Packers rely on offense in doubleheader sweep over rival Mustangs
It was the kind of game that makes West Fargo head softball coach Pat Johnson lose his hair. First-year program West Fargo Sheyenne scored 10 runs in an inning and seemed poised to take down old teammates from West Fargo. But the Packers' offense was too explosive for that to be a big enough cushion.
The 19-time defending state champion Packers bounced back by scoring 19 runs in the final four innings in a nightcap comeback and defeat Sheyenne 21-14 on Tuesday, April 11, at Sheyenne High School. In the first game of the Eastern Dakota Conference doubleheader, the Packers put together a nine-run fifth inning to beat Sheyenne 11-1 in their first ever matchup.
"We battled back," Johnson said. "Do not quit. We just kept fighting until the end."
West Fargo's Stephi Dullum, who earned the first win from the circle, struck out 11 batters and allowed two hits and no walks in the first game to keep the game close early on.
The Mustangs took a lead in the very first inning after Morgan Geizler drove in Kiley Washnieski. But Mariah Peters belted a two-run home run in the fourth inning, Katie Gilbertson cranked a two-run homer and Gabby DuBois hia three-run shot to pull away in the final frame.
Regan Jastram struck out three and walked four batters in the loss for Sheyenne.
"The outcome wasn't where we wanted it, but I think our girls grew up a little bit today," Sheyenne head coach Mark Woodbury said. "If we play error-free ball, throw strikes and hit our spots, I like our chances in the future."
In the second game, Jastram drove in a three-run double in the first inning before cranking two doubles in the Mustangs' 10-run third. Sheyenne (2-2, 3-1 EDC) totaled six hits in that third frame, including another double from Katelyn Galde.
West Fargo (8-0, 4-0) replied with a six-run fourth inning that included a two-run homer from Sami Dullum, who had two home runs and three singles in the game. Her sister, Stephi Dullum, followed up with a three-run blast in the fifth inning just before Gilbertson supplied a solo shot of her own to get the Packers within a run. Sami Dullum drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning on a Tori Nichols-Kraft double to give the Packers the lead.
Washnieski's RBI in the sixth inning tied the game up for Sheyenne, but three-run homers by Peters and Nichols-Kraft gave the Packers a lead they would've give up.
"It's different seeing some of the girls you played with before, but it's a good experience," Peters said. "It's huge coming back from that, but we have a lot of work to do."
WF 000 29 --11 10 1
WFS 100 00 --1 2 2
St. Dullum and Sa. Dullum. Jastram and Johnson. W--St. Dullum. L--Jastram. HR--WF, DuBois 1, Gilbertson 1, Peters 1.
WF 200 642 7--21 21 5
WFS 30(10) 001 0--14 10 5
Boll, Nichols-Kraft (3) and Peters. Washnieski, Lambert (5), Jastram (7) and Johnson. W--Nichols-Kraft. L--Lambert. HR--WF, Sa. Dullum 2, St. Dullum 1, Gilbertson 1, Peters 1, Nichols-Kraft 1.