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Central Cass rolls to victory in Class B softball state quarterfinals

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JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Madison Sweep put on a show Thursday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B state softball tournament at Trapper Field.

The Central Cass senior shortstop went 4-for-4 at the plate against Watford City, accounting for 11 of the team's 13 runs in a 13-3, six-inning victory over the Wolves.

An all-state performer, Sweep finished with a homer, a double, six RBIs, five runs scored and a walk.

"It's all a team effort," said Sweep, who said she'll be playing softball at Dodge City Community College (Kan.) of the National Junior College Athletic Association next season. "I wouldn't have been able to hit all those girls in if they didn't do their job and get on base."

Sweep's biggest blows came in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. She first drilled a bases-clearing fly ball to the corner in left field in the fourth. She scored on the play after what was ruled a double and a two-base error on Watford City on the return throw to the infield. Central Cass led 7-0 after the four runs scored.

Sweep then cracked a three-run homer to left center in the fifth on an 0-2 pitch thrown by starter and all-state performer Mikka Haugeberg, putting the Squirrels out front 10-1. Central Cass scored three more runs in the sixth to end the game, one inning early per the mercy rule.

"Madison came to play today," Casselton coach Scott Kost said. "She's been a great player for us all season, and really the last three seasons."

Central Cass junior Payton Richter pitched six strong innings to earn the win. Richter allowed just one earned run, struck out three and didn't allow a walk. Lexi Buhr and MacKenzie McKinnon each went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Squirrels.

Central Cass has played in five of the six Class B state softball title games since the sport was sanctioned by the North Dakota High School Activities Association in 2012, winning two state championships. The Squirrels, however, fell to Kindred-Richland 1-0 in last year's title tilt, which was also held at Trapper Field.

Central Cass will play in Friday's semifinals at 6 p.m.

"Nobody forgot about it," Kost said. "So, yeah, we feel like we've got some business to take care of and we'll have a tough game tomorrow."

Sweep added: "Every time we get into one of these pressure situations we think of that game and it just fuels us to play even harder."

WC 000 012--3 4 6

CC 201 433--13 14 3

Mikka Haugeberg and Avery Sundeen. Payton Richter and Isabelle Linnard. W--Richter. L--Haugeberg.