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Demons too much for Red River, Roughriders still 'enjoying the moment'

Bismarck High and Grand Forks Red River went head to head in 2022 Class A State Softball Tournament quarterfinal No. 2 on June 2.

state a softball bhs potter hit 060222.jpg
Bismarck's Ashlee Potter follows through on a hit as Ella Nelson of Grand Forks Red River looks on from behind the plate Thursday, June 2, 2022, during the Class A softball state tournament at Lawrence "Trapper" Field in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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There was no one play that really sealed the deal for Bismarck High's softball team Thursday afternoon at Jamestown's Trapper Field.

"They played well," BHS head coach Billy Schmidt said of his team. "I knew Grand Forks Red River would come out and play — they are softball players — and they did. They were up there swinging and their pitchers threw really well but we were lucky enough to come out on top."

Bismarck High's senior pitcher Logan Gronberg led the Demons to their second-straight appearance Class A State Softball Tournament semifinals, defeating the Roughriders 10-0 in the opening round. BHS will face Bismarck Legacy Friday evening at 4 p.m.

Red River will go head to head with West Fargo Sheyenne in the 11 a.m. consolation tilt.

It was all Demons from the opening pitch Thursday and the young Red River squad just couldn't keep up with the wealth of experience that was oozing out of the Demons' dugout.

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Gronberg, a University of North Dakota softball commit, delivered 44 pitches — 34 strikes, 10 balls — through four innings of play and wound up with 11 strikeouts and 58 total pitches delivered across the five innings played.

"I was just trying to let my defense work hard in the zone and hoped the infield would get some plays," Gronberg said. "We were just looking to score early and take that momentum into the rest of the game."

state a softball gfrr 7 bhs 4 060222.jpg
Taylor Kilgore (7) of Grand Forks Red River grimaces as the ball gets away as Bismarck's Payton Gerving slides into third safely Thursday, June 2, 2022, during the Class A softball state tournament at Lawrence "Trapper" Field in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Nine came to the plate and five wound up scoring for the Demons in the bottom of the second inning. Payton Gerving hit a stand-up double in the second, that scored herself and two other batters.

BHS found itself up 6-0 by the time the Roughriders made their third trip to the batter's box. Logan Gronberg recorded the Demons' first out of the third with an over-the-shoulder catch on Elizabeth Nuelle to be followed by a strikeout of Ella Nelson. A flyout to right field sent Red River back out to the field.

The Demons went nine-up, nine-down through the first three.

Gronberg allowed the Roughriders' first hit of the game in the fourth. Freshman Ella Weippert collected on Gronberg's delivery and doubled out to centerfield. The double was Red River's one hit of the game.

In the top of the fifth, the Roughriders needed just one to keep the game moving but came up empty as Gronberg recorded her fourth, fifth and sixth straight Ks. Bismarck's bats were cracking but runners appeared relaxed on the base paths as the ten-run rule came into play and ended the game after five innings.

Ashlee Potter ended it with a grounder that found the centerfield gap.

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While it didn't go Red River's way, head coach Hannah-Rose Rodriquez said she was incredibly proud of the first Roughrider team to reach the state tourney in 10 years.

"I've never coached during the state tournament so it's a big experience for all of our girls," Rose-Rodriguez said. "Anything we can positively do while we're here is icing on the cake. They knew that they could get here. Their fight and tenacity are way beyond their years and that is what got them here. Now that they are here, they are just enjoying the moment."

Bismarck High 10, GF Red River 0

RR 000 00X X — 0 1 3

BHS 150 31X X — 10 5 3

BHS: Logan Gronberg; RR: Ella Speidel; Jocelyn Berg (5) W — Gronberg; L — Speidel

Highlights: BHS — Gronberg (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 11 K, 1 BB); Cameron Schmidt 1-2, 2 RBI; Payton Gerving 1-2, 2 RBI; Ashlee Potter 2-3, 2 RBI; Sydney Gerving 1-2.

RR — Ella Weippert 1-2, 2B.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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