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Tom Mix, Published May 29 2013

North Dakota Class B state softball preview capsules

North Dakota Class B state softball tournament

At West Fargo’s Elmwood Park

Central Cass vs. Grafton, noon

Central Cass Squirrels

Record: 15-0

Coach: Scott Kost

Key players: Morgan Titus, Sr., P (8-0 record, 2.07 ERA); Ally Tronson, Sr., C (.532 average, 19 RBI, 3 HR); Kennedy Bresnahan, Jr., CF (.583, 2 HR); Sierra Amundson, So., P (7-0, 1.89 ERA); Jaden Spooner, So., 1B (.588, 21 RBI); Jessie Roesler, So., 3B (21RBI).

Fast facts: Central Cass returns a core group from last year’s team that finished second at state to Enderlin-Maple Valley. “We had pretty high expectations,” Kost said. … Tronson, a three-year starter, is the region senior athlete of the year. … Bresnahan is the leadoff hitter with a .700 on-base percentage.

Grafton Spoilers

Record: 13-5

Coach: Cindy Holt

Key players: Erica Sevigny, Sr., C (.619, 5 HR, 4 triples, 20 doubles); Desirae Contreras, So., 3B (.542, 2 HR); Molly Collette, Sr., 2B-P; Nikki Christinson, Sr., SS.

Fast facts: Four runs is the lowest scoring output Grafton has had this season. “We are a hitting team, more or less,” Holt said. … After finishing second in the region during the regular season, Grafton finished fourth at its region tournament.

Kenmare-Bowbells vs. Kindred-Richland, 2 p.m.

Kenmare-Bowbells

Record: 8-8

Coach: Jesse Radzwill

Key players: Shania Brackenbury, Jr., SS (.461, 5 doubles, 5 triples); Justice Brown, So., C, (.476); Emily Abernathey, So., P-1B (.417, 19 SBs); Kilee Radzwill, So., P-1B (.443, 4 HRs, 20 SBs); Codee Gilbertson, Jr., 3B (.447, 3 HR).

Fast facts: Radzwill has a young team with five seventh- or eighth-grade starters. “The young kids are pretty spunky,” said Radzwill, who lost five starters from last year’s team that placed seventh at state.

Kindred-Richland

Record: 8-6

Coach: Mike Oehlke

Key players: Savannah Christenson, Fr., P (4-1 record); Greta Klinnert, So., P (3-3 record); Cheyenne Peterson, So., 2B.

Fast facts: “We are pretty much a young team,” said Oehlke, who plays one junior and the rest sophomores, freshmen and eighth-graders. … In its region tournament semifinal loss against defending state championship Enderlin-Maple Valley, Kindred-Richland was up five runs before giving up six runs with two outs in the seventh inning.

Enderlin-Maple Valley vs. Thompson, 4:30 p.m.

Enderlin-Maple Valley Falcons

Record: 7-5

Coach: Lacy Hauser

Key players: Kaylee Johnson, Jr., P (1.42 ERA); Megan Johnson, Jr., C (4 HR); Cassie Pautz, Sr., 1B; Abbie Tinjum, Jr., 2B; Rylee Nudell, Fr., CF.

Fast facts: In its 7-2 region championship loss to Central Cass, Enderlin-Maple Valley was playing without catcher Megan Johnson, who won the long jump and triple jump at last week’s state track meet plus leadoff hitter Abbie Tinjum, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle. … Sisters Kaylee and Megan Johnson was the same battery for last year’s state championship team. … “Our girls are feeling really good and they want that championship again,” Hauser said.

Thompson Tommies

Record: 11-4

Coach: Kerri-Lynn Larimer

Key players: Emily Overby, Fr., C (.600); Sami Hegg, So., 1B (.500); Karleigh Weber, Jr., (.600); Jettie Strand, Fr., LF (.500).

Fast facts: Weber has pitched every inning of every game for Thompson this season. … “We’re just going to have to hit the ball hard and play solid defense,” said Larimer, whose team placed fourth at last year’s state tournament.

Watford City vs. Mayville-Portland, 6:30 p.m.

Watford City Wolves

Record: 13-4

Coach: Devin Langerud

Key players: McKayla Haugeberg, Sr., SS (.667); Tessa Dwyer, Jr., C (.563); Tarynn Jacobson, So. (.571); Tori Hopkins, Jr., P.

Fast facts: This marks Watford City’s first year of varsity softball. “They have improved so much,” Langerud said of his players, who experienced a junior varsity season last year.

Mayville-Portland Patriots

Record: 8-6

Coach: Cindy Strand

Key players: Carolyn Rygg, Jr., P (3.60 ERA); Sonja Bilden, Sr., CF; Kelsey Pladson, Jr., LF; Megan Evans, So., C; Elizabeth Nelson, Sr., DH.

Fast facts: “We have really come around lately,” Strand said, after losing to Central Cass and Enderlin-Maple Valley early in the season, have won six of its last nine games. … “This is our first state tournament,” Strand said. “We’re shooting for at least a couple wins. We’re just hoping to play well.” … Mayville-Portland is the No. 4 seed out of its region.