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Tom Mix, Published June 02 2012

West Fargo edges Minot Ryan in extra innings for Class A softball title

WEST FARGO – The championship was a little harder to come by, but for the 15th consecutive year West Fargo is North Dakota’s top softball team.

The Packers defeated Minot Bishop Ryan 1-0 in eight innings during the North Dakota Class A state softball championship game on Saturday at Elmwood Park.

West Fargo senior catcher Sydney Greenlund led off the eighth inning with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Andrina Brogden. Brogden advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored the winning run when Brittany Rheault connected for a two-out, RBI single to right field.

The hit and Brogden sliding safely into home plate sent the hometown crowd into celebration.

“I was just thinking ‘hit it,’” Rheault said. “That’s all I was thinking. I was going to go after it and attack it. I kept thinking this the chance, this is my chance to get a hit and win it.”

The title game was an instant classic.

“I thought we battled through and kept working hard as we could,” West Fargo head coach Pat Johnson said. “We kept putting pressure on them and we finally broke through in the end. That was a great feeling.”

Rheault, who also served as the Packers’ starting pitcher and Minot Ryan starter Hannah Stewart locked up in a pitching duel.

Rheault finished with 14 strikeouts in the complete-game shutout. Stewart also went the distance and pitched out of trouble effectively a day after throwing a no hitter in the semifinals.

“I was just thinking ‘attack the spots, attack the spots,’” Rheault said. “It was the most intense game for sure because we were defending our title.”

Minot Ryan’s Sydney Marmon led off the top of the eighth with a single, but the Lions (29-6) couldn’t push the run across.

“This game could have went either way, no question about it,” Minot Ryan head coach Fred Mueller said. “We had two really good pitchers out there and two good hitting teams. Each pitcher shut the other team down. It was a classic fast pitch game.”

“We believe we are as good as anybody and we proved that tonight.”

Greenlund, who has been part of a state champion team her entire career at West Fargo, also won Senior Athlete of the Year honors.

“This one will make me cry and I don’t cry,” Greenlund said. “It’s definitely emotional for me. It was a rewarding, fun game and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to go out with.”

“It feels amazing,” Rheault said of the championship. “It’s an amazing experience especially with this group of girls. We started together and we got to this together.”

Brook Rheault was 3-for-3 with three singles. Brittany Rheault finished 2-for-4.

The Packers (33-2) end the season on a 19-game winning streak.

MR 000 000 00 – 0 4 2

WF 000 000 01 – 1 10 0

Stewart and Lipp. Bri. Rheault and Greenlund W – Bri. Rheault. L – Stewart.

Class A all-state

West Fargo: Jolene Woodbury, Sydney Greenlund, Brook Rheault

Minot Bishop Ryan: Hannah Stewart, Samantha Smith, Hannah Kramer, Maddie Lipp

Bismarck Century: Sarah Lardy, Bri Flynn

Fargo North: Mara Teschendorf, Courtney Johnson

Grand Fork Red River: Brenna Nakonechny, Emily Lundby

Dickinson: Brianna Farnsworth

Devils Lake: Autumn Wang

Minot: Jesse Kongelf

Senior Athlete of the Year

Sydney Greenlund, West Fargo

Coach of the Year

Aaron Kliniske, Fargo North

Third place

Bismarck Century 6,

Fargo North 1

WEST FARGO – Bismarck Century scored four runs in the fourth inning and never looked back.

The Patriots defeated Fargo North 6-1 in the third-place game at the North Dakota Class A state softball tournament on Saturday at Elmwood Park.

Mikaila Wax was 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs to pace Century (28-6).

“The bats weren’t there for us the last two games,” North head coach Aaron Kliniske said. “That’s to be expected when you hit all season long like we did. There are going to be droughts. We didn’t get the bounces today.”

Mara Teschendorf was 1-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Spartans (18-10).

BC 000 411 0– 6 10 0

FN 000 010 0– 1 4 4

Herold and Holland. Fischer, Novacek (6) and Teschendorf. W – Herold. L – Fischer.

Fifth place

Dickinson 8,

Grand Forks Red River 7 (8 inn.)

Jessica Priebe connected for an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to help Dickinson to an 8-7 win over Grand Forks Red River in the fifth-place game on Saturday. Priebe’s game-winning hit scored Madi Steier.

Priebe was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Dickinson (23-11) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.

GFRR 010 230 01 – 7 13 2

D 030 000 32 – 8 13 0

Lundby and Dahl. LaFond, Jahner (5) and Yates. W – Jahner. L – Lundby.

Seventh place

Devils Lake 17, Bismarck 0

Madison Erickson was 4-for-5 with two runs and six RBIs to lead Devils Lake to a 17-0 win over Bismarck in the seventh-place game on Saturday.

The Firebirds finish the season 10-10.

DL 043 37–17 18 2

B 000 00–0 3 6

Hornstein and Yoder. Standing Elk, Wittenburg (4) and Blair. W – Hornstein. L – Standing Elk.

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651