The Lake Region State College Royals softball team traveled on February 2nd and 3rd to the Minot State University Bubble to play fellow Mon-Dak Conference teams in pre-conference games.
Over the weekend the Royals won 2 and lost 2 games and were able to gain valuable insight of where they need to improve and where their strengths are. Overall, there were more positives than negatives.
In game 1, the Royals faced defending Mon-Dak conference/Region XIII champs Dawson Community College (DCC) coming up short by the score of 2 to 4. The Royals took a 1 run lead in the first after Madison Foss doubled in Samantha Shumway who got on after a walk. The Buccaneer's from DCC scored 3 runs in the top half of the second off of starting pitcher Madison Foss after she walked 2 and gave of 2 hits. The Bucs scored again in the 5th after a double and a single scored the run. The Royals then battled back in the bottom of the sixth when Alysha Moser reached on a fielder's choice then scored after Jaelynn Jenkins singled. With a walk to Lexi Davis and two outs, a rocket shot by Kendra Karl down the third base line landed just foul. The game ended after DCC pitcher Jordyn O'Neal struck Karl out to end the game.
The second game featured the Royals playing NDSCS. The Wildcats from NDSCS scored twice in the first off of Royals pitcher Lexi Davis and could have scored more but the Royals were able to end the inning with some strong defensive plays and quality pitches. Davis settled in after the first and pitched the remaining innings with a strong, controlled effort giving up just one the one hit to the lead off batter. In the second inning, the Royals were able to score 3 runs off of the Wildcats pitcher, Brooke Harder when Alysha Moser singled, Lexi Davis hit a double to score her, then Tehani Yamamoto singled in Davis. Yamamoto scored on a wild pitch giving the Royals a one run lead that they would not relinquish. The other run was scored by Cece Lucero after Sadie Schilling hit a deep fly ball to allow her tag and score. Final score was LRSC 4 NDSCS 2.
In the midst of a snow storm outside, day two started off well for the Royals as they played the Tetons from Williston State College (WSC) and won by the score of 4 to 1. In the top of the first, the Royals were able to score one run. Tyra Robertson scored on a wild pitch after she singled, stole second, and reached third after Sadie Schilling singled to left. The Tetons first batter lead off the bottom half of the first with an in the park homerun to tie the game. That was the only run the Tetons were able to score against starting pitcher Emily Wininger and relief pitcher Lexi Davis. The two were able to shut them down the rest of the way to seal the victory with a 4 to 1 win. Davis did not allow a hit in the two innings. The Royals scored another run in the fourth after Sadie Schilling singled and Madison Foss doubled her in from first. Two more runs came across in the sixth when Schilling singled, Foss walked, then Emily Wininger doubled both of them in.
In the second game on Sunday, the Royals played the Lumberjacks from Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB). The game started out poorly for the Royals. Starting pitcher Tehani Yamamoto struggled to find the strike zone and ended up walking 4 batters and with 2 outs and bases loaded, DCB had 2 doubles to score 5 runs. In relief, Madison Foss was able to slow their offense but the Jacks scored one in the second and 5 more in the fourth. The Royals struggled to gain any momentum even after several well hit balls off of the DCB pitcher Kassidy Cunningham. The only runs scored by the Royals were in the bottom of the 5th when Jaelynn Jenkins walked and scored after Samantha Shumway tripled. Shumway scored after a single by Alysha Moser. The final score after 5 innings was Dakota College at Bottineau 11, Lake Region 2.