Bismarck uses big innings to beat Fargo North

May 30—DICKINSON — After sending 11 batters to the plate in the second inning and another 11 in the third, the Bismarck High Demons piled on the pressure and scored all 15 of their runs, while winning hurler Bri Wrangham dominated the Fargo North Spartans down the stretch on two innings of work, striking out 2 and holding Fargo North hitless before giving way to reliever Mya Jones, who also struck out a pair of batters and took the win in the run-rule-shortened contest.

"The other team is going to hit and the wind is blowing, and I knew they weren't going to not score any runs on us," Bismarck manager Billy Schmidt said. "We just had a big enough lead that we could finish it in the fifth here."

After taking a 3-0 lead in the first frame, Bismarck ratcheted up their game and scored 6 in each of the next two innings on their way to the win. Jada Purdy absorbed the loss after surrendering 5 earned-runs and striking out 4, while starter Maryn Schneider lasted only one inning and gave up 7 earned runs.

Jersey Berg had a grand-slam homer and scored Dru Kautzman, Izzy Owens and Kate Nowatzki, while Wrangham also helped her own cause with a perfect 4-for-4 afternoon, driving in 2 and scoring twice herself with a 2-run-homer in the third frame. Five Bismarck batters had multi-hit games, including Berg at 2-for-4 with 3 runs and 5 RBI, while Kautzman went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs, Josie Schell was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and 3 RBI and Jones was 2-for-4 with a run and 1 RBI.

"It feels good, especially in a game like this and it's great to win the first one, obviously, to keep going and win a state title," Berg said. "That's our ultimate goal and obviously I helped the team, but Bri had a huge hit and Josie had a huge hit and everyone had big hits when we needed them."

Fargo North managed to strike for 2 runs in the third with left-fielder Leah Hoffman and third-baseman Aubrey King driving in 1 each, while the Spartans almost extended the game with 3 runs in the fifth as backstop Kenleigh Fischer cleared the bases with a double and 3 RBI

Centerfielder Olivia Kalbus was the lone Spartan player with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run.

"Bismarck hit the ball really well and we just couldn't get our hits strung together," Fargo North manager Taylor Ludlum said. "But we fought until the end and we just need to bounce back for tomorrow."

Next-up for Fargo North will be Grand Forks Red River at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 31, as the Roughriders lost to Minot late, 7-5, and the Majettes will face Bismarck in the semifinals at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

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