DICKINSON, N.D.-- Hanna Dunnigan struck out 14 batters in 6 2/3 innings and Mikayla Frost (FR/Melba, ID)'s fifth-inning sacrifice fly proved to be the game-winning RBI as the Jimmie softball team defeated Bellevue (Neb.) 2-1 in the deciding game of the North Star Athletic Association softball championship series at North Softball Complex.
The Jimmies tie a school record with their 41st win of the season and earned the NSAA's automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round next week. Bellevue was denied in their attempt for win number 50, and currently sit at 49-14 overall. The 23rd- ranked Bruins will have to wait to see if the qualifiy for an at-large bid to the national tournament.
Erin Sharpe led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to put Bellevue ahead 1-0. UJ came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Kelly Halverson (SO/Surrey, BC) singled with one out. Tifani Schorzman (JR/Coeur d'Alene, ID) reached on a fielder's choice, and Dunnigan singled home Halverson to tie the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kylie Macaig (SO/Airdrie, AB) singled with one out, then stole second base. Emma Keller (JR/Poulsbo, WA) also singled and advanced Macaig to third base, and heads-up baserunning allowed Keller to take second base. Frost hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Macaig and Jamestown led 2-1.
Emily Gigax doubled to deep left-center field with two outs in the top of the seventh as the Bruins attempted a comeback. With two outs, Brittany Rheault (JR/West Fargo, ND) relieved Dunnigan and got Michaela Miller to fly to left field, as Meghan Ramage (SO/Grand Forks, ND) made a superb diving catch for the final out.
Dunnigan was 2-for-3 with a double, single and an RBI. Ramage, Keller, Macaig, and Halverson each added a single.
Kelli Fisher took the loss for Bellevue. She pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out five.