Valley City 16U softball endured a rough Thursday of pool play at the Northern National Championship in Bismarck, N.D., falling 14-0 in four innings to the Dakota Fury of Sioux Falls, S.D., and 12-2 to Muscodaâ€™s Wisconsin Xplozion.
Such results, however, can serve as tune-ups for Fridayâ€™s tournament.
â€śWe had a much better game in the second game â€” we put up two runs,â€ť Valley City manager Erika Calkins said. â€śThe only difference was that we had McKenna [Taylor] pitching, Lexi [Ondracek] catching and Tarryn [Justesen] in center field. The girls wanted to play, and we hate to be that team, but someone has to.â€ť
Valley City, the fourth Pool B seed, opens double-elimination bracket play against Brookings, S.D.â€™s Outlaws at noon Friday, the results of which will appear at bisparks.org.
With a win, Valley City faces the Fargo/Moorhead Blaze - West Metro Thunder (Chanhassen, Minn.) winner at 4 p.m. Friday. With a loss, Valley City plays that gameâ€™s loser.
Rachael Laetschâ€™s Dakota Fury single to center scored Brittany Tursam, Anna Bayengard walked to load the bases with an out in the top of the first and the Fury kept their foot on the gas for the four-inning shutout.
Wisconsin led 4-0 through an inning, but Ondracekâ€™s single to center brought Mackenzie Pederson home in the top of the second, Kaylee Schlittenhard walked to load the bases with two outs in the top of the third, and another Ondracek single scored Brooke Breckheimer.
Mundelein, Ill.â€™s Stampede took last yearâ€™s championship with a 5-1 tournament record in Pekin, Ill.