By Kory Boehmer
5/3/14 - The Region XIII fastpitch tournament was held at the MDU Resources Bowl in Bismarck, North Dakota today. The Royals came in as the #2 seed for the tournament and matched up with Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) out of Rosemount, Minnesota in the first game of the day. Dakota County jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top half of the 1st inning, but in the bottom half of the inning Rebecca Gurski blasted a home run to left to cut the lead to 3-1. In the 3rd inning, DCTC scored 6 off of 6 hits to lead 9-1. Again, in the bottom of the inning, the Royals responded with Samone Motley lining a solo home run to center field cutting the lead to 7, 9-2. The Royals were not able to match the scoring and Dakota County scored 5 in the top of the 5th to stretch the lead to 14-2. In the bottom of the 5th, Motley lead off with a single, Breanne Heinrichs hit into a fielders choice, then Gurski blasted her second home run of the game bringing the final score to 14-4 in favor of Dakota County Technical College. All four runs by the Royals were from home runs. Macie Helten and Brianne Hunt had the other hits for the Royals. Heinrichs pitched the entire 5 innings giving up 13 earned runs, with 1 walk, 2 strikeouts and 2 home runs.
In the second game, Lake Region State College matched up with Bismarck State College (BSC) in another close match-up. The Mystics of BSC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after center fielder Katie Clark blasted a home run out to left center. The Royals responded in the fourth with a show of power of the own. Jenny Mertens launched a home run to center then two batters later Macie Helten followed suit hitting a home run to left center putting the Royals ahead 2-1. In the top of the 6th, the wheels fell off for the Royals. The Mystics were able to score 6 runs. The killer came with bases loaded and two outs and with a full count and the runners going on the pitch, Sam Wolf of BSC dribbled a slow roller to the pitcher, but everyone was safe after the throw home. The following hitter, Mikaila Wax, double off the wall clearing the bases. However, the Royals did not quit, Mertens lead off the inning hitting her second home run of the game cutting the lead to 3-7. Then in the bottom of the 7th with 2 outs, Rebecca Gurski hit her 3rd home run of the tournament to cut the lead to 7-5. But that was all the Royals could come up with. Helten went 3-3 at the plate with a single, double, and home run. Jenny Mertens was 2-4 with two home runs, and Gurski was 1-4 with a home run. Breanne Heinrichs handled the pitching duties giving up 6 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strike outs, 10 hits, and 2 home runs.
This ends the inaugural season for the Royals. It was full of successes and areas where improvements are needed. Coach Boehmer was very proud of how the ladies kept working and continuing to fight each and every game. Final stats can be found on the softball web page.