Class B softball: Beulah holds off Thompson to advance at state tournament
Miners junior pitcher Taylor Christensen fanned 14 Tommies batters over 6-2/3 innings
FARGO — Last season, the Thompson softball team had to go through Beulah in the quarterfinals on its way to the North Dakota Class B softball state tournament championship game.
Beulah made sure history didn't repeat itself this year as the No. 3-seeded Miners topped the Tommies 9-6 at Tharaldson Park on Thursday.
With the win, Beulah (11-6) will take on No. 2-seed Kindred-Richland (14-3) in the semifinals Friday at 4 p.m. Thompson will take on Velva-Draka/Anamoose (8-4) in the consolation semifinals at 11 a.m.
Taylor Christensen starred both in the pitcher's circle and at the plate, going 6-2/3 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while striking out 14. Offensively, the junior went 3-for-4 with three doubles and an RBI while coming across to score twice.
Christensen went six full innings before being relieved by eighth grader Addie Geiger who was brought in to try and close things out in the seventh.
After Geiger allowed two runs on two hits and a walk, Christensen was brought back into the game to shut the door — and she did — striking out the final two Thompson batters to seal the win.
"She did in the third inning actually lose her rise ball," said Miners head coach Kyle Christensen of Taylor's performance. "The ball was kind of slipping out of her hand and she couldn't throw her rise ball. But she gutted through and we kind of went with more change-ups then we'd probably throw. Then when I brought her back, she was determined to not let that game slip away."
Beulah raced out to a 4-0 lead after one inning thanks to RBI knocks from Geiger, senior Averi Backus, freshman Jayda Remboldt and sophomore Lizzy Duppong.
The Tommies responded in the top of the third with runs plated by senior Mya Krogstad and junior Olivia Dick to make it 4-2.
After cutting the deficit to two runs, that's as close as Thompson would come. The Miners outscored the Tommies 5-4 the rest of the way to hold on for the win.
Kyle Christensen said both mistakes and the opponent's ability to swing the bat kept Thompson in it.
"We made some mistakes," he said. "We lost an opportunity for a double play, we made a bad throw back behind first and then some passed balls cost us a couple of runs. But luckily the bats kept firing for us and we were able to put up enough runs, because (Thompson) swing it well, they're going to put the ball in play and you've just got to make plays."
Sophomore Sydney Schwabe went the distance in the pitcher's circle for Thompson, allowing nine runs on 15 hits while fanning five and walking zero Miners hitters.
Geiger plated three RBIs for Beulah, going 2 for 3 with two doubles. Duppong singled twice and had two RBIs.
Leading the way for Thompson were Krogstad, Dick and sophomore Faith Stumpf, all with RBIs.