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Thompson advances to state title softball game for first time in program history

Tommies set to play against Central Cass on Saturday for the Class B championship.

state b softball thompson samuelson 060421.jpg
Thompson's Kaitlin Samuelson (8) delivers a pitch Friday, June 4, 2021, during the North Dakota State Class B Girls' Softball Tournament at Trapper Field in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

JAMESTOWN -- The 2021 Thompson High School softball team made history Friday evening.

"We set a goal coming to this tournament and we knew it could be done, but it's just surreal when you (accomplish it) and win that last game," Thompson senior Mackenzie Hughes said. "It's really exciting, especially since it's our first time in program history."

The Tommies defeated the No. 1 seed out of the West -- Des Lacs-Burlington/Lewis and Clark -- 5-1 in the Class B state softball tournament semifinals to advance to their first-ever state title game. Thompson will be facing defending state champion Central Cass at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Trapper Field.

While it took the Tommies three full innings to get on the board against Beulah in Thursday's quarterfinals, their offensive approach shifted on Friday.

Hughes -- Thompson's leadoff batter -- rebounded after an 0-2 start against the Miners and put the Tommies on the board early. The senior tripled to left-center field and was driven in by Mya Krogstad's groundout on the next play.

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Hughes went 3-for-4 at the plate, later adding a single and double. She scored three of her team's five runs.

"I didn't have a great day hitting yesterday so I knew that I had to shake that off," Hughes said. "Today was a big game and I really wanted to win. If one of us wasn't on our game we just had to pick each other up and it went our way."

Thompson kept rolling through batters in the first, challenging Des Lacs-Burlington pitcher Brooklyn Benno, until the Bismarck State College basketball and softball commit got a key strikeout of Kaitlin Samuelson to send her team to bat.

The Lakers capitalized on their one hit in the first inning, with Mackenzie Rist scoring from third to tie the game. The offensive momentum carried over to Benno on the mound. The senior found her rhythm in the second, recording 13 pitches to earn three consecutive strikeouts of Tommie batters.

Benno tallied 128 pitches in the 100-degree heat. The senior went all seven innings and struck out nine batters.

If the Lakers tying the game did anything to Thompson, it gave the Tommies a little extra fire heading into the third frame.

After Hughes singled and Krogstad flew out to left-center, Grace Stumpf took command of the batter's box. The senior left-fielder sent Hughes home for the second time on an RBI double to regain the lead. Olivia Dick kept the streak alive with an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game.

Stumpf and Hughes combined again in the seventh with Stumpf sending her fellow senior home on a deep double to make it a four-run advantage for the Tommies. Stumpf was .750 at the plate with three RBIs.

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"I love my group of seniors," Hughes said. "(Grace) is one heck of a leader on our team and her getting those hits is definitely a confidence booster."

While Stumpf's hits might have given the Tommies some confidence, it was a different story for DLB.

"It's disappointing. We needed to hit better, obviously, but that's a really well-coached, good-hitting team so to hold them to five runs, we'll take that," DLB head coach Peggy Person said. "I am a little disappointed in our bats but never disappointed in our kids."

Thompson is hoping for another strong performance against Central Cass. The Tommies beat the Squirrels 7-6 on May 11.

"There's obviously going to be nerves but we just have to go out there and play carefree," Hughes said. "That's the main part of our game. We know what to expect from them and we know what we can do."

N.D. Class B state tournament

At Kyle Lawrence Field, Jamestown

Friday’s games

Consolation bracket

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Beulah 4, May-Port-CG 2

MAY 000 100 1 --2 8 1

BEU 011 200 X --4 6 0

WP: Taylor Christensen; LP: Ilanora Peterson

Highlights -- MPCG: Danica Hanson 2x4. R. Maysa Larson BB, Rylee Satrom 2x4, RBI, Raina Satrom 2x3, R, BB, Peterson 1x3, RBI; BEU: Christensen 2x2, 2 RBI, BB, 12 SO, Elizabeth Duppong 2R, Kayla Gierke RBI, Kennedy Schock 2x3, R, Mackenzie Brown RBI, Brecken Bieber 1x1, R, BB

Kindred-Richland 2, Wilton-Wing 0

W-W 000 000 0 --0 2 1

K-R 001 001 X --2 3 1

WP: Abigail McDonald; LP: Taryn Schurhamer

Highlights -- WW: Schurhamer 1x2, BB, 8 SO, Kalyssa Schock 1x3; KR: Braya Mauch 1x2, R, BB, Danica Rath R, BB, Avery AMerman 1x1, 2 BB, McDonald 8 SO

Championship bracket

Semifinals

Thompson 5, Des Lacs-Burlington 1

TMO 102 010 1 --5 8 0

DLB 100 000 0 --1 1 0

WP: Kaitlin Samelson; LP: Brooklyn Benno

Highlights -- THO: Mackenzie Hughes 3x4, 3B, 3 runs, Grace Stumpf 3x4, 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs, Olivia Dick 1x2, RBI, Faith Stumpf 1x4; DLB: Ava Wille 1x4, R, Mackenzie Rist 1x1, 2 BBs, run

Central Cass 2, Mohall-Lansford 0

ML 000 000 0 --0 1 2

CC 000 020 X --2 2 0

WP: Aubree Lindstrom; LP: Ginger Savelkoul

Highlights -- CC: Victoria Richter 2x2, Grace Fletschock BB, run; ML: McKenzie Foltyn 1x2

Saturday’s games

Seventh place -- May-Port-CG vs. Wilton-Wing, 10 a.m.

Fifth place -- Beulah vs. Kindred-Richland, noon

Third place -- Mohall-Lansford vs. De Lacs-Burlington, 2 p.m.

Championship -- Central Cass vs. Thompson, 4 p.m.

Related Topics: SOFTBALLPREP SPORTS
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