Big inning sends Ryan past Century

Bishop Ryan softball coach Julie Stewart made some changes to her batting order for Monday’s doubleheader against Bismarck Century.

The way the Lions battered the ball in game one’s third inning, the order didn’t really matter.

Ryan opened the frame with six straight hits, eventually scoring six runs on eight hits en route to a 9-3 win at South Hill Complex. The Lions (13-1 overall, 13-1 West Region) also won game two 10-6.

“We’re all pretty confident up at bat,” said Ryan sophomore Hannah Stewart, who belted a two-run home run in the inning. “We just try to see each pitch and drive it because every pitcher is a lot different.”

Junior Maddie Lipp slid into the leadoff spot and freshman Sheyenne Schmidt moved to the No. 5 position because Julie Stewart wanted to give the streaking hitter more RBI opportunities.

Schmidt delivered with a 4-for-4 performance in game one that included a double and three RBIs. The rest of Ryan’s starters recorded one hit apiece, with the exception of junior Anika Rovig, who batted 2-for-3 with a single and ground-rule double.

The Patriots (6-9, 4-5) tallied seven hits on Hannah Stewart but the Lions’ ace repeatedly worked out of jams. Stewart struck out eight batters and stranded 12 runners. Century loaded the bases with one out in the third inning, but Stewart got a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.

“I thought we swung the bats as well as we have all year,” Century coach Kevin Ziegler said. “When she bears down, she’s tough to get hits off of. … We just had trouble getting that big hit with two outs.”

Century junior Kaylyn Herold threw all six innings and suffered the loss, but led the Patriots with a 3-for-4 game at the plate.

Ryan junior Brieann Backes tossed a complete game for the victory in game two and classmate Macy Christianson hit a home run. Lipp and junior McKenzie Ebert had three hits apiece to pace Ryan.

Century’s Dominique Giesen went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

The Lions play at Dickinson at 4 p.m. today.