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West Fargo’s Brittany Rheault pitches against Grand Forks Red River at Anderson Fields in Fargo on Thursday. Carrie Snyder

Softball team wins first four games

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The Packers softball team exploded onto the scene in the first week of its state title defense.

The team earned high-scoring wins against Shanley (9-0), Grand Forks Red River (12-0 and 11-2) and Minot Ryan (10-0) to skyrocket to first place in the Eastern Dakota Conference.

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In their first game, senior ace Brittany Rheault struck out 12 batters in a complete game shutout. On the offensive side, she managed to go 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

Junior outfielder Paige Andel also had three hits in the game, along with three runs.

In their first game of the Red River doubleheader, Rheault picked up another victory, allowing just one hit and striking out seven batters in the five-inning game.

Michaela Liebl, the team’s only other senior, went 2-3 from the plate with a home run and two RBIs.

The second game against the Roughriders saw sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Kuntz pick up the victory, striking out eight while giving up just three hits.

Liebl struck again on offense with a two-run home run. She went 3-for-3 from the plate.

Junior outfielder Rachael McGrady went 3-for-4 with a triple in the game.

Rheault was back on the mound on Saturday in the team’s win over Minot Ryan. She manage to strike out three batters while allowing three hits.

Liebl was again the highlight of the Packer offense, hitting a three-run home run and batting in five runs in her two at-bats.

Kuntz also hit a three-run home run in the game, and freshman shortstop Morgan Geiszler hit a two-run shot of her own.

The Packers are set to travel to Grand Forks Central on Monday for a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader against the 0-1 Knights.

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