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Wick sparks Blue Jays to split of Minot Ryan

Mariah Wick's all-state slap hitting and speed were on full display Saturday at Trapper Field. The Blue Jay senior leadoff hitter recorded seven singles in eight official at-bats during Jamestown High School's softball doubleheader against Minot ...

Senior Joey Kleinsasser lifts a ball into play for the Blue Jays at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Senior Joey Kleinsasser lifts a ball into play for the Blue Jays at Trapper Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Mariah Wick's all-state slap hitting and speed were on full display Saturday at Trapper Field.

The Blue Jay senior leadoff hitter recorded seven singles in eight official at-bats during Jamestown High School's softball doubleheader against Minot Bishop Ryan. Wick also walked twice, scored seven runs and drove in three more, helping the Jays dominate 17-3 after falling 9-7 in the opener.

"I'm trying to be that fire for the team and get everybody going," said Wick, who patrols center field for Jamestown. "When they see me having a good game it just seems to fuel the fire all the way back down the lineup, and we all play better when everybody is fired up."

Wick began game 2 with a single and scored the first of seven unanswered runs on an Olivia Nihill double. Nihill, Jamestown's junior shortstop, went 4-for-6 with two doubles and 6 RBIs in the two games.

The Blue Jays led 7-1 after four innings and broke the game open with a 10-run fifth. Freshman pitcher Annika Stewart shouldered the loss in Minot Ryan's first action of the spring.

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"We had a great start on the pitching side, but at this time of the year the endurance isn't quite there," Minot Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. "We struggled at the plate a little in the second game. I'm happy with the start, but we want to get better."

The Blue Jays, and freshman starting pitcher Alex Nihill, were unable to get out of jams in game 1. The Lions scored three runs in the third inning after the first two batters reached, and scored three more in the fourth after loading the bases with nobody out.

Jamestown, however, nearly rallied all the way back in the sixth with six walks at the dish. Lions' pitcher Emma Garber walked in four runs in the frame, but didn't allow a hit to help the Jays claw back to within a run at 8-7.

Miscues in the field and 10 runners left on base ultimately stung the Jays in the loss.

"It was a combination of mental mistakes that we made, and we didn't come up with that clutch hit," Jamestown coach Mike Soulis said. "If somebody gets a base hit when we've got the bases loaded, or hits it hard somewhere, we've got some more runs and those mental errors become irrelevant. But we've still got to get those mistakes cleaned up."

Jamestown eighth-grade pitcher Payton Gall improved to 2-0 as she earned the win in the second game. Gall allowed just two earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six.

Junior Hannah Schiele also had a four-hit day with two RBI's for Jamestown, helping the Blue Jays get off to a 3-1 start for a second straight season.

"I think we've started off well, but we could've been 4-0," said Wick, who has committed to play junior college softball at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla., next season. "We had a few mistakes, but we can't complain too much."

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Wick is a senior at Pingree-Buchanan High School, and she is the Blue Jays' first and only all-state softball selection to date in the program's six seasons. She's been voted all-state the past two seasons by the state's coaches.

"I've kind of grown into the role of being a leader," Wick said. "I started at the bottom and came all the way through the ranks, and I feel like it's my duty now to do it for these girls."

Jamestown travels to face Bismarck Legacy on Tuesday. The Jays split a pair of regular-season contests last season with the Sabers.

"We're happy being 3-1, but we thought that we let one get away from us today that we should've capitalized on," Soulis said. "We're close."

Minot Bishop Ryan 9, Jamestown 7

MBR 003 302 1 -- 9 13 3

JHS 100 024 0 -- 7 7 3

Alex Nihill and Sydney Soulis. Emma Garber, Annika Stewart (7) and Hailee Jundt. WP--Garber. LP--Nihill. S--A. Stewart. Highlights: JHS, Alex Nihill 7 IP, 7 K's, 6 ER; Mariah Wick 3-3, 3 runs, 1 RBI, 2 BB; Olivia Nihill 1-2, 2 BB, run, RBI. MBR, Garber 6 IP, 4 K's, 9 BB, 3 ER; Emma Passa 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Eden Kramer 2-4, 3 runs; McKinlee Harmon 3-4, 2 RBI.

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Records: Minot Ryan 1-0; 1-0 WR; Jamestown 2-1; 2-1 West Region.

Jamestown 17, Minot Bishop Ryan 3

JHS 250 0(10) -- 17 15 4

MBR 010 02 -- 3 4 4

Stewart, Garber (5) and Sealy Rovig. Payton Gall and Soulis. WP--Gall. LP--Stewart. Highlights: JHS, Gall 5 IP, 6 K's, 3 BB; Wick 4-5, 4 runs, 2 RBI, SB; Hannah Schiele 3-5, run, RBI; O. Nihill 3-4, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 runs; Soulis 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI, run. MBR, Stewart 4.1 IP, 2 K's, 8 BB; Shayla Elm 2-3, SB, run; Rovig 2-3, 2B.

Records: Jamestown 3-1, 3-1 West Region; Minot Ryan 1-1, 1-1 West Region.

Related Topics: SOFTBALLJAYS
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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