Bishop Ryan has come so close the past two years dethroning softball heavyweight West Fargo. However, two straight 1-0 losses in the state title game to the Packers has Bishop Ryan anxious to get the season started so they can, hopefully, have another shot at the title.
"We have a lot of experience coming back this year from the past two years, actually. We've only lost two seniors in the past two years so that's helped us a lot. We have experience playing at the highest level," sophomore Sheyenne Schmidt says.
"We, pretty much, have the same exact team. Having seven seniors and nine of us that were on the field last year and having only one graduate, Sam Smith, who was a really good senior for us, she played shortstop, really fast base runner, really strong hitter, we're going to miss her. Having pretty much the same team will probably be our biggest advantage," pitcher Hannah Stewart says.
It won't be an easy road to the state title game. The competition in the WDA has picked up considerably.
"Dickinson is definitely solid, when we're just talking about the WDA. Dickinson's solid, Minot returns all their pitching, and Century always has great up and coming youth. Bismarck High was a really nice, young team that came on strong at the end of the season last year," head coach Julie Stewart says.
Bishop Ryan is scheduled to play Century Tuesday. That, likely, won't happen because of the weather. They play Belcourt on Thursday here in Minot.