As the Class A West Region softball regular-season concludes this week, the Minot High and Bishop Ryan teams are heading in two different directions.
Minot (20-6 overall, 16-6 region) – which has won nine of its last 12 contests – continued its strong play Monday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of Ryan in a pair of nonregion contests.
The Majettes won 12-0 and 10-0, with both games being called on the 10-run rule after five innings.
The Lions (14-13, 11-13) have lost eight straight contests, dating back to May 3.
“This has been a humbling experience for me and the girls,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said.
In the opener of Monday’s twin bill, the Majettes plated runs in the first and second innings before breaking the game open in the third.
In the decisive third, the Majettes scored six runs on six hits, and sent 11 batters to the plate.
Sophomore Marisa Andrysiak and eighth-grader Jenna Andrysiak both had an RBI double in the inning, while senior Kayla Budeau and junior Jocelyn Lucy both added an RBI single. Senior Cassie Askvig drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
The Majettes put the game away with a four-run fourth inning. Minot was aided in the inning by four walks by Ryan junior starting pitcher Emma Garber.
“We’ve lost our attack mode,” Stewart said. “We’re not really being aggressive.”
Minot starting pitcher Marisa Andrysiak pitched a complete game. She limited Ryan to two hits, with the first coming with two outs in the fourth. Andrysiak also struck out five and walked two.
“We”ve played like this all year,” Minot coach Gerald Cederstrom said. “The kids are coming out and producing.”
And as they have been doing all season, the Majettes produced in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader.
Minot scored three times in the first, and added two more runs in both the second and third innings to build an early 7-0 advantage.
Minot was aided by two Ryan errors in the first that help lead to the three runs. In the second, throwing errors by Ryan sophomore pitcher Eden Kramer and junior Hailee Jundt helped lend to Minot’s two runs in the inning.
In the fifth, Ryan committed two more errors that helped Minot score three more runs.
“We are searching so hard instead of playing,” Stewart said.
Senior Cassie Askvig pitched a complete game for Minot. She limited Ryan to one hit, a double by senior Sheyenne Schmidt, while striking out one and walking one.
“Our pitchers did well,” Cederstrom said. “They came out and threw strikes and got after them.”
Senior Hanna Andrysiak finished 3-for-4 at the dish in the nightcap for the Majettes. She logged three RBIs and three runs scored.
And with as well as his team is playing, Cederstrom says there is still room for improvement.
“There are always things to work on,” he said. “We aren’t running the bases 100 percent, and we are taking called third strikes. But those things are fixable.”
Despite the recent struggles, Stewart still believes her team can right the ship.
“I haven’t lost confidence in this group,” Stewart said. “I know what they are capable of. But we can’t field like that. We put the ball in play, but hit it right to them.”
Both teams are back in action today. Ryan plays at Williston, while Minot hosts Turtle Mountain. Both doubleheaders start at 4:30 p.m.
Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.