North Branch softball finished the shortened regular season last week with a win over Monticello and a loss to Irondale.
On May 13 the Vikings took the magic out of Monticello and brought home an 11-2 victory.
The Vikings opened the scoring with two runs. Mikayla Carlson and Sydney Meuller reached with singles, a sac fly by Kari Berggren moved them to second and third, and a single by Erin Kvam scored them both.
North Branch added a run when Katy Trunk and Casey Hovland reached on singles, and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch.
K. Trunk was called out at home on a ball put in play by her sister Emily Trunk. Hovland scored on a sac fly by Carlson.
The Vikings made it 7-0 when Hovland reached on an error, followed by a single by E.Trunk, a walk to Carlson, and a double by Meuller scored Hovland and E. Trunk.
After a RBI ground out by Berggren scored Carlson, singles by Kvam and Kaylee Lofboom plated Meuller.
The Vikings got two more runs on a single by E. Trunk, a RBI triple by Carlson and a RBI single by Meuller.
The Vikings added a run to make it 10-0 on a walk by Kvam, and singles by K. Trunk and Hovland scored pinch runner Sydney Meath.
The Magic finally scored twice in the sixth inning.
North Branch ended it at 11-2 by adding a run on a single by Meuller, double by Berggren and a sac fly by Meath.
E. Trunk went all seven innings getting the win. She gave up two runs, on five hits, walking two and striking out one.
North Branch had 11 runs, 16 hits and one error, while Monticello had two runs, five hits and one error.
“It was nice to see the bats come alive and pound out 16 hits, said coach Ron Trunk. “The play in the field was very solid and our pitcher was able to keep the ball down causing 12 ground ball outs.”
Vikings vs. Irondale
The Vikings hosted Irondale in their last conference game of the year May 15 and fell 7-5.
The Knights scored a run in the first and made it 2-0 in the second.
North Branch made it 2-1 when Meuller led off with a single and made it to second on a sac bunt by Berggren.
After a walk to Kvam, a ground out by Lofboom moved Meuller to third, who then scored on a passed ball.
North Branch took a 5-2 lead when Carlson led off with a walk and was followed by a bunt single by Meuller.
A ground ball by Berggren forced out Carlson at third and after a single by Kvam loaded the bases a ground ball by Lofboom forced out Meuller at home.
A walk to Megan Carlson with bases loaded scored pinch runner Claire Peltier.
K. Trunk then reached on an Irondale error at second scoring pinch runner Meath.
With bases still loaded a wild pitch scored Lofboom and Megan Carlson when the throw to the pitcher covering home got away.
It looked like the Vikings were going to be able to complete the comeback after retiring two of the first four batters in the seventh, but with the bases loaded, a bases clearing double by the Irondale hitter, who also scored when the Vikings had trouble getting the ball in from the outfield.
The Vikings were only able to manage one base runner in the seventh, a single by Meath, before being retired.
Lofboom took the loss going all seven innings. She gave up seven runs on 13 hits, walked three struck out four.
North Branch had five runs, seven hits and one error, while Irondale had seven runs, 13 hits and one error.
“It was a disappointing finish to a great softball game, said R. Trunk. “We really worked hard to battle back in this game and take advantage of the error Irondale made in the sixth. I think both teams felt the strike zone got squeezed in the late innings making it difficult to get of the sixth for Irondale and the seventh for North Branch.”
The North Branch softball team finished the regular season tied for fifth in the North Suburban Conference with a 5-6 conference and 8-8 overall record. The No. 11 section seed Vikings will travel to Chisago Lakes to face the No. 6 seeded Wildcats in the first round of Section 7AAA playoffs at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22.