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Packers sotball team shuts out South, Devils Lake

Kaitlyn Kuntz pitches for West Fargo against Fargo South on Thursday in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg

After 15 games, the Packer softball team is firmly on top of the Eastern Dakota Conference. Proving they belong there last week with three shutout wins.

They beat Fargo South 27-0 on Thursday, then beat the Devils Lake Firebirds 16-0 and 6-0 in a Saturday doubleheader.

“Some of those games were not as crisp as we would have liked,” head coach Pat Johnson said. “But the kids are working hard and playing hard, and that shows on the scoreboard.”

Headlining their first game was sophomore Kaitlyn Kuntz, who pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five batters for her fourth win of the season.

She also went 4-for-5 at the plate and drove in four runs.

Junior Paige Andel and freshman Sami Dullum each had three RBIs in the game.

Saturday’s first game saw senior pitcher Brittany Rheault striking out 10 batters while allowing just three hits, moving to 9-0 on the season. She also hit a solo home run.

Junior outfielder Rachael McGrady also hit a solo home run in the game.

Hayle Sachow-Johnson led the team with four RBIs.

Kuntz once again gave a dominant performance on the mound, striking out 15 batters en route to her second consecutive complete-game shutout.

She also led the team’s booming offense by going 3-for-4 at the plate.

“It is just a matter of being comfortable at the plate, being ready to hit and not swinging at everything that comes to you,” Johnson said. “We have put in a lot of work into our hitting, and it seems to be paying off.”

With the regular season more than half over, the Packers — who are 10-0 in the EDC — have a four-game lead over the second-place Fargo North Spartans.

“I thought there would be a few more close games in there, but it’s not over yet,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we come out of the next couple weeks even farther ahead, but we have some big games ahead of us.”

The team hosts Shanley on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game, then the head to Moorhead on Friday to face Marshall County Central at 6 p.m.