Fargo North standout Kira Larson named ND’s volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year

FARGO – Fargo North senior Kira Larson was named the North Dakota high school volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Larson – who has signed to play volleyball at NCAA Division I Nebraska next fall – finished the season with 558 kills. She averaged 5.4 kills per set and helped the Spartans to a 30-7 record.

The 6-foot-3 middle hitter was named the Class A Senior Athlete of the Year and was selected to the Class A all-state volleyball first team.

Larson also finished with 394 ...

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Home run propels IPFW past Bison softballComments Off

FARGO – Alex Bousquet hit a two-run home run in the third inning to lead Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne to a 3-1 win over North Dakota State in a Summit League softball game Sunday at the Fargodome.

Krista Menke struck out nine batters and allowed three hits for the Bison (25-15, 8-3 Summit).

IPFW also snagged a 7-4 win over the Bison in the second half of a doubleheader on Saturday.

IPFW 002 001 0–3 3 0

NDSU 000 100 0–1 4 2

Kramer and Pugh. Menke and Ortega. W–Kramer (16-8). L–Menke (19-6).

IPFW 400 003 0–7 11 2

NDSU 100 101 1–4 4 1

Flenniken and Mintari. Bayers, Thun (1) and Ortega. W–Flenniken (15-5). L–Bayers (4-7). HR–NDSU, Sobrero.

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Big third inning sparks Bison baseballComments Off

FARGO – North Dakota State scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to a 6-3 win over Western Illinois in Summit League baseball on Sunday.

The win helped the Bison (11-17, 3-7 Summit) finish off a four-game weekend sweep.

Tim Colwell batted 4-for-4 for NDSU.

WI 001 000 020–3 8 1

NDSU 015 000 00x–6 13 0

Constand, Nunn (3), Bakeris (6) Milligan (8) and McGinnis. Pfannenstein, Flaa (8) and Leach. W–Pfannenstein (1-0). L–Constand (1-5).

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Hughes helps Twins beat RoyalsComments Off

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Phil Hughes pitched a season-best six-plus innings and helped the Minnesota Twins salvage the third game of a three-game season with an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

Hughes (1-1) gave up three runs on nine hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe had two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the offense.

Yordano Ventura (1-1) took the loss for Kansas City. It was the worst start of his brief major league career. He gave up four earned runs on six hits, with four walks and six strikeouts in four-plus innings.

The Twins jumped on Ventura quickly. Second baseman Brian Dozier led off with a single just beyond the reach of shortstop Alcides Escobar. Ventura walked first baseman Joe Mauer and then Pflouffe struck one into the gap in right-center for a two-run double.

The Royals had a chance in the second inning but left the bases loaded.

Ventura settled down somewhat after the first but ran into more trouble again in the fourth. He walked catcher Kurt Suzuki with one out. Center fielder Aaron Hicks reached on a fielder’s choice, then went to second on an errant pick-off attempt and to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Eduardo Escobar’s single. In the fifth, Ventura gave up a lead-off triple to Plouffe, followed by an RBI single by right fielder Chris Calobello, and his day was done.

Louis Coleman relieved Ventura and struck out left fielder Jason Kubel. With third baseman Mike Moustakas on the right side of second for Kubel, Colabello was caught stealing at second.

Coleman then gave up a 408-foot home run to designated hitter Josmil Pinto.

The Royals got one back in the bottom of the fifth, but could have gotten more. Alcides Escobar led off with a double and moved to third on right fielder Nori Aoki’s fly to right. He scored on second baseman Omar Infante’s single to center. Infante went to third on first baseman Eric Hosmer’s single. Catcher Salvador Perez lined one up the middle, but Dozier snared it and then flipped it with his glove to Eduardo Escobar to start a nifty 6-4-3 double play.

Plouffe stroked his second double leading off the seventh, and he scored on a single by Kubel. Kubel and Pinto, who had walked, scored on Suzuki’s double.

The Royals finally chased Hughes in the seventh on a lead-off double by center fielder Justin Maxwell and a home run by Alcides Escobar.

