By Victoria Dahlin
After being taken down by the Red Knights, the Viking fast-pitch softball team recovered and tamed the Wildcats last week.
On April 30 the team traveled to face Benilde-St. Margaret’s and opened the scoring in the second inning when Sydney Meuller led off with a single, advanced to second on a ground out by Chelsey Emery-Snaza and scored on a single by Kallie Grote.
The Red Knights answered back with eight runs, while the Vikings were unable to score, ending the game 8-1 and sent North Branch home with its first conference loss.
Alley Carlson hit two singles and Hannah Hubbard hit one single as well for the Vikings.
Senior Jennifer Huth took the loss for the Vikings. She worked five innings, giving up six runs on 11 hits while striking out three and walking none. Erin Kvam pitched the sixth inning, giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out one.
North Branch had one run, five hits and no errors, while Benilde-St. Margaret’s had eight runs, 13 hits and no errors.
“It was a tough loss considering we shared the lead in the NSC with BSM coming in,” said Coach Ron Trunk. “We were not able to get much going at the plate today.”
The Vikings got their bats working early scoring seven times in the bottom of the first inning when the Wildcats came to town May 2.
Emily Trunk led off with a single, followed by a Mikayla Carlson single, a triple by A. Carlson and a single by Kari Berggren.
After a walk to Hubbard and Grote was hit by a pitch to load the bases, a bases clearing double by Kaylee Lofboom and a triple by Trunk brought four more runners home.
Chisago Lakes scored a run in the second and made it 7-3 in the third when they added two more runs.
The Vikings were able to again answer in the third, scoring four times on a lead off walk by Emery-Snaza, a bunt single by Meuller, Trunk reached on a error scoring Emery-Snaza, M. Carlson singled scoring Mueller, and a single by Berggren, scored Trunk and Carlson making it 11-3.
North Branch added three more in the fourth on singles by Grote, Lofboom, Trunk and A. Carlson, Claire Peltier (pinch runner), Emery-Snaza (who reached on a fielder’s choice) and Lofboom all scored in the inning bringing down the Wildcats 14-3 in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Trunk got the win, going all five innings. She gave up three runs (two earned) on nine hits, walked three and struck out four to improve her record to 3-0 on the season.
North Branch had 14 runs, 13 hits and one error, while Chisago Lakes Area had three runs, nine hits and four errors.
“Our bats really got going early.,” said Coach Trunk. “All nine starters were able to contribute by either scoring a run or getting a hit today. Emily pitched well after the offense gave her the early lead and our defense again played solid.”
The North Branch softball team has a 5-1 North Suburban Conference and 5-5 overall record. The team will travel to St. Francis to face the Fighting Saints at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 before traveling to Princeton for a double header at 4:30 p.m. versus Princeton and then Cloquet Friday, May 11. The Vikings will then host the Spring Lake Park Panthers at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 14 and travel to Irondale High School in New Brighton to face the Knights at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16.