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Eric Peterson, Published May 29 2013

North Dakota Class A state softball preview capsules

North Dakota Class A softball tournament

At West Fargo’s Elmwood Park

Bismarck Century vs. Fargo Davies, noon

Bismarck Century Patriots

Coach: Kevin Ziegler

Record: 13-12 (West Region, No. 2 seed)

Key players: Bri Flynn, Sr., CF; Mikaila Wax, Sr., 2B; Dominique Giesen, Sr., SS; Kaylyn Harold, Jr., P; Cassie Miller, So., P.

Fast facts: Ziegler said solid pitching is the key to success for his team. “If our pitching is there, we have done pretty well,” Ziegler said. “Toward the end of the year, our pitching has been there and our defense has kept us in games.”

Fargo Davies Eagles

Coach: David Marquardt

Record: 5-9 (East Region, No. 3 seed)

Key players: Carla Binde, Fr., P; Shelby Malmanger, So., C; Hayli Bauer, Sr., 2B; Morgan Smith, Fr., SS.

Fast facts: Marquardt said he’s impressed that the Eagles have qualified for state in just their second year as a program. “When we started the season the girls made it their goal to qualify for state,” Marquardt said. “It’s outstanding that we met that goal and being such a young team it’s pretty phenomenal.”

Valley City vs. Dickinson, 2 p.m.

Valley City Hi-Liners

Coach: Jason Lindgren

Record: 15-9 (East Region, No. 2 seed)

Key players: Dierra Diegel, Jr., C (.477 BA, 3 HRs, 32 RBIs); Jessica Denholm, Jr., OF/P (.436 BA; 6-2, 2.36 ERA); Danica Diegel, Jr., P/1B (6-5); Paula Andel, Jr., OF/P (2 HRs, 30 RBIs; Brooke Breckheimer, So., 3B (.447 BA, 33 RBIs).

Fast facts: The Hi-Liners have won four of their past five games entering the state tournament. They scored a combined 27 runs in those four victories. “Offensively, we got pretty hot at the end of the season,” Lindgren said. … Valley City has one senior on its roster.

Dickinson Midgets

Coach: Bill Butterfield

Record: 19-5 (West Region, No. 3 seed)

Key players: Mackee Hoffmann, Jr., C; Haley Butterfield, Jr., P; Briana Farnsworth, Sr., 3B; Rachel Jahner, Jr., SS; Jessica Prieve, Sr., CF; Madison Jahner, Fr., P.

Fast facts: Bill Butterfield likes his team’s pitching entering the state tournament. “One of the things that has been good for us this year is our pitching,” he said. “Behind them has been an awful good defense. If we hit, we are in pretty good shape.”

Minot Ryan vs. Fargo North, 4:30 p.m.

Minot Ryan Lions

Coach: Julie Stewart

Record: 19-1 (West Region, No. 1 seed)

Key players: Hannah Stewart, So., P (.495 BA, 6 HRs, 31 RBIs; 11-1, 0.35 ERA, 2 saves); Maddie Lipp, Jr., C (.430 BA); Sheyenne Schmidt, Fr., CF (.480, 22 RBIs); Anika Rovig, Jr., 3B (3 HRs); Sydney Marmon, Jr., 1B (2 HRs, 21 RBIs); Sam Smith, Sr., SS; Brieann Backes, So., P (6-0, 1.87).

Fast facts: West Fargo beat Ryan 1-0 in eight innings in last season’s state title game. “Last year was a great experience for the girls to be in that championship game,” Julie Stewart said. “It gave us a new level entering this season.”

Fargo North Spartans

Coach: Aaron Kliniske

Record: 11-7 (East Region, No. 4 seed)

Key players: Courtney Johnson, Sr. CF (.568 batting average, 2 HRs); Keely Spiess, Jr., 2b (.533 batting average, 2 HRs); Morgan Shelton, Sr., SS; Sally Fischer, Sr., P; Maddie DeLeon, Fr., P.

Fast facts: The Spartans have rebounded from a 1-6 start, winning 10 of their past 11 games. “They just haven’t given up after that early start,” Kliniske said. “They kept their chins up and they stayed positive.”

West Fargo vs. Bismarck, 6:30 p.m.

West Fargo Packers

Coach: Pat Johnson

Record: 22-2 (East Region, No. 1 seed)

Key players: Jolene Woodbury, Sr., P/OF; Brittany Rheault, Jr., P/OF; Lexi Lennon, Sr., 3B; Michaela Liebl, Jr., C.

Fast facts: The Packers have won 15 consecutive state championships. … West Fargo enters the state tournament on a 21-game winning streak, including 17 shutouts.

Bismarck Demons

Coach: Kelly Moormann and Whitney Spah

Record: 12-13 (West Region, No. 4 seed)

Key players: Kennedy Blair, Fr., C; Jamie Barta, 8th, P; Sam Wolf, Sr., LF; Rylee Meier, Sr., CF.

Fast facts: Spah said the Bismarck defense will have to be sharp this weekend. “Our infield is young and the key to the state tournament for us will be keeping the numbers of errors down,” Spah said.