Following a lopsided series-opening victory Friday against Jamestown, Minot High softball coach Gerard Cederstrom was less than thrilled with his team's nightcap performance.
When the Majettes recorded a 12-2 win in Saturday's non-region opener against Devils Lake at South Hill Complex, they kept their foot on the throttle and registered their second series sweep of the season, winning the second game 12-6.
Minot (8-6) scored nine runs in the first two innings in the series finale against the Firebirds (0-8) after recording a lone run over the opening five innings in the second game against Jamestown the previous day. The Majettes notched 27 hits in the sweep.
Minot High junior Kate Somerville swings at a pitch during the first game of a doubleheader against Devils Lake on Saturday at South Hill Complex. Somerville reached base twice, recording an RBI and a run scored.
Lexi Benno allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out four to pick up the win in the opener.
"We didn't take that break that we took yesterday," Cederstrom said. "The kids came out and kept hitting the ball."
For the second straight series, Minot won its opener in five innings, scoring a run in each frame. The Majettes scored twice in the first and once in both the second and third before breaking the contest open with seven in the fourth. Minot junior Sam Schiele stole home in the fifth to end the game via mercy rule.
The Majettes brought 12 batters to the plate in the fourth. Senior Ashley Gathman connected on a two-run double to right-center and a single by sophomore Kayla Budeau scored two more. Schiele and junior Kate Somerville also recorded RBIs in the inning.
"We were swinging all through the whole lineup," Cederstrom said. "That's always a plus."
The run support was more than enough for senior Lexi Benno in the circle. She, too, bounced back following a rough outing against Jamestown. She allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking two to pick up the victory.
"I've been struggling on the mound and I finally found a rhythm today," Benno said. "It's such a mental game and I finally got the mindset I needed to."
The finale didn't start the way the Majettes had hoped as the Firebirds scored two runs in the first inning off sophomore Cassie Askvig. Maddie Eriksson singled home Miriah Yoder and later scored on a wild pitch. Eriksson went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the second game.
But Minot answered with five runs in the bottom half to take the lead for good. Benno's two-RBI double to left field scored Hannah Schiele and Sam Schiele to tie the game at 2. Budeau and junior Emily Zaderaka had RBI singles in the first.
"When another team scores, your goal is to score right away and answer what they do," Cederstrom said. "When we score, we want to shut them down. That's what everyone's striving for. If we keep putting runs up, I like our chances."
Hannah Schiele reached base safely in all five at-bats, going 2-for-2 with three walks, a double and four runs scored.
The Firebirds added a run in the second, only to see the Majettes put four more on the board to take a 9-2 lead.
"Sometimes you come out on the wrong end of things," Devils Lake coach Patrick Gelhaus said. "You just have to regroup and point out the good things we're going, and we are doing good things. We just have to put together a complete game."
Devils Lake was done in by six errors in the second game and committed 10 in the series.
The Majettes chased Devils Lake starter Hannah Pesek after 11/3 innings. Pesek suffered the loss, surrendering eight runs on five hits.
Askvig notched the victory, scattering six hits and striking out 10.
Minot plays Bishop Ryan on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at South Hill Complex.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.