The West Fargo High School softball team is, simply, among the elite softball teams locally.
"They're pretty much undefeated in North Dakota for two years now, at least," Valley City High School coach Jason Lindgren. "I bet they don't have five losses all together in those two years."
It's a record that could strike fear into many opponents, but will be a welcome challenge against the Hi-Liners Tuesday when the teams play a one-point game at 4:30 p.m. at the Valley City State University softball complex.
It is the first of two home games this week, the first Tuesday with West Fargo, then Thursday against Fargo North. They are the team's first home games since an April 5 double header with Jamestown and are against the respective number one and two teams in the EDC standings.
The Hi-Liners are in third in the standings.
Monday, the team was looking forward to the West Fargo game, a rematch from April 10, when the Hi-Liners lost 10-0 in five innings.
The Packers have been potent all year, even beating Fargo North 10-0 last week.
That said, the Hi-Liners see it being a case where the target is on West Fargo's back.
"All the pressure's on them," said VC catcher Dierra Diegel. "We've just got to go out there and play our game and let them make the errors. Let them worry about losing to Valley City. "
Lindgren said the key will be whether or not his team can get hits off Brittany Rheault, West Fargo's top pitcher and put early pressure on their opponents.
"She no hit us the first time we played them," Lindgren said. "We made contact, we just hit the ball right at people. ... We'll just keep hitting the ball and hope it finds a hole."
The game with Fargo North, 4:30 p.m. Thursday at VCSU, will be a rematch of an 8-7 loss April 19.
Lindgren said the first matchup was decided by a few simple mistakes.
"Pretty much we lost it and they didn't necessarily win it," he said. "They took advantage of the mistakes we made, but we know what those mistakes were."
In both cases, Lindgren said his team needs to take advantage of mistakes and keep theirs down.
"I expect them to be good games," Lindgren said. "I want to see seven innings both nights."
Lindgren said this is the beginning of a key stretch for his team, which is trailed in the EDC closely by opponents including Devils Lake and Fargo Shanley, who the Hi-Liners play later this month to close out the conference schedule.
"Any game that you lose is going to make it that much closer point-wise," "I'm thinking we've got to win three out of four probably to stay in that top spot."
A name was omitted from a photo (“A black belt affair”) published in the May 4-6 edition of the Times-Record.
Evan Haglund, a junior black belt, is pictured in the bottom row of the photo on the far left side.
Tennis team at home
The Valley City High School girls tennis team is playing a home match with Fargo Shanley at 4:30 p.m. today at the high school courts..
Tennis Block Party Wednesday
The Valley City Tennis Association is celebrating May as National Tennis Month!
Wednesday, VCTA will host its annual Tennis Block Party at the Valley City Rec Center, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
There will be games and prizes for all ages.