; Abigail Misialek 1-3.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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