Few and far between
When two solid pitchers go head-to-head, runs are undoubtedly going to be hard to come by.
So when Dickinson returned to South Hill Complex Saturday to complete its weekend stay in Minot with a doubleheader against Bishop Ryan, you had a feeling that runs were going to be at a premium.
And that is exactly what happened.
Ryan freshman Sealy Rovig singled up the middle in the eighth inning to score eighth-grader Emma Passa that gave the Lions a 2-1 walk-off win over the previously unbeaten Midgets.
In the nightcap, Dickinson bounced back behind a two-hit performance from senior Madison Jahner en route to a 7-0 win over Ryan.
The opening game – while featuring two efficient arms – turned out to be a game of missed opportunities for both clubs.
The Midgets scored an unearned run in the first as Jahner came home on a Ryan throwin error.
Dickinson also had two runners aboard in both the third and sixth innings, but failed to score in both innings. The Midgets loaded the bases in the seventh with nobody out, only to see Ryan junior pitcher Emma Garber escape the inning unharmed.
Garber forced two line outs and a ground ball to escape the jam.
“We had so many missed opportunities,” Dickinson coach Amanda Mickey said. “We had so many blown signs.”
The Lions got a runner on in the first, third and fifth innings, but failed to move them around.
Ryan finally broke through against Dickinson junior starting pitcher Abigayle Jones in the sixth.
Junior Shayla Elm led off the inning with a single. Moments later, she came home on a double by senior Sheyenne Schmidt, who was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Jones then retired Garber and junior catcher Hailee Jundt to get out of the inning.
“It was a very clean game by both teams,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. “Both pitchers did well and the kids made plays behind them.”
Jones limited Ryan to seven hits, while striking out 13.
“Abby pitched amazing,” Mickey said. “But we got to back that up with some runs.”
Garber pitched a complete game for Ryan to earn the win. She limited the Midgets to five hits, while striking out seven.
“She threw amazing,” Jundt said. “I haven’t seen her throw like that.”
Schmidt finished 3-for-4 at the dish for the Lions.
In the nightcap, Jahner was in complete control from the outset. She allowed a bunt single to Jundt in the first. In the sixth, Passa drove a pitch that was destined for right field, however, the ground ball hit sophomore Eden Kramer – who walked to reach base – in the foot as she was making her way to second. Kramer was ruled out on the play.
“To bounce back after that tough loss was huge,” Mickey said.
The Midgets plated three runs in the first off of Ryan’s eighth-grader starter Annika Stewart. The big blow in the inning was a two-run single by junior Julian Knight.
The Midgets also plated runs in the second and fifth innings, before scoring a pair of unearned runs in the seventh.
Both Knight and Jahner finished 2-for-4 in the game for Dickinson, who improves to 16-1 on the season.
Jahner pitched the full seven innings. She struck out 12, but struggled with her command, allowing seven free passes.
“Madison needs to learn to not walk so many batters,” Mickey said.
Julie Stewart says pitching is what makes Dickinson so tough to play.
“They’ve got experience,” she said. “Jahner mixes her pitches and hits her spots. Abby took them to the state championship game last year.”
Ryan (16-5 overall) plays at Bismarck Legacy on Tuesday.
Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.