WEST FARGO — After weeks of delays, the West Fargo softball team made the most of the inaugural games played on its new on-campus field.
The Packers swept Grand Forks Central after Tori Nichols-Kraft hit two home runs and Courtney Boll threw an 11-strikeout no-hitter in a 10-0 game one victory before the Packers recorded 22 hits in game two to secure a 20-2 win.
After driving in the first run in the park's history with a first-inning sacrifice fly, Nichols-Kraft took advantage of a gusting, 30 mile per hour wind that was blowing at her back by drilling a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third.
Leading off again in the fourth, Nichols-Kraft didn't need wind assistance, as she sent a towering shot over the wall in right-center.
"I didn't really think about it," Nichols-Kroft said of her milestone hits. "But it's cool to think about now obviously."
Her second homer kick-started a five-run fourth inning that also featured a two-run home run by Mikayla Johnson.
The run support was plenty for Boll, who allowed just two baserunners, both via walk, and recorded 11 of the final 12 outs via strikeout in less-than-favorable pitching conditions.
"It was really hard pitching against the wind," she said. "But that's just something you've got to deal with and work through. My rise ball was working really well. It was great."
The power hitting onslaught carried over into the second game, as Ashlyn Diemert kicked-off a five-run first inning with a three-run homer.
Both Ashlyn and sister Lauren Diemert finished 4-of-4 at the plate in the second game. Ashlyn recorded five RBIs while Lauren scored four runs.
Brooklyn Myrvik added another home run in the second inning before West Fargo exploded for 10 runs and 10 hits in the third. Eleven different West Fargo players finished the game with at least one hit, with seven recording multiple hits.
Prior to the start of Thursday's doubleheader, the Packers had been forced to call off seven home games due either to poor weather or field conditions.
Having won state championships every year from 1995 to 2017, the Packers clearly weren't limited by the lack of an on-campus facility. But with the long-awaited field finally open for business, players and coaches are excited about the possibilities.
"It's really nice to have a home field and know that it's only our field," Nichols-Kraft said. "And that it's going to be ours for years to come.
"It's nice the girls don't have to travel across town to play a home game," coach Pat Johnson added. "They're excited about it. They get to put music on and they're buying into it. They like being here.
"It's really nice to have this facility. A lot of time and work's went into it."
West Fargo improves to 6-0 overall with a 4-0 mark in the Eastern Dakota Conference.
GFC 000 00 --0 0 5
WF 113 5x --10 12 0
Gereau and Erickson. Boll and A. Diemert
GFC 000 02 --2 6 4
WF 53(10) 2x --20 22 0
Fontaine, Gereau (3) and Erickson. Nichols-Kraft, Aarfor (5) and Peters.