Baserunning miscues prove costly for MHS

Although the stat sheet showed just one error, the Minot High School softball team committed a slew of mistakes on the basepaths that had coach Gerard Cederstrom scratching his head.

The Majettes were picked off twice, caught stealing once and were doubled off on a shallow fly ball during a 4-0 loss to Dickinson in a non-West Region game Saturday at South Hill Complex.

“It’s like we erased ourselves when we got on base,” Cederstrom said. “We have to get sharper at (baserunning). We can’t afford to give them free outs.”

MHS (8-7) mustered just three hits against Dickinson pitcher Haley Butterfield. Minot senior Miranda Fenner broke up Butterfield’s no-hit bid with an infield single to lead off the fifth inning. Fenner was picked off first base a few pitches later by Dickinson catcher Mackee Hoffman.

Butterfield retired the first six Minot batters before hitting junior catcher Tahnee Apland on a 2-1 pitch. Apland committed one of two baserunning mistakes in the third inning when she strayed too far from first base on senior Hannah Gefroh’s flyout to shallow left field. The Minot catcher couldn’t beat Dickinson junior Avery Privratsky’s throw to first to avoid the double play.

“That’s one of the best defensive performances we’ve had all season and possibly ever,” Dickinson coach Bill Butterfield said. “(Minot would) get a girl on base and we would figure out a way to get her out. The girls did an awesome job defensively.”

Dickinson catcher Mackee Hoffman threw out MHS right-fielder Hannah Schiele attempting to steal second base to end the third.

The Midgets (17-2) broke through in the top half of the inning with a pair of runs. Privratsky smacked a lead-off double down the left-field line off MHS junior pitcher Lexi Benno and scored on an RBI single by Riana Cooper. The Majettes executed a perfect relay to end the inning, throwing out Hoffman, who was trying to stretch a double into a triple.

“They were definitely good hitters and we were lacking in our hitting,” Benno said. “We just couldn’t find our groove. “

Benno pitched all seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out five without surrendering a walk.

But the Majettes couldn’t provide Benno any run support. Minot’s best opportunity came in the sixth after Schiele and senior Jesse Kongelf strung together back-to-back hits with two outs. The rally stalled when Schiele was picked off third. Schiele stole third, but was tagged out after over-rounding the bag.

“I think that’s mainly mental errors,” Benno said. “That’s not physical errors. If we get into our zone, we’ll do a lot better.”

The Midgets added two more runs in the top of the seventh and the Majettes went down in order to end the game. Haley Butterfield went the distance for the Midgets to earn the win.

“Dickinson is a very good team and she’s a very good pitcher,” Cederstrom said. “I’m glad to see her. We want to face the best pitching we can and try to get ourselves better and more comfortable at the plate.”

Minot got on the scoreboard in game two, but Dickinson’s offense scored in every inning of a 16-5 victory. Benno supplied most of Minot’s offense, finishing 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.

Briana Fransworth homered for Dickinson.

The Majettes host a doubleheader against Jamestown starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at South Hill Complex.