It hasn’t been a good start for the Colfax softball team and new coach Rich Meredith as they let leads slip away in both of their games played last week, losing 17-16 at Elmwood April 7, then dropping their home opener to Glenwood City 9-6 three days later.
Scoring 16 runs in a softball game should be enough to earn a win but the Vikings have a lineup that has several freshmen starting which means they are still getting used to the varsity level of play. Colfax led 2-0 after an inning and a half of play but errors and walks on the Colfax end and a few hits by the Raiders gave them 10 runs in the bottom of the second. Colfax fought back with six runs over the next few innings and exploded for seven in the sixth and added a run in the seventh to tie it up at 16-16. The Raiders then came up with a few big hits and put the winning run across in the bottom of the seventh.
Lakken Meredith pitched all seven innings for Colfax and gave up 13 hits with nine walks and a pair of strikeouts. Karina Wait was 3 for 6 the plate with a home run, Meredith was 2 for 4 with a pair of round trippers and Kori Buchanan was 2 for 4 with a three bagger.
COLFAX 2 3 3 0 0 7 1—16
ELMWOOD 0 10 0 0 2 4 1—17
The Hilltoppers put a run across in the top of the first off Meredith on a single, a steal and two fly ball tag ups but Colfax came back with a pair in their half of the inning when Mikaela Leibfried beat out a groundball to short, stole second and came home on a Buchanan single. Buchanan swiped second and moved to third on a wild pitch, then came home on a tag up on a Meredith fly ball to left field.
The Toppers came up with back to back singles to start the second but played right into the Vikings defense when the next two batters sent ground balls to third baseman Buchanan (the only infielder who was not a freshman) who stepped on the bag for force outs. The next Topper hit a grounder to second baseman Andrea Ottinger who tagged the runner going by for the third out. After the Vikings went down 1-2-3 in their half of the inning, Glenwood City used a pair of hits, a tag up and a passed ball to score two runs and take the lead back at 3-2. But Colfax responded again as Leibfried slammed a one out triple to the center field fence and came home on Buchanan’s single. Meredith reached on an infield error and both runners moved up on a wild pitch which led to them scoring on a solid single past third by freshman Hailey Durand-Christianson and a throwing error by the Toppers for a 5-3 Vikings lead.
Meredith walked the lead off batter in the fourth but catcher Courtney Ottinger gunned her down trying to steal second. After a pop fly out, Meredith gave up two straight singles then took control by striking out the next batter with a change up for the third out. The Vikings tacked on another run in the bottom half of the inning when Dalynn Mortenson reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up on another ground ball out then came home when Leibfried sent a fly ball to right which tailed away from the Topper fielder for a double.
Meredith again flirted with danger when the Toppers put runners on first and second on a base hit and a walk in the fifth, but another grounder to Buchanan for a force, a fly ball to Wait in center and another grounder to Buchanan ended the Topper’s threat. Colfax went down in order in the bottom of the inning and Glenwood added a run in the sixth on an infield hit, a walk and a single up the middle, cutting the Colfax lead to 6-4.
The Vikings’ offense fizzled again as they went down 1-2-3 in the sixth against Topper pitcher Leslie Ludtke, and needed just three outs to come up with their first win of the season. The Toppers had other ideals however as they came up with two hits with a dropped pop up behind third base to load the bases. A double up the middle by Megan Samens cleared the bases and gave Glenwood a 7-6 lead, and after a fly ball to left resulted in a tag up, another long fly ball fell between the left and centerfielder to give the Toppers a 9-6 lead. Colfax again went down in order in their last at bat to end the game.
“We made some very good defensive plays but had too many errors in between them to win the game,”coach Meredith said. “With four freshmen in the lineup, we are still learning how to play together. As we gain experience, I expect our defense to improve. We hit the ball pretty solid early on but their pitcher settled down and we struggled the last few innings.”
Leifried finished 3 for 4 at the plate with a triple while Buchanan was 2 for 4. Meredith gave up 10 hits with five walks and a strikeout to absorb the loss.
GLENWOOD CITY 1 0 2 0 0 1 5 — 9
COLFAX 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 — 6