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Eric Peterson, Published May 30 2013

Fargo Davies, Valley City drop opening games at ND Class A state softball

WEST FARGO – Fargo Davies had its comeback bid end near home plate Thursday at Elmwood Park.

Bismarck Century threw out Eagles runners at the plate in each of the last two innings. Those timely throws and tags helped the Patriots secure a 4-2 victory in the first round of the North Dakota Class A state softball tournament.

“It takes a pretty good throw to get us out and they did it both times, a credit to them for having a good throw,” Davies coach Dave Marquardt said. “You’ve got to be aggressive and that’s what we’ve done the last few games. … It happens that way sometimes.”

Century (14-12) scored all its four runs in the first two innings before holding off a late Davies rally.

“It was definitely intense, but I think we kept calm,” said Century pitcher Kaylyn Herold. “Those were really good plays at the plate. … It worked out, but it was crazy.”

Century did most of its damage in the second inning, scoring three runs. The Patriots had three hits in that inning and also took advantage of two errors. Kaitlyn Zuraff and Haylee Beehler each had RBI singles. Century scored the final run of the second inning on an error to build a 4-0 lead.

Haley Heintzman sparked the Davies (5-10) comeback with an RBI single in the fourth inning. The Eagles added a run in the fifth inning to cut the Century lead to 4-2.

The Eagles had back-to-back one-out hits in the sixth inning, but that rally was quieted after Kianna Gilbraith was thrown out at home plate. Gilbraith had reached on a double. In the seventh inning, the Eagles also had two one-one base runners, but Hayli Bauer was thrown out at the home plate to complete a game-ending double play.

“They were really aggressive runners, but we ended up getting them,” said Herold, who earned the complete-game victory.

Davies had all five of its hits over the final four innings.

“We made it to state because we haven’t given up the whole year,” Marquardt said. “I’m pretty proud of them for sticking with it.”

Davies 000 110 0– 2 5 2

Century 130 000 x– 4 7 2

Binde and Malmanger. Herold and Holland. W–Herold. L–Binde.

Dickinson 8, Valley City 1

Dickinson erupted for seven runs in the final two innings to earn a first-round victory.

“It was really good to see us finally just wake up and get on our hits and not leave runners on base,” said Dickinson pitcher Haley Butterfield, who had two hits two RBIs and scored a run.

Butterfield capped a momentum-shifting, three-run sixth inning with a two-run single into center field. That hit scored Madi Steier and Lexi Yates to give the Midgets a 4-1 lead.

“All of sudden things kind of went wild on us,” Valley City coach Jason Lindgren said. “Everybody puts a little more pressure on themselves. You can’t play well when you put too much pressure on yourself.”

Dickinson (20-5) kept rolling in the seventh inning, adding four more runs. Yates sparked that rally with a two-run double to left field. Steier scored on a Riana Cooper fielder’s choice to make it an 8-1 game.

“It was a really good relief,” Butterfield said of the insurance runs.

Butterfield scattered six hits to earn the complete-game victory. She retired the last four batters she faced.

Valley City (15-9) scored its lone run in the third inning after Danica Diegel cracked an RBI double to center field.

“I was just waiting … for our bats to get loose,” Lindgren said. “We got runners on, but we just couldn’t make it happen.”

Dickinson 001 003 4– 8 10 0

Valley City 001 000 0– 1 6 1

Butterfield and Hoffman. Danica Diegel, Denholm (6) and Dierra Diegel. W–Butterfield. L–Denholm.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com