Makenna Nold putting in time, effort for Blue Jay softball
Makenna Nold, a sophomore pitcher for the Jamestown High School softball team, has been a key piece for the Jays this spring.
McElroy Park has been like a second home to Makenna Nold.
"My family loves baseball so as a kid I was at the ballpark frequently," Nold said. "I saw my brother playing baseball and wanted to join in."
Nold, a sophomore pitcher and first baseman for the Jamestown High School softball team, has been a huge asset to the Jays this season, helping the Jays to a 10-6 WDA record this spring.
Jamestown's final test is slated to come on Friday in the form of a nonconference doubleheader against West Fargo.
Jamestown has clinched the fifth-seed heading into the WDA tournament and will face fourth-seeded Legacy in the opening
round of the regional tourney on May 26 at Bismarck's Sanford Sports Complex. As of May 19, WDA tournament game times are still to be determined.
Nold was six years old when the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) officially sanctioned the sport of girls fastpitch. Over the last 10 seasons, Nold has grown and developed into one of the most talented fastpitch — and overall athletes — in the state.
"I have been playing sports since around second grade," Nold said. "I saw older girls playing sports, and they looked like fun to me so I asked my parents to sign me up."
Nold is a three-sport athlete for the Jays, suiting up for the JHS volleyball, hockey and softball teams. Nold also plays summer league softball from June through August.
Nold's sophomore campaign started out with Sara Hegerle and the Blue Jay volleyball team, during which time she assumed the role of the team's No. 2 setter. Through the team's 18 regular season matches, Nold dished out 154 assists. She was also credited for 26 service aces, the second-most on the team, and 11.5 stops at the net.
While volleyball and softball have been constants in her life, hockey was a new addition. Nold played basketball up until her eighth grade season then decided it was time for her to switch up her winter sports environment. Nold joined head coach Andy Fitzgerald in the 2020-21 season and has since been a part of two state tournament teams.
"I love the environment my sports bring — all of the teams are so fun to be around," Nold said. "I wanted to be recognized for the sports I play around the state."
Mission accomplished when talking softball.
Nold is leading the Jays in the box. The sophomore has notched 31 hits off 63 pitches for an average of .492. Nold also has the highest on-base percentage of anyone on the Jays' at .624, the next highest is Jenna Fischer who has landed on the bag just over 50 percent of the time.
Nold has been credited with 26 RBIs. Nold, Fischer and Katie Falk are responsible for driving in 79 of the Jays' 159 total runs. Nold is tied with Fischer for the most dingers hit this season, the pitcher-catcher duo has each tallied four pitches hit out of the park. Nold has only been retired nine times across the last month and a half.
Out at first base, Nold has been almost perfect, turning in a fielding percentage of .967, only collecting three errors on her 92 total chances.
"I fell in love with the sport and knew I couldn't stop playing it," Nold said. "My biggest goal is to go D1. I'm going to put the work in to hopefully get there one day. I put a lot of effort and commitment into my sports. I have a lot of drive to get better every day."
As good as she's been in the box and out in the field, Nold has been that much better in the circle.
Nold has thrown 1200 pitches. She has allowed 51 runs on 65 hits and has retired 86 batters at the plate. Nold has pitched 66.1 innings across 11.1 games played. The sophomore holds a 5-3 record and has collected an ERA of 3.271.
Falk, the Jays' other main threat on the mound has an ERA of 3.126 and another 86 Ks to her name. The junior has allowed 43 runs under her watch.
"Katie and I work together well," Nold said. "We throw to each other many days a week," Nold said. "We better each other every day.
"Jenna is a great supporter behind the plate. The best feeling is when you hit your spot perfectly and she gets super excited for you. (Falk and Fischer) both have put a ton of work in the off-season. They want to be the best and they'll work for it."
Nold and the rest of the squad are hoping all the hard work will pay off in the form of a ticket to the 2022 state tournament which is slated to be held at Nold's second home.
The 2022 Class A State Softball Tournament is set to kick off June 2 at Jamestown's Trapper Field and will run through June 4.
"I'd love to go to State," Nold said. "(What makes us a dangerous team is that) we work together well and all have the same goal. Winning State is everyone's goal at the end of the year and I don't see why we can't accomplish that."