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Tom Mix, Published May 16 2014

Packers work park Fargo North in softball

WEST FARGO – Not much was lacking for the West Fargo softball team Friday.

The Packers’ bats had pop and the team’s starting pitcher was effective.

Add it all up for a 17-0 Eastern Dakota Conference win over Fargo North.

“I feel like we are focusing on stepping it up now that it is coming down to the postseason,” said West Fargo senior pitcher Brittany Rheault said. “We need to get in a groove, and I think this game was a good start.”

West Fargo (22-1, 15-0 EDC) has won 14 straight. Its doubleheader today with the Hi-Liners closes out the regular season.

The East Region softball tournament is set to begin Thursday at Anderson Fields.

“We are making our way to EDC and trying to finish strong,” said senior catcher Michaela Liebl said. “We just have to take it one game at a time. There are always ways to improve even if we did win and that’s what we have to focus on.”

Liebl paced the Packers, going 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double and six RBIs. Her two-run home run in the third inning made it 5-0 in favor of West Fargo.

Liebl added a three-run blast in the fourth inning in which the Packers plated 10 runs on six hits.

“Each game I just go up and hope to hit the ball,” Liebl said. “The home runs are nice, but all I needed was to get a base hit and a line drive. That is what I swing for, and that is what Pat (Johnson) tells us to do.”

While the Packers tore up the base paths, Rheault was shutting down the Spartans’ offense.

Rheault finished with nine strikeouts in the five-inning, complete-game shutout effort.

“My downside today was I wasn’t hitting my spots as well,” Rheault said. “I’m going to continue to work on that heading into the EDC tournament next week. I got run support, which is always nice to have.”

North committed seven errors in the game – three of which came in the first two innings – allowing the Packers to take a 2-0 lead on Spartans starter Maddie DeLeon.

Audra Carter and Anna Mellick connected for North’s two hits in the game.

FN 000 00– 0 2 7

WF 115 (10)x– 17 012 0

DeLeon and Carter. Rheault and Liebl. W–Rheault. L–DeLeon. HR–WF, Liebl 2.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562