Vikings hit rough patch

NB softball earns No. 9 seed

The Viking softball squad closed its regular-season play last week with one win and three losses to bring its record to 9-10 on the season.

On Tuesday, North Branch hosted Princeton and beat the Tigers, 10-4.

Senior Kaylee Lofboom earned the win on the mound with six innings pitched while giving up five hits and three runs (one earned).

Sophomore Jaci Bossard led the offense, going 3-3 with four RBIs and one run scored, followed by sophomore Megan Carlson, who went 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Mikayla Carlson went 2-4 with a double and one run scored.

The Vikings hit a rough patch in their last three games, however.

On Wednesday, North Branch lost a close one, 4-3, at home to Cambridge-Isanti, despite outhitting the Bluejackets 11-9.

Lofboom pitched another seven innings, giving up nine hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out two batters.

Junior Kelsey Laffin went 2-4 at the plate with a double, while junior Sydney Meath went 2-3 with one run scored.

North Branch committed three errors in the field.

The Vikings traveled to Chisago Lakes on Thursday and, while only recording one error on defense, couldn’t get the bats going against a tough Wildcat squad. North Branch lost 7-1.

Laffin pitched six innings, giving up nine hits on the day, while Lofboom, junior Paige Yoch, sophomore Korissa Franklin and junior Hannah Hubbard combined for the only hits from the visiting squad.

On Friday, the Vikings played their fifth consecutive game at St. Francis, but had trouble connecting with the ball again, resulting in a 3-1 loss.

Lofboom pitched six innings, giving up seven hits, three runs (two earned) while striking out two batters.

Mikayla Carlson, Hubbard and Laffin earned the only hits at the plate.

North Branch heads into postseason play as the No. 9 seed of 12 teams in Section 7AAA. They faced eighth-seeded Grand Rapids on the road on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to face the top-seeded Anoka squad on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. Forest Lake earned the No. 2 seed, while reigning state champions, Elk River, sit at No. 3.


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