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Jeff Kolpack, Published May 30 2013

Stewart pitches, hits Minot Ryan over Fargo North in state softball

WEST FARGO - Minot Ryan won its last four games heading into the North Dakota Class A state softball tournament by a combined 41-1. By that account, Fargo North did OK.

A heavy rain hit the Elmwood Park complex in the top of the seventh inning and by then, sophomore Hannah Stewart already brought a storm in a 6-2 first round victory Thursday.

“She’s tough,” said North head coach Aaron Kliniske. “Our problem today was we threatened a few times but we didn’t push anything across.”

On the mound, Stewart struck out 11 Spartans and held them to eight sporadic hits with Sami Trana’s run-scoring double in the top of the first inning and Keely Spiess’ RBI double in seventh as the only damage.

At the plate, Stewart blasted a two-run home run in the third inning that easily cleared the portable Elmwood fence and had the look of almost clearing the baseball wall.

“She’s so strong,”Kliniske said. “You can’t give her anything out over the plate.”