Majettes softball loses a pair of games to Bismarck High
The Majettes refused to go down as easily the second time around.
The first game of the Minot High School softball team’s doubleheader against Bismarck High on Tuesday was one to forget, as the Demons held a hitting practice at the Majettes’ expense. Junior Macy Wetsch got the ball rolling with a three-run homer in the top of the second inning, and sophomore Paige Hanson delivered an encore in the top of the fifth with a three-run dinger of her own.
Meanwhile, Logan Gronberg kept Minot (7-5, 4-4 WDA) off the scoreboard from inside the circle. The freshman pitcher recorded nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits in five innings pitched. The final out, which was fittingly a strikeout, ended the Majettes’ misery and gave the Demons (8-4, 7-1 WDA) a resounding 12-0 victory.
“Game 1, we weren’t mentally here,” MHS head coach Gerard Cederstrom said. “But I’m not going to take anything away from (Bismarck). They hit the ball hard, and (Gronberg) threw a great game. We just weren’t really mentally ready to go today.”
Bismarck went on to win the second game of the day as well by a score of 14-10, but not without a fight from the Majettes.
Junior Landry Maragos opened up the bottom of the first inning in style by sending a pitch from Kassidy Duttenhefner to deep left field and rounded the bases for a triple. Jailee Britt did the rest. The junior brought Maragos in on the next at-bat with an RBI single that zipped past Gronberg at third base to give Minot a quick 1-0 lead.
After adding an unforced run to its total, the home team padded the lead even further thanks to Amanda Spelhaug. The junior platted three runners with another shot that eluded Gronberg and leaked into the outfield for a double.
By the time the Demons recorded the first out, the Majettes already had a 5-0 edge.
“(Coach Cederstrom) just said that we needed to go out and attack more,” senior Jaycie Rostad said. “We had a lot of girls look at strike three in the first game, and we knew that couldn’t happen.”
But the lead didn’t last long.
After getting out of the first-inning jam, the Demons went back to work on offense. Freshman Payton Gerving made it a 5-1 contest with an RBI single, and senior Madison Steckler received a fourth ball with the bases loaded to bring in another run.
Now, with the bases still loaded, Gronberg did some damage from the plate rather than the circle. The freshman connected on a pitch from Spelhaug and sent it over the left-field fence to give Bismarck a 6-5 edge. The Demons went on to add another run in what proved to be a seven-run inning.
“The second game definitely went better than the first game, but I think it came down to that (second) inning,” Rostad said. “We made a bunch of errors, and we can’t let that happen…We need to play all the way through the game.”
Still, the Majettes refused to back down. With the score now tied at seven runs apiece in the bottom of the fourth inning, junior Cambrie Pretzer put Minot on top with a blooper to midfield for an RBI single.
Once again, Bismarck responded. Still trailing 8-7 in the top of the sixth inning, Steckler delivered the equalizer with an RBI single and went on to reach third base after an error on the throw to first.
None other than Gronberg brought the senior home on the next at-bat with an RBI single up the heart of the Majettes’ defense, and the Demons added another three runs to take a late 12-8 lead.
The Majettes trimmed the deficit to 12-10 entering the top of the seventh inning before Gronberg finally delivered the dagger. With a runner on base, the freshman went yard for the second time in the contest to push her team’s lead to 14-10.
The Majettes didn’t have any magic left in them during the bottom of the seventh inning, as Gronberg returned to the circle to close out the game and sealed the 14-10 victory. Spelhaug finished with three RBIs in the losing effort, while Rostad and Pretzer each recorded two RBIs and a run.
Minot will look to learn from the pair of losses and get back into the win column on Friday when it hosts Mandan for a doubleheader at South Hill Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
“Every chance to get better is big for us,” Cederstrom said. “We just need to keep moving forward. We have a lot of things to work on, and the kids know that.”
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.