Viking bats are hot
By Victoria Dahlin
The Viking softball team remains undefeated in conference play after scorching both the Orioles and Hylanders last week.
On April 17, the team traveled to St. Louis Park and blanked the Orioles 18-0. The girls scored five in the first inning on singles by Mikayla Carlson, Chelsey Emery-Snaza, Jennifer Huth, Sydney Mueller and Kallie Grote.
In the second, the team added two more on a walk by Meath and a double by Carlson with the aid of an Oriole passed ball.
Four more were added in the third on singles by Mueller, Grote, Meath, Alley Carlson and an RBI ground out by Kaylee Lofboom.
North Branch tallied seven more runs in the fourth on a triple by Emery-Snaza, a double by Erin Kvam and singles by Grote, Lofboom, M. Carlson, A. Carlson and a walk by Meath.
Huth pitched the complete game shutout, giving up only four hits, while walking none and striking out two.
North Branch had 18 runs, 16 hits and one error, while St. Louis Park had no runs, four hits and three errors.
“This was just an all around solid game for us,” said Coach Ron Trunk. “We pounded out 16 hits, Jeni threw strikes and got us off the field quick. Most importantly for us, we played solid defense for the fourth game in a row.”
The Vikings then traveled to Columbia Heights and trounced the Hylanders 16-5 in five innings, due to the 10-run mercy rule, last Thursday.
North Branch opened the scoring in the top of the first scoring three times on two singles, a walk and hit batter.
The Hylanders got two in the bottom of the first to make the score 3-2 in the Vikings’ favor.
Columbia Heights was able to take a 5-3 lead in the second, but North Branch fought back to take a 6-5 lead in the third when the girls collected three hits and a walk and were aided by an error.
The Vikings broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring 10 times on 10 hits, three walks and with the aid of a Hylander error.
Kvam pitched all five innings to earn her first win. She gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits, walked three and struck out four.
North Branch had 16 runs, 16 hits and two errors, while Columbia Heights had five runs, six hits and three errors.
“We continued to hit the ball well today and we bounced back after falling behind 5 to 3,” said Coach Trunk. “Our schedule looks to get tougher the next couple of week, and we look forward to the challenge.”
The North Branch softball team is at the top of the North Suburban Conference with a 3-0 conference and 3-3 overall record. The Vikings will travel to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in St. Louis Park to face the Red Knights at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 30 before hosting the Chisago Lakes Area Wildcats at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2.