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Dickinson Diamonds travel to Canada to visit Ashley Neufeld sports complex

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MANITOBA — Dickinson State University softball standout Ashley Neufeld was memorialized in her native Brandon, MB in 2023 with the construction of a five-field athletic complex and two Dickinson Diamonds squads — the 16U and 14U teams — traveled there over the weekend to show their support and recognition for the former Blue Hawk athlete, who died along with Kyrstin Gemar and Afton Williamson in a tragic drowning accident on Nov. 1, 2009.

The two Diamonds traveling teams performed well in the Wheat City Classic — playing up an age-group in both cases — as the 16U team won their opener, 10-1 over the South East Sun Devils’ 17U team, losing game two, 8-1, winning game three, 2-1, before losing to the third-place Winnipeg Lightning 17U team, 10-1.

Numerous Dickinson High School Class A North Dakota state softball champions are currently on the team, with catcher Mackenna Medina, Madelynn Bren, Kyndall Peterson, Gabby Sobolik, Reagan McMahen, Myah Merry, Emily Sayler, Priscilla Alvarez and Madison Wegleitner all continuing to grow in the sport, and the run-rule game-one win was paced by a perfect 3-for-3 day from Medina with 2 runs and 4 RBI on Saturday, June 8 and a 2-for-3 afternoon from Peterson with 3 runs and 1 driven in, while Sobolik was the other multi-hitter at 2-of-3 with an RBI.

Peterson earned the win, striking out 7 and walking only 1 while giving up 5 hits and zero earned-runs.

Game two saw only 3 combined hits for the 16Us and a single run as Peterson notched 2 of the hits in a 2-for-3 performance with an RBI and Alvarez provided the run as Dickinson fell, 8-1.

Meanwhile, the Diamonds bounced back in game three’s narrow, 2-1 eclipsing, with Peterson again serving as the multi-hitter on a 2-for-3 Sunday early-bird contest and Merry also going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.

Wegleitner and Peterson combined for the win, scattering 6 hits and giving up only 3 walks while fanning 2 and Wegleitner took the win in the circle.

The 16Us fell in their final matchup as Peterson went 1-for-2 with the lone RBI and Alvarez again providing the run to close out the series.

Meanwhile, in the 14U games, game one featured an 8-5 victory over the Sun Devils squad and that was followed by a 1-0 nailbiter versus Westman Magic — which ended up in third-place — and that was preceded by game-three’s 14-8 win over the Manitoba Angels 15U team, while the Diamonds fell, 12-5 in their final outing of the 15U tournament.

Like the 16U event, numerous DHS players are represented on the 14U Orange team — on what is simultaneously a very-young Midget state-champion team — and freshman Heather Tibor went 2-for-3 in the opener with a pair of runs with an RBI and classmate Mayzie Koffler also was 2-for-3 with 2 runs and an RBI, herself.

Reese Ryder earned the win with Macy Eckelberg coming on in relief, as the two combined to strike out 5 and give up only 3 hits and 4 walks with 2 earned-runs.

The Diamonds were 2-hit in the loss to Westman Magic as pitcher Ali Stevenson and Eckelberg collected the only safeties in the game for the Orange.

Game three was more favorable to the 14Us as Koffler took the win and Eckelberg took over with Avery Fisher in relief. The three totaled 5 Ks and gave up 8 walks while limiting the Manitoba Angels to 6 hits and 6 earned-runs.

Six players collected multi-hit games, as Tibor, Fisher, Koffler, Tayon Henke, MiKayla Schwindt and Jesarae Shepherd all registered 2-apiece, with Tibor, Henke, Schwindt and Shepherd driving in 2-each with Ryder crossing the plate 3 times.

The 12-5 loss in the Diamonds’ closer featured a 1-for-2 performance from Stevenson with 2 RBI, while Maci Wegleitner had the only multi-hit effort on 2-of-2 at the plate with a run and an RBI.

For more information about the Dickinson Diamonds youth softball organization, please keep reading The Dickinson Press and/or visit their website at

https://www.dickinsondiamonds.org/

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Gaylon is a sportswriter from Jensen Beach, Fla., but has lived all over the world. Growing up with an athletic background gave him a love of sports that led to a journalism career in such places as Enid, Okla., Alamogordo, N.M., Pascagoula, Miss. and Viera, Fla. since 1998. His main passion is small-town community sports, particularly baseball and soccer.

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