NSAA Championships finale end with No. 2 Vikings defeating No. 1 Bruins

·5 min read

May 10—DICKINSON — The North Star Athletic Association softball Championships reached its conclusion on Monday, on the Bravera field, with No. 2 Valley City being crowned for the second time in a row — against the same team, No. 1 Bellevue.

The championship game went to a 7-3 finish that saw the Bruins fall for the second time in two days.

The Vikings took a 2-1 lead at the bottom of the first inning and never relinquished. The largest scoring inning was the second half of the second inning, which was capped by Valley City's senior Riley Perryman launching a triple homer.

"This facility is top notch and not only for our athletes, but the entire conference," Kristen Fleury said. "It has been exciting to watch the games out here. We have had some great fan base for all the games and we created an atmosphere that is second to none and I think all the teams feel that and feel that atmosphere in the big-time conference tournament.

Sunday, had three games played, in which determined the two teams that took the main stage for the championship final. Bellevue and the Vikings, first, closed out the winner's bracket, before the No. 3 Dickinson State and No. 4 Dakota State loser's bracket match up, which saw The Blue Hawks triumph. The Bruins, losing against Valley City, faced Dickinson State in the closing game on the day, which witnessed the home team make their exit. The Blue Hawks, who have a large senior class, ended the season with a 25-25 overall record and with the team remaining on the field well after the game, taking photos, capturing the wistful moment.

"It is always bitter-sweet," Fleury said. "You get to see them go on in the world and do some good things after they are done playing. We have had a lot of good moments with them for four years, some of them five, some for two, some for one, so we just wish them the best of luck and we are excited to see where their future goes."

The Blue Hawks final victory of the tournament did not come easy, battling the Trojans to a nine-inning ball game that ended in a 4-3 walkoff. Dakota State opened the scoring with a three-run third inning, but Dickinson State would slowly reduce the deficit, before tying it up at 3, at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Ari Martinez opened the Blue Hawks scoring in the third, sending Ashlee Potter home. The second run came in the second half of the fourth inning. Leadoff hitter senior Madeline Peralta ripped a double on a hit to center field that nearly left the ballpark. Though her hit wasn't a longball she would cross home plate on their next at-bat, with Cassidy Venner hitting an RBI stand up double, on a 0-2 count.

The tying run came off of a blooper over second base, hit by senior Kamryn Kuntz, beginning two nail-biting scoreless innings. The Trojans were on the cusp to reestablish their lead, having three total runners left on base, but it would be Dallis Mitchell that would find the open field. Mitchell drove a single to not only take their first lead in the game, but the go ahead run that would win them the game.

The Viking defeated the Bruins by mercy rule, in their first encounter — with a 9-1 result after five innings. Maddy Zander secured the win for Valley City, hitting a double to center field, sending three runners home.

Dickinson State's final hurdle out of the loser's bracket would go unsuccessful, losing 6-1 to a determined Bellevue side, who were set focused on a rematch against the Vikings. The Blue Hawks took a one-run lead at the top of the first, senior Hailey Enriquez smacking an RBI double, senior Rhea Paiva scoring from the hot corner.

Unfortunately for the home side, that would be the only run. The final inning featured four of Dickinson State's eight seniors, taking their final at-bat. It was a touching moment for the coaches and players, with some teary eyes and long embraces hugs, but overall the team left the field with a catalog of gleeful memories.

"It has been amazing. Especially after last night's win, under the lights and in the rain. It is going to be something that I remember for a long time," Enriquez said. "[Living long in the memories] my first year, winning first team and winning conference that year, was honestly the best time, going to Oklahoma with the group we had and making it that far was amazing on its own."

Dickinson State 4, Dakota State 3

DaSU 003 000 000 — 3 7 1

DisU 001 101 001 — 4 14 1

Hitting

DiSU: Paiva 2-5; Conway 1-3, Sac; Martinez 2-4, RBI; Enriquez 1-3, 2B; Mitchell 1-5, RBI; Peralta 1-4, 2B; Venner 2-3, RBI, 2B; Kappel 1-3, RBI, 2B; Kuntz, 2-3, RBI, SB; Potter 1-1.

DaSU: Entringer 1-4, SB; Evdos 2-5, (2)2B; Philop 1-4, 2RBI; Usselman 3-4.

Pitching

DiSU: Kappel 6IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, 5K; Martinez (WP) 3IP, 1H.

DaSU: Cordova 5.1IP, 8H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB; Bricker 3.1IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB.

Valley City 6, Dickinson State 6

VCSU 100 000 0 — 1 5 2

DSU 005 100 X — 6 7 0

Hitting

DSU: Paiva 2-4; Venner Sac; Enriquez dp 1-2, RBI, 2B; Kappel 1-3; Kuntz 1-3.

VCSU:Reding 1-3; Floro 2-4, RBI; Young 2-2, 2RBI; McMurtry1-3, 2RBI; Montero 1-1, Sac.

Pitching

DSU: Kappel 2.1IP, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K; Martinez 1IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, 1BB; Mitchell 2.2IP,1H, 1BB.

VCSU: Gunn 3IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K; Jurek (WP) 4IP, 2H, 2BB, 3K.