Dickinson takes 2 from Minot

Good teams always seem to be pushed by their opponents.

And when pushed, those teams always seem to have an answer.

For the Dickinson softball team, that answer came in the form of senior Madison Jahner, who played a huge role in the Midgets’ doubleheader sweep of Minot Friday evening at South Hill Complex.

Behind the pitching and hitting of Jahner, the Midgets opened a two-day stay in Minot with a 7-3 and 8-6 win over the Majettes.

Jahner was perhaps at her best in the opener. She came on in relief of sophomore starting pitcher Amber Sickler in the fourth inning, limiting the Majettes to one hit over the final three innings, while striking out eight.

Dickinson coach Amanda Mickey was hoping to get through the opener without using her ace.

“I told her if Amber was struggling, she was going in,” Mickey said. “She was pitching the second game no matter what.”

And after walking Minot senior Kayla Budeau, which plated a run to give the Majettes a 3-2 lead, Jahner found her groove as she struck out four of the next five batters.

“We haven’t seen anybody throw that hard,” Minot coach Gerard Cederstrom said.

Minot’s one-run lead was shortlived.

The Midgets plated three runs in the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Junior Sarah Dobitz opened the inning with a triple, and scored on a single by Jahner. Dobitz then scored on a infield hit by junior Julian Knight. Senior Kaitlin Lafond capped the scoring in the with a sacrifice fly.

“To bounce back with some runs after they took the lead was huge,” Mickey said. “We were able to string some hits together.”

Good teams also take advantage of opportunities given to them.

And Dickinson took full advantage of a two-out error by Minot eighth-grader Jenna Andrysiak, who dropped a pop up hit by Dobitz. Two batters later, Junior Jordanne McNeilly singled up the middle, plating two runs to give the Midets a four-run led.

Jahner struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to close out the game.

Jahner helped her own cause at the plate, going 4-for-4 at the dish with a double, an RBI and three runs scored.

“They got big hits,” Cederstrom said.

Andrysiak was the loser in the opener for Minot. She pitched the complete game, giving up eight hits.

Senior Hanna Andrysiak – who entered the contest with a season batting average of .625 – went 3-for-4 in the contest with a RBI triple.

In the nightcap, Jahner pitched a complete game to earn the win for Dickinson. While she wasn’t as effective in the second game, Jahner did limit Minot to three runs through the first three innings.

The Majettes finally seemed to get to Jahner in the sixth as they scored four runs. Junior Riley Irmen had a two-run RBI triple, while freshman Jaycie Rostad had an RBI single, and Hanna Andrysiak added an RBI double.

“It wasn’t so much us figuring (Jahner) out as it was figuring ourselves out,” Cederstrom said. “We were more relaxed.”

Dickinson scored two runs in the second and added a third run in the fourth to build a 3-0 lead before Minot got a run in its half of the fourth on a throwing error.

But from there, the Midgets scored two more in the fifth, including a RBI single from Jahner and a bases-loaded walk to senior Emilie Sickler.

But the Majettes continued to apply the pressure to Dickinson in the seventh inning, getting the tying run on base, however, Jahner got Jenna Andrysiak to pop out to second to end the contest.

“The kids battled,” Cederstrom said. “They didn’t lay down. Our motto is to keep going until they tell us to stop.”

Jahner struck out five in the second game, while finishing 2-for-4 at the plate.

“Madison is a phenomenal pitcher,” Mickey said. “She always manages to walk the first batter she faces, but we will work with her on that.”

Senior Cassie Askvig was the loser for Minot. She pitched seven innings, allowing eight runs on 11 hits. She also struck out four and walked three.

Irmen finished 2-for-4 at the plate for the Majettes.

“They are one of the best teams we have seen,” Cederstrom said. “They have a solid lineup, and don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Minot (10-5) hosts Bismarck Legacy on Monday, while Dickinson (15-0) plays Bishop Ryan this afternoon at noon,

“We are going to play them like they are the best,” Mickey said.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.