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Kevin Schnepf, Published May 28 2013

Titus returns with a purpose for Central Cass softball team

FARGO – Morgan Titus is willing to put up with wearing a knee brace, just as long as she has a chance to win a state championship.

“We’ve just gotten second so many times in sports,” said Titus, a senior pitcher for the Central Cass softball team. “We want to get that state championship. To us, second place really isn’t an option.”

Central Cass has experienced its share of second-place finishes in recent years – three in basketball and last year’s runner-up finish in softball.

Central Cass will get a chance to avenge that finish this week when the North Dakota Class B state tournament will be held at West Fargo’s Elmwood Park.

“We are all pretty motivated,” said Titus, who pitched in last year’s state championship game in which Central Cass lost 2-1 to Enderlin-Maple Valley. “We really want this.”

For Titus, it has been a long journey back to the state tournament. Last summer while playing defense during an open-gym basketball game, she twisted her right knee on a slippery spot of the floor.

An MRI the next day revealed she had torn her ACL. She missed last year’s volleyball season and the first half of the basketball season.

She has learned to slide on her left leg instead of her right. And she has gotten used to pitching with the awkward brace wrapped around her right knee.

“Everything feels pretty good … no problems,” Titus said.

The same can be said for Central Cass’ 15-0 season. Twice, Central Cass has beaten defending state champion Enderlin-Maple Valley – including last week’s 7-2 region championship win.

Sophomore Jaden Spooner leads the team with a .588 average and 21 RBIs. Junior Kennedy Bresnahan has a .583 average. Catcher Ally Tronson boasts a .532 average with three home runs and 19 RBIs. Sophomore Jessie Roesler also has 21 RBIs.

“We had pretty high expectations, and the girls have responded very well,” said Central Cass coach Scott Kost. “They are hungry.”

Kost also had the luxury of using two pitchers.

Sophomore Sierra Amundson has a 7-0 record with a 1.89 ERA.

“She is one of the hardest workers on the team,” Kost said. “She started throwing at the end of October after volleyball season ended. She’s always in the gym working on hitting and throwing.”

And then there’s Titus, who sports an 8-0 record with a 2.07 ERA.

“She is just a fierce competitor,” Kost said. “She is our go-to player.”

A player who, like her teammates, still remembers last year’s second-place finish. It’s a team, like all the other softball teams in the state, that overcame a late-season start by bonding as a team during indoor practices.

“It kind of sucked at first with all that snow on the ground,” Titus said. “But we really became a big family. When we finally got outside, we grew from there.”

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549