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Glenn Pursley, Published May 31 2012

Central Cass cruises to victory at ND Class B state softball

WEST FARGO – Central Cass made its presence known on Thursday.

Starting pitcher Morgan Titus gave up only two hits and one run to power the Squirrels to a 21-1 quarterfinal victory over Kenmare-Bowbells-MLS in five innings at the North Dakota Class B state softball tournament.

“It’s a good experience,” Titus said. “It is kind of nerve-wrecking at first because it’s state, but you always have fun with your team.”

Senior left fielder Haley Weber led the team on offense, batting 4-for-4 with one RBI, and senior Bethany Voss notched a two-run single to give the Squirrels an 11-0 lead after the first inning.

“We knew that all of these games were going to be competitive,” Squirrels head coach Scott Kost said. “We knew we had to come and start fast today and that’s exactly what we did. Our seniors started out really well and hit the ball hard and we just got up early and stuff went out way.”

“If we continue to play with confidence and have confident at-bats like we did in this game and keep our defense on its toes, we are going to be just fine.” Kost said.

The Squirrels advanced to the state semifinals where they will face off against No. 1 seeded Thompson at 2 p.m. today.

KBMLS 010 00 – 1 2 3

CC (11)45 1x –21 20 1

Albernathy and Gilbertson. Titus and Tronson. W–Titus L–Albernathy.

Enderlin-Maple Valley 15, Pembina 1

The Enderlin-Maple Valley Falcons proved their 15-1 regular season record was no joke with an 18-2 victory over No. 4-seeded Pembina County North on Thursday at the North Dakota Class B state softball tournament.

Megan Johnson hit a three-run home run to cap a two-out six-run streak that gave the Falcons an 11-0 lead after the first inning. Johnson finished with three hits and four RBIs.

“It felt good.” Johnson said. “The pitch was good for me and I hit it hard enough. I felt the home run.”

Krista Thielges batted 2-for-3 and with two doubles, one that drove in the starting pitcher Cassandra Pautz and sophomore Abbie Tinjum to end the day with three RBIs and three runs scored. Tinjum crossed the plate four times and drove in two runs.

“We just wanted to keeping doing what we’ve be doing,” E-MV head coach Neva Hamre said. “Hitting the ball and playing good defense. It doesn’t seem like much but it sure gets the job.”

“They’ve worked really hard to get to this spot,” Hamre said. “I’m really proud of them. They deserve it.”

The Falcons will face No. 2-seeded Grafton today in the state semifinals.

PC 002 00 – 2 2 4

EMV (11)30 4x –18 13 2

Mack and Schluchter. C. Pautz and K. Johnson. W–C. Pautz. L–Mack HR–E, M. Johnson (1).

Thompson 10, Hillsboro-Central Valley 7

No. 1 seed Thompson got the sticks rolling this afternoon to claim a 10-7 victory over Hillsboro-Central Valley in the opening game of the North Dakota Class B state softball tournament on Thursday.

Sophmore Karleigh Weber led Thompson, giving up only two hits and one run while striking out seven batters through four innings. Center fielder Rebecca Cole drove in three runs off an RBI single and double to give Thompson the 5-1 lead going into the fifth inning. Cole finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored.

Hillsboro-Central Valley rallied in the sixth inning off of a two-run home run hit by pitcher Taylor Henningsgard followed by a pair of fielder’s choice plays that scored Emily Bertsch and Katrina Lazur. That cut the deficit to 8-7.

Bertsch had two hits and two runs scored for H-CV.

“I’m really proud of my girls,” Weber said. “It’s our second year doing this, and making it to the state tournament for the first time, it’s amazing.”

Weber finished the complete game with eight strikeouts and seven runs given up.

Thompson advances to the state semifinals today.

HCV 100 024 – 7 8 4

T 012 232 –10 11 1

Bertsch and Perkins. Weber and Overby. W–Weber. L–Bertsch.

Grafton 21, Hankinson-Fairmount 9

The Grafton Spoilers took full advantage offensively in a 21-9 victory over Hankinson-Fairmount in the North Dakota Class B state softball tournament on Thursday.

Grafton’s Nicole Christinson led the Spoilers with three runs scored while Abby Niemann had an RBI double to put the Spoilers up 6-5 going into the third inning.

Niemann finished with one hit and three runs scored.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Grafton head coach Cindy Holt said. “The beginning of the game was a see-saw, then all of a sudden their pitcher struggled and we took advantage of it.”

The Spoilers scored 14 runs in the third inning.

Kelsey Gaukler led the Pirates with a two-run double and Karissa Krump added an RBI single.

The Spoilers will face Enderlin-Maple Valley today in the state semifinals.

HF 230 13 – 9 5 3

G 42(14) 1x –21 3 1

Loll and Krump. Rudnik and Sevigny. W–Rudnik. L–Loll.

Forum reporter Glenn Pursley can be reached at (701) 241-5549