Lions tame Majettes

Ryan softball sweeps Minot High with walk off, mercy rule

Alex Eisen/MDN Bishop Ryan sophomore Sealy Rovig makes contact for an RBI base hit in the second game against Minot High on Thursday.

The latest installment of the in-city rivalry on the softball diamond between Bishop Ryan and Minot High School went the Lions’ way on Thursday at the South Hill Complex.

Bishop Ryan (8-4, 8-4 West Region), the designated home team despite both squads playing at their home venue, knocked off the Majettes (9-3, 7-3 WDA) in two drastically different ways with a walk-off winner in Game 1, 4-3, and a mercy rule victory in the nightcap, 14-4.

“We showed a lot of mental toughness today,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. “We didn’t think we played very well on Tuesday (a split with Legacy) and we said we have to go get it. Nobody is going to let us win. Nobody is going to let you just hit the ball. You have to go get it.”

The Lions got after it in both contests to close the gap between them and the Majettes in the standings.

Missed opportunities was the theme throughout the first game. Runners were left on base in nearly every inning by both teams, for a total of 16 stranded at the end of the contest.

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High senior Riley Irmen (5) gets a lead off from first base guarded by Bishop Ryan's Hannah Candrian (19) while Annika Stewart pitches Thursday evening in the second game of a doubleheader held at the South Hill Softball Complex.

The Majettes scored all three of their runs in the top of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Emily Melom came around to score from second base on a bunt from junior Rylee Terrel, plus a throwing miscue. Then, freshman Jenna Andrysiak came through with a two-run double to right center.

“We started Game 1 in the first inning and we were ready to go,” MHS coach Gerard Cederstrom said. “Then, we kind of started going through the motions and we didn’t get anything done after that. You leave the bases loaded for how many innings, and we left runners in scoring position almost every inning in the first game. We just weren’t ready for the whole game.”

Jenna’s older sister, junior Marisa Andrysiak, was in the circle for the Majettes and fended off the Lions until the bottom of the fifth inning.

Ryan evened the score emphatically at 3-3 with a pair of home runs. First, senior Shayla Elm powered a ball down the left field line that managed to stay fair and that was followed by freshman Emma Passa sending a two-run home run to left center.

“You just got to stay relaxed,” Passa said. “Don’t think about hitting a home run, just get a hit.”

Passa came through once again in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out RBI single to give Ryan the opening game win, 4-3.

“Emma Passa is super competitive,” Stewart said. “I’m so proud of her. She was in a groove and responded big for us.”

Senior pitcher Emma Garber picked up the win for Ryan, throwing a completed game, giving up six hits and striking out seven batters.

Freshman Annika Stewart took over in the circle to start Game 2 for the Lions and Jenna Andrysiak stepped in for the Majettes.

The Lions and Majettes traded RBI hits and RBI sacrifice flies in the bottom of the first and top of the second innings to remain tied 2-2.

Ryan regained the lead for good in the bottom of the second with a grounder that brought home senior Hannah Candrian. Then, later in the inning with two outs and the bases loaded, senior Hailee Jundt cleared the bases with a three-run double and she was brought home on an RBI single by Garber.

The Lions tacked on one more run in the frame with another base hit to left to lead 8-2 after two innings. Passa picked up her fourth RBI of the day on a single in the bottom of third to increase Ryan’s advantage to 9-2.

“The kids came up with some big plays and some big hits,” Julie Stewart said. “I thought our pitching improved (from Tuesday’s doubleheader) and we just got better in all of the areas.”

Minot generated the last of its offense in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, sophomore Jaycie Rostad was hit by a pitch and Melom added an RBI single, 9-4.

Melom, with two hits, was the only Majette to finish with multiple hits in the second contest. Meanwhile, Elm and Garber each collected three for the Lions. Ryan outhit Minot 15-5 in rout to the 10-run mercy rule victory.

“We didn’t hit in Game 1 very well and we didn’t hit in Game 2 very well,” Cederstrom said. “(Ryan) was on a roll. They had all the confidence in the world and we didn’t. They went on and played way better than us tonight.”

The Lions added three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to end the game after five innings.

Stewart went the distance in the circle, while Jenna Andrysiak was replaced after getting drilled by a comebacker up the middle. She walked it off and Terrel got two outs before giving up the 14th Ryan run.

The Lions travel to Bismarck to take on Century on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. And the Majettes stay in Minot at the South Hill Complex to host another Bismarck school in Legacy on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.