After starting the week off on a sour note by losing to the Glenwood City Hilltoppers 12-11, May 4, the Colfax softball team came back 24 hours later and bounced the Boycevulle Bulldogs 13-8, then finished off the week on an even more sour note by getting crushed by the St. Croix Central Panthers 19-5. All three games were played on the Vikings’ home field.
Colfax had lost an earlier game to the Hilltoppers 9-6 and had hopes they had improved enough as the season wore on they could pull out a win this time around. Things didn’t look very good early on however, as they fell behind 8-2 after just two innings. They closed the gap to 8-7 in the third on base hits from Lakken Meredith, Courtney Ottinger, Karina Wait and Becca Lee and were helped out with three Topper errors. Glenwood got a run back in the bottom of the inning, then the Vikings came up with another in the fourth when Kori Buchanan tripled and came in on a passed ball to keep the deficit at a run 9-8. Glenwood tacked on two more with a walk, wild pitch and a couple of hits to go up 11-8.
The Vikings continued to peck away, coming up with a run in the sixth on Buchanan’s solo home run, then knotted things up at 11-11 in the top of the seventh when Dailyn Mortenson drew a walk, moved up on a Mikaela Leibfried single and came home on Durand’s fielder’s choice, and Durand scored on Buchanan’s third hit of the game. But things fell apart in the bottom of the inning as a Topper double followed by a single brought the winning run across the plate.
“We had some mental errors by our young kids and our veteran players,” coach Rich Meredith said. “Glenwood hit well and found the gaps in our defense. We batted very well with 18 hits in the game but it just wasn’t enough to win.”
Leibfried and Ottinger led the Vikings at the plate with both having a 4 for 5 performance while Buchanan was 3 for 5. Meredith allowed 10 hits in six and a third innings with four walks and two strikeouts to absorb the loss.
COLFAX 2 0 5 1 0 1 2 -11
GLENWOOD CITY 3 5 1 2 0 0 1 -12
The Vikings again fell behind early, down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the third as freshman pitcher Becca Lee struggled with her control. Lee walked four batters, hit one and had a couple of wild pitches in the mix to go with a Colfax error and a pair of Bulldog base hits. The Vikings started a comeback in the bottom of the inning when Makayla Mattson singled, Mortenson was hit by a pitch, Leibfried singled but right at the left fielder who threw to third to get Mattson on the force. A fly ball out followed but Meredith slammed a double to bring two runs in and Buchanan followed up with her own two bagger to cut the Boyceville lead to 5-3.
Meredith took over the pitching duties to start the fourth and after giving up a leadoff single, put the next three Bulldogs out.Wait alertly laid down a bunt for a base hit to start the bottom of the inning, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. Mattson drew a walk and Mortenson’s sharp ground ball to the shortstop resulted in Wait getting cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning. With runners on second and third, Leibfried, all 110 pounds of her sent a ball to the centerfield fence to bring both runners home. After getting herself in scoring position by swiping second, she came around on Durand’s solid hit to left and Durand crossed the plate on Meredith’s double to the fence, putting Colfax up 7-5.
After allowing a leadoff double in the top of the fifth, Meredith looked like she would get out of the inning unscathed when she forced two infield popups but three straight hits by the Bulldogs put the score at 7-7 before a ground ball to third ended the inning. Colfax regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after Wait doubled to the fence then came home on a ground ball out with a throwing error by the Bulldogs.
But Boyceville came right back with a run to knot things again in the top of the sixth on a double, a ground ball out and a throwing error on another ground ball and it was 8-8 going into the bottom of the sixth. The floodgates opened up for the Vikings, starting with a walk to Leibfried. After stealing second and moving to third on the bad throw, Meredith brought her home on a base hit to right. With two outs, Ottinger drew another walk and Wait brought both runners in on a blast to the fence, followed by an RBI single from Lee.Mattson brought Lee in with her own shot over the centerfielder’s head and it was 13-8 when the final out was recorded. Meredith finished the game off by fielding a ground ball for an out, whiffing a Bulldog with a high hummer fastball and after a base hit, the runner was hit by a ground ball.
Meredith and Wait were both 3 for 4 at the plate with Meredith bringing in four runs, and she earned the win by pitching four innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and most importantly, no free passes.
BOYCEVILLE 0 2 3 0 2 1 0 – 8
COLFAX 0 0 3 4 1 5 X – 13
St. Croix Central
Although they had defeated the Panthers 6-3 earlier in the season, this game turned out to be a disaster for the Vikings as they gave up way too many runs on both base hits and throwing and baserunning errors. They grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Durand reached on an error and scored on Meredith’s double but the Panthers erupted for eight runs in the third and the Vikings never recovered. They were down 12-5 at the end of five and Central, playing for their last time in a conference game at Colfax, exploded for seven more runs in the seventh. All told, the Vikings committed seven errors in the game while the Panthers collected 16 hits.
Meredith was 4 for 4 at the plate but was also the losing pitcher giving up all the Panther runs with five walks and six strikeouts. Leibfried added a multi-hit game, going 3 for 4.
ST. CROIX CENTRAL 0 0 8 2 2 0 7 – 19
COLFAX 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 – 5