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Lady Vikings open season with one win, one loss

It’s been a long time since the Colfax girls softball team has beaten perennial powerhouse Pepin-Alma, but they managed to do just that in their season opener at Pepin April 10 by a score of 15-9. Just 24 hours later, they were on the road again and dropped a close 9-8 decision to Durand on the Panthers home field.

Pepin-Alma

Although the Eagles have dropped off a bit when they lost four-year starting pitcher Breanna Ellison along with several of their top hitters from last year, they are still considered to be one of the leading teams in the conference this year.  Leadoff batter Karina Wait scored the first run of the season for the Vikings after drawing a walk and moving around the basepaths without any hits by her teammates. The Eagles knotted the score in their half of the inning  and both teams came up with four runs in the third before Colfax took a 7-5 lead in the fourth when Kori Buchanan and Lakken Meredith rapped base hits and ended up crossing the plate on an Eagle error.

Colfax broke the game open with a six run sixth inning when Emily Tuschl took a walk and moved up on another Eagle error and another walk to Equality Wilson. Courtney Ottinger smacked a double to bring two runs in and Tiernee Knutson added a pair of RBI with a single. Wait reached on a fielder’s choice, Buchanan came up with another base hit and Mallie Doucette slammed a double to bring in two more runs and Colfax held a 14-7 lead. Taylor Shipman led off the seventh with a single and scored the Viking’s final run on another base hit by Knutson. Pepin-Alma came up with two runs in the bottom of the seventh but Meredith, who pitched the whole game, settled down and forced a pop up and a ground out to end the game.

“Our ability to score  won the game for us,” Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “We had 12 hits and were aggressive on the basepaths. But we did not help Lakken at all defensively as we committed eight errors in the game that led to six runs for them.”

Buchanan finished 3 for 4 in the hitting department while Doucette, Shipman, Ottinger and Knutson all added a pair of hits. The Vikings had three runners thrown out at the plate in the game. Meredith gave up 11 hits and walked five batters while striking out one for the win.

Colfax          1  0  4  2  1  6  1 – 15
Pepin-Alma 1  0  4  1  1  0  2 – 9

Durand

Playing in the absence of both Doucettes, that being shortstop Mallie and coach Joe, the Vikings fell behind 5-0 after four innings but came up with three runs in the fifth on hits from Ottinger and Knutson along with a walk by Wait, a Panther error and a fielder’s choice. Durand countered those runs however, with three of their own in the bottom of the inning but the Vikings tacked on four in the sixth as Wilson, Alexis Brodman, Knutson and Buchanan all crossed the plate, leaving them down 8-7. The Panthers added a single run in their half of the inning and the Vikings, with assistant coach Tim DeVine leading the team, almost made a comeback in the final inning when they picked up a run on a Shipman double, a two out walk to Hannah DeMoe and a single by Knutson but a strikeout ended the game with the one run loss.

The Vikings again were swinging the bats well as they had five players with multiple hits including Knutson with three and Buchanan, Meredith, Wilson and Shipman with two each.But the defense struggled again as they gave up six unearned runs behind pitcher Knutson who allowed nine hits with  five walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Colfax  0  0  0  0  3  4  1 – 8
Durand  0  2  0  3  3  1  X – 9