Though recent scores say otherwise, playing an overmatched team like Turtle Mountain is not exactly easy.
The Minot High School softball team outscored the Bravettes 31-0 in a doubleheader Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium, but the Majettes managed just three hits in the first game.
In a 16-0 rout in game one, which lasted just three innings, MHS was largely unable to take intelligent swings because so few pitches came across the plate. TMCHS eighth-grader Syann Golus walked 14 batters and plunked four more. The Majettes (3-2 overall, 3-2 West Region) also benefitted from nine passed balls.
Minot High School junior Lexi Benno delivers a pitch against Turtle Mountain at Herb Parker Stadium on Saturday.
"We have a lot of school activities right now going on at our school, so right now we have only three girls that were actually true varsity players here today," TMCHS coach Michael Day said. "Monday was the same thing. We only had four. ... We're basically not able to show up full strength.
"It doesn't show the players we have. A lot of the players we have today, and as well as Monday, are first-year players new to the program."
In a pair of games against Bishop Ryan on Monday, the Bravettes (0-4, 0-4) fell by a combined score of 54-0 in eight innings.
After taking a few pitches to adjust to the makeshift mound on the artificial turf, MHS junior pitcher Lexi Benno recorded eight strikeouts in the game one win. Benno faced just 10 batters before the game was called - a decision agreed on by both teams - and allowed just one runner on a walk to start the contest.
"We were trying to work on everything," Benno said. "We knew their batting was a little behind, so we wanted to take advantage of that and do everything that I could."
Benno was a regular starter last year and focused on improving her changeup and overall speed in the offseason.
"Definitely more comfortable with all-around pitches," she said. "I tried to vary all that I was practicing on."
The game ended in the bottom of the third inning following Benno's second straight two-RBI hit. The first was a ground-rule double in the second inning and the final at-bat of the game was a hard-hit single.
MHS senior Hailey Fix had the Majettes' first hit in the team's 17th at-bat. Nine walks and two hit batters preceded Fix's two-RBI double.
"Hailey's been swinging a good bat for us lately," MHS coach Gerard Cederstrom said. "I wish we'd have got a hit earlier, but it's one of those things - you've got to be mentally ready for every pitch."
Benno and Fix finished with four and three RBIs, respectively.
MHS took the second game 15-0 in five innings and freshman Cassie Askvig picked up her first varsity win, giving up just one hit and striking out five.
The Majettes play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Jamestown.