Majettes’ remarkable season ends with runner-up finish at state
FARGO – The Minot High softball team has worked incredibly hard all season long for the opportunity to play for a state title, which they did on Saturday. As the No. 1-seeded team out of the West Region, the Majettes took down two East Region opponents to earn their shot at a state title, outscoring the opposition by a combined 18 runs in two games.
Meeting the Majettes in the state championship game was Dickinson High, who won the title in 2021 and made the title game last season, marking their third year in a row of being one of the last two teams standings. For Minot, they are looking for their first state title since 2018 when they beat Dickinson to hoist the trophy.
Even though this was the most important game for Minot this year, head coach Gerard Cederstrom and the girls were keeping the same “business as usual” approach that they have all year.
After holding an early lead, Minot fell just shy of achieving one more goal as Dickinson utilized a late, two-inning rally to win the state title with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
In sticking to their approach, Minot’s leadoff hitter Ellington Anderson started things off by doing what she does best in getting on base. This time, however, E. Anderson helped Minot strike first in a big way, by bunting for a single in the bottom of the first, then coming around to score on a throwing error to give the Majettes a 1-0 lead before they recorded an out.
Hoping to push the lead even more in the first, Minot loaded the bases with two outs but came up empty and took their 1-0 advantage into the second inning. With starting pitcher Kirsten Galloway cruising in the early goings, Minot maintained their lead nearing the halfway point of the game.
Only surrendering a walk until there were two outs in the fourth inning, Galloway was once again showing signs of what had the makings of a dominant performance. Facing a bit of adversity in the top of the fourth, Galloway gave up a single to Kyndall Peterson and Morgan Koffler reached on an error to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Rising to the occasion in a big spot was Galloway, as she racked up her fifth strikeout of the game to cancel the threat and keep Dickinson off the board. After four innings of play, the Majettes were holding on to their 1-0 lead.
Dickinson rallied again in the fifth inning and was able to tag Minot for the first run they had given up in the state tournament. Gabrielle Sobolik ignited the Dickinson rally with a two-out double, then was driven home on an RBI single by Jenna Decker to tie the game at 1-1.
Not only was this a situation where Minot gave up their first run of the tournament, this was also a situation where they found themselves tied with a team beyond the second inning for the first time during the state tournament.
The Majettes needed a strong response in a couple of unfamiliar situations as of late. Dickinson, however, used the situation to their advantage by continuing to build momentum. Ava Jahner singled to start the top of the sixth, then scored on a dropped third strike and throwing error to give Dickinson their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Following the run, Dickinson drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Galloway refused to let Dickinson extend their lead and racked up her eighth and ninth strikeouts of the game to eliminate any further damage.
Utilizing the late, two-inning rally, Dickinson was able to win the state title with the score of 2-1 being the final. After giving up a run to the first batter of the game, Jahner got better on the mound as the game went on and made things very tough for Minot.
Galloway gave a great effort on the mound as well, throwing seven innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. At the plate, Minot was led by Sydnee Bartsch who went 2-for-3, followed by E. Anderson, Isabelle Anderson, and Tayler Falcon who had one hit each.
Even though the Majettes were unable to win the state title, they did not leave Fargo empty handed. They were rewarded with a runner-up trophy for their efforts and head coach Gerard Cederstrom was named the Coach of the Year.
For seniors Kinsey Fjeld, Cierra Erickson, Taury Hight, and Kirsten Galloway, their prep careers at Minot High have come to an end. However, they are leaving the program in a great spot and helped build something special in the Magic City.