Packers move on
Erin Johnson didn't necessarily want hitters to swing and miss at her pitches Friday at Mickelson Field. The West Fargo junior pitcher allowed her defense to do much of the work. Johnson struck out only two batters, but limited Fargo North to one...
Erin Johnson didn't necessarily want hitters to swing and miss at her pitches Friday at Mickelson Field.
The West Fargo junior pitcher allowed her defense to do much of the work.
Johnson struck out only two batters, but limited Fargo North to one hit. Her effort lifted the Packers to an 8-1 victory at the North Dakota state club fastpitch softball tournament.
"If I didn't have the defense, it would have been a lot closer," said Johnson, who retired the first 14 batters she faced.
West Fargo (19-4) remained undefeated in the tournament. The Packers advance to today's 1 p.m. championship and have a chance to win their eighth state crown in a row.
"We haven't got there yet," West Fargo coach Pat Johnson said.
North (14-5) plays Fargo South (6-8) at 11 a.m. The winner will play West Fargo. South beat Fargo Shanley 3-2 in eight innings to end the Deacons' season.
The Spartans-Bruins winner would need to beat West Fargo twice to win the title.
"I makes us feel more confident, knowing someone has to beat us twice," Erin Johnson said.
West Fargo played error-free ball through six innings as Erin Johnson carried a no-hitter into the seventh.
But North second baseman Marin Larson broke up the no-hitter, leading off the seventh with single to left field. Larson later scored on a fielder's choice to break up the shutout.
"The biggest thing is to throw strikes, make them put it in play and good defense," Pat Johnson said of his team's philosophy.
The Packers built a comfortable cushion in the sixth inning, scoring five runs to build an 8-0 lead.
Karly Kivi, Sarah English, Ali Edwards and Kelsi Wollitz each knocked in runs in the pivotal sixth.
English - the Packers' No. 9 hitter - went 2-for-2, including a double, with two RBIs and one run scored.
"Those are the things you look for," Pat Johnson said. "You've got to have someone to start you."
The Spartans loaded the bases in the seventh inning, with the help of two West Fargo errors, but were unable to score more than one run.
Erin Johnson struck out North left fielder Victoria Leabo to end the game.
"We've got to build on the seventh inning," North coach Jeff Toussaint said.
North 000 000 1- 1 1 3
West Fargo 002 105 x- 8 11 2
Dahl and Scheel. Johnson and Kivi. W-Johnson. L-Dahl.
Rachelle Cordova scored from third base on a Kari Halgunseth infield single to keep the Bruins alive.
South scored one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, overcoming a two-run deficit.
Shanley beat Grand Forks Red River 11-4 earlier in the day to get to South. The Bruins beat Grand Forks Central 11-7.
Shanley 100 001 00- 2 3 2
South 000 001 11- 3 5 0
Frappier and Stallman. Larson and Noriega. W-Larson. L-Frappier.
Central 010 003 3- 7 8 2
South 030 206 x-11 12 3
M. Anderson and K. Anderson. Anstadt and Noriega. W-Anstadt. L-M. Anderson. HR-South, Brenneman.
Highlights: South, Brenneman 3-for-5, 3 RBIs, 2 doubles. GFC, Thomas 2-for-4, 3 RBIs, 2 triples.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513