Girls softball team headed back to State
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City High School girls fast pitch softball team is headed back to the State Class B Girls Fast Pitch Softball Tournament for the fourth straight year. And that is truly an amazing accomplishment considering that the school only created its girls softball program four years ago.
“We have definitely been fortunate that we’ve been able to make it to State ever since our program began,” states Devin Langerud, who is in his fourth year of coaching the program. “Being able to make it that far in each of the past four years speaks a lot about the athletes that we have in our program.”
The Wolves earned the right to advance to the state tournament with a second place finish at the West Region Tournament last week.
“We hit the ball real well in the region tournament,” stated Langerud. “We beat Ray and Des Lacs-Burlington to advance to the tournament championship. But then our bats went cold in the title game against Stanley.”
Considering that the Wolves entered the region tournament as the No. 5 seed, Langerud was thrilled his players stepped up and got the wins when the team needed them.
But now Langerud and his Wolves have their sights set on their first game at the state tournament where they take on Central Cass, the No. 3-seeded team from the East Region.
“Central Cass is a really good team,” states Langerud. “They have solid pitching and hitting, so we’re going to have to be playing our A-game if we want to win our opening game.”
While the Wolves took eighth place in their last three trips to the state tournament, Langerud is hopeful that this year will be different.
“We haven’t won a game in any of our earlier State appearances,” states Langerud. “But I think that if we have good pitching and hitting, we will do alright.”
Watford City will take on Central Cass at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, at the Mickelson Softball Field in Fargo in opening round play of the 2016 State Class B Girls Fast Pitch Softball Tournament.
West Region Tournament - First Round
Watford City 16, Ray 1
Watford City scored 10 runs in the top of the second inning as the Wolves dominated the Ray Jays, 16-1, in opening round play of the West Region Girls Fast Pitch Softball Tournament on Monday, May 23.
“We scored 13 runs in the first three innings, which really allowed us to put the game away,” stated Langerud.
Avery Sundeen got the Wolves off to their fast start as she belted out a solo homer in the first inning.
But it was in the second inning that Watford City would do all of its offensive damage to the Jays as 10 Watford City runners would cross the plate.
Karissa Monsen racked up five RBIs for the Wolves on two hits, including a two-run home run.
Mikka Haugeberg picked up the win on the mound for the Wolves as she struck out six batters, while giving up six hits and two walks.
Watford 1 10 2 3 0 16 11
Ray 0 0 1 0 0 1 6
West Region Tournament - Semifinals
Watford City 13, DLB 2
Watford City’s bats remained hot in the semifinals of the West Region Tournament as the Wolves scored 13 runs on 17 hits to defeat Des Lacs-Burlington, 13-2.
“Again, we got off to a great start scoring five runs in the first inning,” stated Langerud. “And then added four more runs in the next two innings to get a big lead.”
The Wolves did their first two inning damage on a RBI double by Kaytlyn Grimes, a two-run double by Maddy Hogue, a RBI single by Alli Mogen, and a RBI double by Bailey Shannon.
Watford City would build on its lead with four runs in the fifth with Kamryn Grimes lacing out a double that scored Avery Sundeen and Karissa Monsen, with Kaytlyn Grimes ending the inning with a two-run blast.
Kaytlyn Grimes led the Wolves offensively as she had three hits, including a home run, in four trips to the plate to drive in four runs.
Mikka Haugeberg was again strong on the mound for Watford City as she struck out four batters, while giving up five hits and four walks in five innings of work.
Watford 5 1 3 0 4 13 17
DLB 0 0 2 0 0 2 5
West Region Tournament - Championship
Stanley 9, Watford City 2
After scoring 29 runs on 28 hits in their first two games of the West Region Tournament, Watford City’s bats went silent in the championship game against Stanley on Tuesday, May 24.
“We just didn’t play well,” stated Langerud on the loss. “We only scored two runs on seven hits.”
Watford City trailed the Blue Jays 5-1 after two innings of play and just could never get into the game.
Kamryn Grimes reached base three times on two walks and had one single in the game for the Wolves.
Mikka Haugeberg took the loss on the mound for Watford City as she struck out six batters, while giving up 12 hits in six innings of pitching.
Watford 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 7
Stanley 4 1 0 2 2 0 X 9 12