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Avalanche defeat Wild for 2-0 lead in playoff seriesComments Off

DENVER – Centers Nathan MacKinnon and Paul Stastny had a goal and three assists each, left winger Gabe Landeskog had two goals and the Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots for the Avalanche, who are 12-0 when winning the first two games of a series since moving to Colorado in 1995.

Game 3 is Monday in Minnesota, where the Wild hope to figure out how to stop Colorado’s top line.

MacKinnon and Stastny have seven points each and Landeskog has three goals in the series.

Their play Saturday chased Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov late in the second period after he allowed three goals on 14 shots.

Goalie Darcy Kuemper came on and had 14 saves before coming off for an extra skater with 2:26 left and Minnesota down 3-1.

Defenseman Marco Scandella scored to make it a one-goal game with 1 minute 19 seconds left, but Stastny scored into the empty net with 15 seconds left.

Center Charlie Coyle also scored for the Wild, who have lost five straight playoff games to Colorado dating back to the 2008 season.

Landeskog broke a tie with a goal 2:58 into the second, when he took a drop pass from MacKinnon and beat Bryzgalov with a high shot to make 2-1.

Nine minutes later Stastny got the puck from MacKinnon and fed Landeskog, who shot it into the open net with 8:01 left in the second.

That was all for Bryzgalov, who has allowed eight goals on 45 shots this series.

The Wild used an early power play to gain momentum and cashed in when Coyle crashed the net and scored after Varlamov’s deflection bounced off of the center at 4:18 of the first.

MacKinnon tied it on a great individual effort. He skated past two Wild players at center ice, entered the Minnesota end and turned Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon into a pretzel before beating Bryzgalov with a snapshot at 6:20.

Colorado gained some momentum after killing off another penalty, and after starting the game down 7-2 in shots it held an 11-10 advantage after the first.

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Bison softball wins with a walk-off in Game 1Comments Off

  • Krista Menke
  • image

    North Dakota State pitcher Krista Menke slaps hands with catcher Jenina Ortega during the first game of a Summit League softball doubleheader on Saturday. Menke picked up the victory by throwing a complete-game, 11-inning shutout. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – Fitting on the eve of Easter, the North Dakota State and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne softball teams posted a bunch of zeros – or, to stick with the holiday theme, Easter eggs – on the scoreboard.

The opening game of the Summit League doubleheader Saturday at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome lasted 11 innings and was scoreless until sophomore shortstop Logan Moreland connected for a walk-off home run.

Moreland’s blast led off the bottom of the 11th inning and sealed NDSU’s 1-0 win over Fort Wayne. The second game of the doubleheader was still in progress at press time.

Moreland, who finished

3-for-5 at the plate, had the most success against Mastodons lefty Miranda Kramer.

“(Kramer) had been working in and out all game, but the inside pitches were her go-to pitches,” Moreland said. “We were really working on both sides of the plate. I saw the pitch come inside, I turned on it and got it.”

When the ball landed in the right-field bleachers, the Bison dugout emptied in celebration.

No player was happier than junior starting pitcher Krista Menke, who got the complete-game shutout victory.

“All I said was ‘Yes’ and ran out of the dugout to celebrate,” Menke said. “I knew we were going to come out on top eventually. You just have to give your teammates a chance to win the game.”

Menke allowed just one hit and struck out a career-high 14 batters for the Bison (25-13, 8-1 Summit League).

“Krista kept us in the game,” Moreland said. “Without her, who knows how the game would have turned out. We kept battling back and knew we had to stay strong.”

Senior shortstop Alex Bousquet was the only Mastodons batter to get a hit off Menke. Bousquet broke up the no-hitter in the top of the sixth inning.

Fort Wayne (29-13, 8-4) loaded the bases in the ninth inning with one out, but Menke got back-to-back batters to pop out to end the threat.

Kramer finished with 15 strikeouts and scattered eight hits through 10 innings, walking just one batter.

Moreland’s home run was her fifth this season. The Bison are now 17-2 in games played at the Fargodome.

FW 000 000 000 00– 0 1 0

NDSU 000 000 000 01– 1 8 1

Kramer and Pugh. Menke and Ortega. W–Menke (19-5). L–Kramer (15-8). HR–NDSU, Moreland (5).


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562

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